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Philadelphia Union U15s closing in on GA Cup finals berth

A 6-0 win over D.C. United on Friday has the Union U15s knocking on the door of the GA Cup finals; U17s can qualify for the top division in the finals with a win

Union U15 teammates Levi Stephens, Million Evans and Quinn Sullivan after their 6-0 win over D.C. United in a GA Cup qualifier on February 15, 2019
Scott Evans

Entering the final day of qualifying for the 2019 Generation adidas Cup tournament, the Philadelphia Union Academy still has a chance for both their U17 and U15 teams to qualify in each age group.

Coming off a 6-0 win over D.C. United on Friday, the U15s are a point back of first place in their group but could grab the fourth spot with a win today over Atlanta United in their game at 11:30 a.m.

The first year for the U15 age division finals will feature four MLS academy teams — the three regional group winners and the best second place team — and four teams from Liga MX.

The Union U15s are flying high after Friday’s lopsided victory.

Million Evans had four goals and both Andrew Johnson and Brandan Craig scored in the win, which gave the team a plus-13 goal differential for tie-breaker purposes heading into today’s match. Quinn Sullivan delivered assists on five of the six goals in the game while Craig found the back of the net on a free kick.

“We were really good, really aggressive,” head coach Chris Brewer said about Friday’s game. “It was a good performance.”

Through the first five qualifiers, the U15s have 15 goals and have only conceded twice.

Also on Friday in Atlanta, the U17 team played D.C. United to a scoreless draw but picked up a critical second point with a penalty shootout win that kept them in the picture for one of the two wild card spots for the Champions Division of the GA Cup finals.

The Union U17s play Atlanta United today at 2 p.m. A win would still have them in third place in the group but would mean they’d finish on 10 points. Eight teams qualify for the Champions Division and are then seeded with international youth teams. The teams that fail to qualify are seeded with international teams in the Premier Division at the finals held in Frisco, Texas.

At best, the other teams in the running for the second wild card in the other two groups will have nine points. Columbus Crew finished qualifying with nine points after a loss on Saturday to Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps has six points. The first wild card spot will go to the team that finishes third out of Seattle Sounders (14 points), Real Salt Lake (12 points) or LA Galaxy (12 points).