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Philadelphia Union U15s book spot in GA Cup finals with 1-0 win over Atlanta United

Jackson Gilman’s early goal was the difference in the final GA Cup qualifier against Atlanta United on Monday

Jackson Gilman in a GA Cup game at Power Training Complex in October 2018
Matt Ralph

Frisco, Texas here they come. The Philadelphia Union U15 team advanced to the finals of the Generation adidas Cup on Monday with a 1-0 win over Atlanta United in Atlanta.

Center back Jackson Gilman scored the game’s only goal in the first minute off a corner kick from Quinn Sullivan and the defense did the rest of the work to keep Atlanta United off the board and book a spot in the eight-team finals with three other MLS teams and four from Liga MX.

“Everyone worked so hard to get to this point, if we didn’t win that game it would have been so hard on us,” goalkeeper Owen Moore said after the match. “We were out there playing some of our best soccer and took the dub.”

The clean sheet was the fifth for Moore in six GA Cup games. Gilman and Levi Stephens anchored the back line on Monday with Andrew Johnson at right back and Ryan Lau at left back. Brandan Craig, who wore the captain’s armband, played as a holding midfielder.

The Union U15s finished qualifying unbeaten with 15 out of a possible 18 points to clinch at least a wildcard spot in the finals. The New York Red Bulls started the day a point ahead of the Union so they would claim the group with a win today over NYCFC.

They outscored opponents 16-2 over the six games to finish qualifying with a plus-14 goal differential.

The finals will be staged for the first time at the U15 level after only the regionals were played at the younger age group in 2017-2018.

“This is the second year they’ve been unbeaten at the event but last year there wasn’t a final,” Academy Director Tommy Wilson said. “I’m very pleased. As you know it’s not all about winning at this age group but it’s nice when the hard work is rewarded.”

The GA Cup finals will be held at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas from April 12-20.