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Academy notebook: Bohui youngest Steel debutant, GA Cup finals details released

Bohui debuts, Nick Blacklock and Leo Afonso have braces in lopsided win for U19s and more

Matt Ralph

Bethlehem Steel FC may have lost their first match at Talen Energy Stadium by a final score of 1-0 to North Carolina FC, but it was still a big night for four current Philadelphia Union Academy players.

Patrick Bohui made his Steel FC debut as a second half substitute and at 15 years, 3 months and 13 days became the youngest to ever make an appearance for the team. Nathan Harriel also made his debut starting at right back and Jack de Vries and Cole Turner, who both debuted as late substitutes in the season opener in Birmingham, made their first starts.

Bohui replaced 16-year-old de Vries in the game in the 62nd minute.

“To see Patrick come on and seemingly fit in pretty really well with the game was a really encouraging sign,” Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said in a media call on Thursday. “To be pushing the way that he is at his age is fantastic. He still has a long way to go but it’s good to see.”

Alumni News

Speaking of debuts, the big story of the week was Brenden Aaronson not only making his MLS debut but scoring a goal in a 1-1 draw in front of 45,140 people at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. As luck would have it, Aaronson’s former YSC Academy classmate Jalen Weatherspoon, who graduated in 2018 and played in the Development Academy for FC Delco, happened to be at the game with the Elon men’s soccer team. Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank’s son, Josh Blank, is a teammate of Weatherspoon’s.

Union Academy/YSC Academy grad Fred Gil will be playing for the Treasure Coast Tritons in USL League Two this summer. Gil will be entering his third season at the University of South Florida this fall.

GA Cup

Details were released for the upcoming GA Cup finals to be held in Frisco, Texas from April 13-20. The Union U15s are one of four MLS teams in the inaugural U15 finals. They’ll play four Liga MX academy teams in the competition with the top MLS and Liga MX teams after four games meeting for the final.

The U17 team will be part of the Premier Division with 12 other MLS teams that didn’t qualify for the Championship Division. The international teams that will be included in both the U17 and U15 competitions will be announced at a later date.

Development Academy Updates

-The U19 team snapped a six-game winless streak with a 6-1 win over Cedar Stars Academy on Saturday. Nick Blacklock and Leo Afonso each had a pair of goals, Antek Sienkiel had the game-winner in the 34th minute and Tyger Evans also found the back of the net in the win. The game also marked the Development Academy debut of Kemali Green, who came off the bench for the final 15 minutes. Green was sidelined with injuries for 18 months.

-Dante Huckaby had the game-winner in the 78th minute and Aboubacar Camara and Jackson Temple both chipped in goals in the U17 team’s 3-1 win over Cedar Stars.

-The U15s made it 13 games unbeaten with a 4-0 win over Cedar Stars. After an own goal in the sixth minute, Quinn Sullivan. Beckham Aiman and Anthony Derk all found the back of the net. Owen Moore recorded the clean sheet in goal. Sullivan’s goal put him into double digits for the season with 10 to lead the team.

-Dominic Dubon had a brace and Favian Loyola added a goal in a 3-0 win for the U14s over Cedar Stars. Dubon now has 16 goals in 16 games this season to lead the team. Dominic Wilson had the game-winner in the 37th minute and Henry Bernstein scored the opener in a 2-1 win for the U13s. The duo is tied for second on the team — behind John Andrus with 15 — with seven goals on the season.

Up Next

The academy teams head south for a weekend double header against D.C. United on Saturday and Richmond United on Sunday. Bethlehem Steel FC hosts Memphis 901 FC at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday. Union Academy grad Morgan Hackworth has made one appearance off the bench for Memphis, which was his professional debut in week 1.