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Union Academy defense steps up in rivalry matches against FC Delco, Real Jersey FC

The Union hosted Real Jersey FC for games on Saturday and also took on FC Delco in Saturday and Sunday matches

Matt Ralph

After the offense exploded for 34 goals in week 1 of the MLS Next season, it was the Union Academy’s defense that was the difference in matches against local rivals FC Delco and Real Jersey FC.

The U17, U15, U14 and U13 teams all posted shutouts over the weekend.

Playing their first official match in the new MLS Next league against rivals FC Delco in Conshohocken, the U17 team got goals either side of halftime from Caden Grabfelder and a penalty from Marcello Mazzola. Luke Martelli set up the goal in the first half and the back line in front of goalkeeper Owen Moore did well to limit chances and hold the FC Delco offense in check.

The loss was the second straight 2-0 game dropped by the FC Delco U17s.

The Union U15 team followed the U17 win with an identical score line behind goals from Alex Perez and Henry Bernstein.

Over at YSC Sports, the Union and Real Jersey FC U14 and U13 teams met for the first time in MLS Next play.

Jordan Griffin, Anthony Washington, Michael Tzimoulis and Jeremy Salazar bagged goals in a 4-0 win over Real Jersey for the U14s. Cavan Sullivan, Brett Seemuller and Luke Vilary all scored in a 3-0 win in the U13 match.

The Union’s U14 and U13 teams were back in action again on Sunday against FC Delco at The Proving Grounds.

Gunnar Graham and James Soler each scored in the 5-0 win for the U13s while the Union U14s got a goal from center back Neil Pierre off a set piece and a penalty from Stefan Chilira to win their game 2-0.

The Union U13s beat FC Delco 5-0 on Sunday morning. Gunnar Graham and James Soler, who both had hat tricks in the team’s 14-0 win last weekend, both found the back of the net.

The Union Academy teams hit the road for Week 3 of the MLS Next season. The U17s and U15s are at Baltimore Armour while the U14 and U13 teams visit Cedar Stars Academy in New Jersey. All four matches will be streamed live on the Philadelphia Union YouTube account.