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Union Academy teams sweep Subaru Park doubleheader with Bethesda SC

The Union U17 and U15 teams had a chance to host Bethesda on the first team’s field

Ian Abbey celebrates his free kick goal for the Union U17s at Subaru Park on June 12, 2021
Matt Ralph

Subaru Park was the backdrop for a pair of MLS Next games last Saturday between the Philadelphia Union and Bethesda SC.

The double-header in the stadium kicked off with the Union U15s, followed by the U17s match.

Alex Perez got the scoring started early for the hosts in the first match and by the time the whistle blew for full time it was 8-0 Union. Gael Medrano, Dominic Wilson and Luke Zielinski each had braces and Henry Bernstein also chipped in a well-taken goal from distance to the offensive onslaught.

Wilson’s first goal came off a lovely assist from Jack Brown.

The U17s followed things up with a strong and steady performance against Bethesda. Ian Abbey had a goal each side of half time and Sam Jones added a goal before the break. Bethesda pulled back a goal late to make things interesting on a strange play where Union goalkeeper Owen Moore was whistled for picking up a ball in the box. Bethesda scored off the indirect kick from close range on the rebound off Moore’s initial save.

Abbey opened the scoring when he collected a pass from Luke Martelli with his back to goal, turned and fired off a blistering shot inside the left post. Jones then doubled the lead when he headed in a long free kick from Dylan Lacey. Abbey’s second goal came in the second half on a free kick after Jake Spadafara drew a foul.

Both teams are back at Subaru Park on Saturday for their regular season MLS Next finales against the New York Red Bulls. The U15s kick off at 11 a.m. and the U17s at 1:30 p.m.