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Union 2 tops West Chester United 3-1 in friendly

Shanyder Borgelin scored twice and Nelson Pierre scored to lead the Union 2 attack

Matt Ralph

Shanyder Borgelin had a brace and Nelson Pierre added a goal — all in the first half — to lead Philadelphia Union 2 to a 3-1 win over West Chester United in a friendly at the Power Training Complex in Chester on Saturday.

Playing against an out-of-season West Chester United lineup with several regulars missing, Union 2 jumped out early when they were able to pin the Predators in and score off an aggressive counter press. Jackson Gilman recovered the ball and fed it to Jack Jasinski, who crossed it to the back post for a sliding Pierre to open the scoring.

Moments later, Union 2 doubled their lead when Jasinski again did well to penetrate the West Chester United back line and hit a cross to Borgelin for the finish inside the six.

Stunned from the early two goal deficit, West Chester United regrouped and was able to pull a goal back on a strong run and finish from Spencer Burkhardt and had several chances to tie the game. Union goalkeeper Greg Renjintsingh did well to keep West Chester United in check and a breakaway goal for Borgelin off a ball played to him by Bajung Darboe closed out the half with the hosts up 3-1.

There weren’t any additional goals but plenty of action after the break.

Borgelin nearly found his hat trick on a shot in the box that was blocked, substitute Marcos Zambrano had some impressive runs and substitute Gael Medrano had a one-two chance just before the full time whistle blew. West Chester United had some bright attacking moments of their own from Levi Marcua and Thomas King but the Union 2 back line held strong in front of second half keeper Andrew Rick to see the game out.

“We ran out a very young group today,” head coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “Our guys started the game so well but like many young teams, I think it was a little period in there where we kind of let loose a little bit. But the second half in particular, I thought we were excellent; took the tempo of the game and closed it out very well.”

It was the first meeting between the two teams since Union 2 won 3-1 in a friendly that kicked off their 2021 slate back in early March.

“We tried some new players out and they had a good young team out there so it was a great day in the middle of summer to get a run out,” said West Chester United head coach Blaise Santangelo, whose team is in the midst of a summer break after competing in USL League Two and the NPSL earlier this summer. “The respect from Ernst (Tanner) down to the academy director Tommy (Wilson) and Marlon (LeBlanc) is just terrific and we always appreciate the call to set up a game.”

Saturday’s game followed a string of games for Union 2 against fellow MLS reserve sides that were not officially announced. They included a 2-2 tie with Chicago Fire on August 1 and a 1-1 draw with an Orlando City reserve squad on July 22.

Union 2 is scheduled to play another similar match this weekend against an NYCFC squad. The games between MLS reserve squads are serving as a kind of trial run of the MLS third division reserve league that is scheduled to officially kick off in 2022.

Highlights

Photos

Lineups

Union 2: Greg Ranjitsingh*, Anton Sorenson, Sam Jones, Brandan Craig*, Francis Westfield, Jackson Gilman, Jack Jasinski, Bajung Darboe, Ian Abbey, Nelson Pierre, Shanyder Borgelin

Substitutes: Diego Lopez, Marcos Zambrano, Gael Medrano, Jak Higginbotham, Andrew Rick

* On first team roster

West Chester United: Leo Lopez, Levi Maruca, Ammit Bhogel, Lucas Mellor, Christopher Coridon, Ryan Fincher, Derek Ramirez, Spencer Burkhardt, AJ Bishop, Carter Burris, Gilbert Waso

Substitutes: Chris Comber, Thomas King, Samar Tima, Graham Pugh, Alex Floyd