The Philadelphia Union U17s played their first match of the 2021-2022 season on Saturday and after a slow start topped Queensboro FC’s U19 team 3-2 in a 120-minute match at the Power Training Complex in Chester.
Queensboro FC II, as they are known, is the senior academy team for the New York club that begins play in the USL Championship in 2022. The visitors started out strong on the day, moving the ball into the Union’s final third, hitting the post off an early corner kick and forced Union goalkeeper Jonathan Evans into a number of interventions. They went up 2-0 on goals toward the end of each of the first two quarters, off a counter attack and a corner kick.
Changes were made to both teams heading into the third period.
Queensboro had a chance to stretch their lead to 3-0 about 10 minutes in on a long ball played over the top. Goalkeeper Andy Rick was shown a red card for a last ditch tackle on the break, but because it was a friendly he was able to return and continue the game 11v11 and Queensboro had a kick just outside the 18 they weren’t able to capitalize on.
The Union did start to find their footing and threaten in Queensboro’s final third. Their first goal came when Noe Uwimana forced a turnover off high pressure and passed it off to Gael Medrano, whose quick strike was able to beat the keeper about 22 minutes into the period.
The Union then equalized 10 minutes into the fourth quarter of play when Dom Wilson was played over the top and cut the ball back to Luke Zielinski in front of goal for the finish. Alex Perez converted from the spot three minutes later after Uwimana was brought down in the box to give the Union U17s a 3-2 comeback win in the 120-minute match.
The Union U17s showed their depth in the win even with several key players injured, including Marcello Mazzola, Gavin Wetzel, Jack Brown and Henry Bernstein. Many of the players who featured on Saturday have played for Union 2 and will play for the new Union development team that was created to help bridge the gap between the U17s and Union 2. Union 2 was scheduled to play a match against NYCFC on Sunday but it was canceled.
Up next, the Union U17s will host NYCFC for a friendly on Saturday. NYCFC will also play the U15, U14, U13 and U12 teams in friendlies scheduled for Saturday.
First 60: Jonathan Evans, Luke Martelli, Logan Oliver, Daniel Krueger, Francis Westfield*, Diego Lopez*, Devon DeCorte, Bajung Darboe*, CJ Olney, Marcos Zambrano*, Nelson Pierre*
Second 60: Andy Rick*, Jack Andrus, Jaden Francis, Devon Stopek, Gabriel Oksanen, Alex Perez, Matt Routzahn, Noe Uwimana, Luke Zielinski, Dominic Wilson, Gael Medrano
* Played for Union 2 in their last friendly against West Chester United on August 14