CHESTER, Pa. — Philadelphia Union II are in playoff position in MLS Next Pro with one game left in the regular season after doing one better than the first team against Orlando City B in a 6-1 win at Subaru Park on Sunday.
Chris Donovan and Quinn Sullivan each had a pair of goals and Paxten Aaronson and Jose Riasco added goals in the most lopsided Union II win in the Next Pro era.
The win puts them on 37 points for the season with one game remaining against New England Revolution II in Foxborough next Sunday. New England can’t catch the Union but Inter Miami II are four points back with two games left and NYCFC II are five points back with two games to play.
The win was the 10th of the season for Union II and guarantees at least a .500 record for the first season in Next Pro.
Head coach Marlon LeBlanc’s starting XI featured first team players at all 10 field positions and was the Chester debut for recent first team signing Richard Odada. Odada played the first half. Academy goalkeeper Andrew Rick also made his Union II debut subbing in for Brooks Thompson in goal in the 77th minute. Recent homegrown signing Jeremy Rafanello earned his first start.
Donovan wasted little time getting the offense going with the opening goal in the sixth minute when his pressure on the keeper led to a deflection back into the goal. Donovan doubled the advantage 16 minutes later after Jesus Bueno forced a turnover firing home his team-leading 7th of the season before setting up the first of two Quinn Sullivan goals in the 24th minute. Nathan Harriel assisted Sullivan’s second from a tight angle less seconds later to put the hosts up 4-0 going into the break.
Riasco scored his third Next Pro goal seconds into the second half and drew a penalty that Paxten Aaronson converted from the spot in the 56th to make it 6-0. Former Union Academy midfielder Favian Loyola spoiled the clean sheet in the 69th minute off an assist from Tyler Prebenda.
Combined with the first team’s 5-1 win over Orlando’s first team on Saturday, it was an impressive 11-2 weekend for Philadelphia over Orlando.
PHI — Chris Donovan (unassisted) 6’
PHI — Chris Donovan (unassisted) 22’
PHI — Quinn Sullivan (Donovan) 24’
PHI — Quinn Sullivan (Harriel) 25’
PHI — Jose Riasco (Villero) 46’
PHI — Paxten Aaronson (PK) 56’
ORL — Favian Loyola (Prebenda) 69’
ORL — Tahir Reid-Brown (caution) 2’
PHI — Jesus Bueno (caution) 9’
ORL — Jared Romero (caution) 45’
PHI — Nathan Harriel (caution) 53’
ORL — Andrew Forth (caution) 55’
ORL — Alejandro Granados (caution) 74’
PHI — Jose Riasco (caution) 78’
ORL — Favian Loyola (caution) 85’
Philadelphia Union II: Brooks Thompson (Rick 77’); Anton Sorenson, Matt Real, Brandan Craig, Nathan Harriel, Richard Odada, (Villero 46’) Paxten Aaronson (Diallo 86’), Quinn Sullivan, Jesús Bueno, Chris Donovan (Pierre 60’), Jeremy Rafanello (Riasco 46’).
Substitutes not used: Stojanovic, Nkanji, Perdomo, Westfield.
Orlando City B: Adam Grinwis; Ignacio Galván, Andrew Forth, Thomas Williams, Tahir Reid-Brown (Franca 34’), Alejandro Granados, Jared Romero, Alexander Freeman (Prebenda 68’), Nicolas Taylor, Jack Lynn (Tablante 46’), Favian Loyola (Gunera-Calix 89’).
Substitutes not used: Hackenberg, Pereira, Victor Yan.