The Philadelphia Union Academy U18 team extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games, but failed to keep pace with division leader New York Red Bulls with a scoreless draw against Montreal Impact at the Talen Energy Stadium Training Grounds on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Andrew Verdi made a couple of key interventions to preserve his 12th clean sheet of the season, but an offense that was missing leading goal scorer Raheem Taylor-Parkes to Bethlehem Steel FC duty was shut out for the first time since way back on November 14.
Three players made their U18 debut in the match. Issa Rayyan, who is second in goals this season for the U16s with 10, came on as a substitute in the 59th minute followed by U16 teammates Andrew Aprahamian and Chad Letts, who subbed into the game in the 73rd minute.
The U18s are in position for the sixth playoff spot with two games remaining, including a match-up this Saturday in Chester against division leaders New York Red Bulls, which won 2-1 over the weekend. The Union actually have four more points than their division rivals, but Red Bulls enter the match with two games in hand and a more points per games played.
Daniel Bloyou headed home a pass from Darius Lewis just four minutes into the match to put the U16s on top, but the visitors leveled the score in the 71st minute on a Tristano Fasulo goal to earn a point.
The goal was the fourth of the season for Bloyou, and was set up by a great end line run by Lewis.
With CJ dos Santos away on international duty, Tomas Romero made his second start of the season in goal and held strong against a barrage of attacks from Montreal as the first half drew to a close.
With a New York Red Bulls draw over the weekend, the Union stayed level on points with the Atlantic Division leaders, which have two games in hand, ahead of their 3:30 p.m. meeting on Saturday in Chester.
The U14s scored five or more goals in a game for the seventh time this season with a 6-0 win over NJCSA under the lights at YSC Sports near King of Prussia on Saturday.
Matthew Myers led the way with a hat trick and Nicholas Blacklock added a brace and Kenyatta Collins scored his first goal of the season. Blacklock is now tied with Michael McKeown for the team lead in goals with 14. Jason Aoyama, who leads the team with 15 goals, was on the bench with the U16s on Sunday.
The U12s beat PDA 6-1 and the U13s topped Met Oval 5-0 at YSC Sports on Saturday while the U15 team fell 2-1 to PDA on the road.