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Tournaments Jun 23, 2016

Philadelphia Union Academy U-13s, U-15s succeed in NPL Playoffs

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By Sam Horbal

(Via Philadelphia Union) – After a long campaign, the Union Academy U13 and U15 teams competed in the National Premier Leagues Regional Finals in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on June 18 and 19.

The U13s reached the finals after coming out on top of a back-and-forth battle in the semi-finals against Bethesda-Olney. The two teams traded blows, but the Union eventually came out on top with a 3-2 victory.

The next day, the U13s found the finals against Baltimore Armour to be a little more straightforward. The Union entered the match focused and ready to play. The U13s were rewarded for their efforts with a 3-0 victory, and an NPL Northeast Region championship. The boys have now qualified for Nationals, which will take place in Aurora, Colo., from July 14-18.

+Read: How the Capital Area Railhawks developed the USSDA’s best attack

In the semi-finals, the U15s found themselves locked in a defensive battle against Players Development Academy. Neither team was able to break the other down, so the match had to be settled with penalty kicks. Union Academy keeper Dylan Smith ensured that the U15s would advance to the finals to face Oakwood with multiple saves in the penalty rounds.

In the finals, the U15s found themselves locked in yet another tight game. Both teams were able to find the back of the net once during regular time, but neither could find a decisive goal in regulation. Oakwood took the lead in extra time, and were crowned champions of the Northeast Region.

As the U13s and U15s wrap up their season, both the USSDA showcase and playoffs start up this week in Dallas, Texas. The Union U14 team will feature in the showcase from June 20-23. The U18 and U16 teams will take part in the group stage of the USSDA playoffs from June 22-26.

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