Match Report

Match observations: Philadelphia Union II 3-1 West Chester United

Photo courtesy Matt Ralph

In the first five minutes of the Saturday morning match at the Power Training Complex, Philadelphia Union II pounced on West Chester United for two goals, and rode the lead to a 3-1 victory.

Shanyder Borgelin scored a brace for the victors, and Jack Jasinski had a brace of helpers.

The two opening goals were scored by Nelson Pierre and Borgelin in the third and fifth minutes respectively. Each came from one of the Jasinski assists. West Chester scored midway through the first half in the 20th minute. But Union II restored its lead in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time when Borgelin collected his second on an assist from Bajung Darboe.

The second half was scoreless.

West Chester United came away from the first half’s hydration break inspired, and dominated the last third of the first half. They attacked with especial success down their right channel, repeatedly schooling Union II left back Anton Sorenson to deliver dangerous crosses from the endline into the box. Had their shooting boots and scoring heads been more finely tuned, the match score would have been noticeably different.

Last season’s Academy U-15 goalkeeper Andrew Rick replaced Greg Ranjitsingh in Union II’s net at halftime.

An informal second half hydration break came in the 55th minute when Union II made three subs. Gael Medrano replaced Nelson Pierre. Marcus Zambrano came on for Bajung Darboe. And Deigo Lopez came on for Samuel Jones. Ian Abbey moved out to Darboe’s slot at left central mid. Medrano slotted in for Abbey at attacking center mid. Zambrano replaced Pierre at striker. And Lopez came on at defensive center mid, shifting Jackson Gilman to left center back for the departing Samuel Jones.

The Union’s final sub probably came during the formal second half hydration break at the 75th minute.  A trialist replaced Borgelin, moving Medrano to striker for the Haitian. The trialist joined Lopez as a double-pivot defensive central mid. The move converted Union II’s shape to an “empty bucket” trapezoid instead of the original rhomboid-diamond hybrid.

Head coach Marlon LeBlanc will be pleased with his side’s readiness to play from the opening whistle. West Chester coach Blaise Santangelo will not be pleased with his side’s unreadiness, but he will complement them for their fight back in the last third of the first half.

In the second half the heat of the day began to dominate as the sun approached its zenith.

That a side of predominantly high school players defeated a USL League Two finalist is a credit to themselves, their technical staff, and the organization generally.

Observations
  1. No Ringers. Coach LeBlanc’s side featured none of the first team homegrowns who travelled to Mexico City. Only Greg Ranjitisingh in goal and Brandan Craig at right center back appear on the Union’s active roster.. And save for striker Borgelin, everyone else dressed for Union II was an amateur. Everyone who dressed played at least 20 minutes
  2. Age. Starting goalkeeper Ranjitsingh is 28.1-years-old, Borgelin is 19.8, and the trialist is unknown. Everyone else playing for Union II was still a high school student because Gino Portella is once again injured. The average age of everyone but the unknown trialist and 20.4-year-old Portella is 17.6. Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Academy player Andrew Rick replaced Ranjitsingh in goal at halftime, dropping the side’s average age 13/15ths of a year. Second-half subs Lopez (16.3), Zambrano (16.6), and Medrano (15.6) further lowered the side’s average age. When Borgelin came off as the final change for the trialist, the other ten players for Union II were teenagers. Of them only Anton Sorenson was old enough to vote.
  3. Quality. Union II’s precise finishing was impressive. The second offensive characteristic worth mentioning is Brandan Craig’s long-distance distribution out of the back. He seemed like a younger version of Jack Elliott.

 

Min Player Pos Status Uni Age
45 Greg Ranjitsingh GK 1st Team 22 28.1
90 Anton Sorenson LB Academy 24 18.6
55 Samuel Jones LCB Academy 75 17.5
90 Brandan Craig RCB 1st Team HG 34 17.4
90 Francis Westfield RB Academy 50 15.7
90 Jackson Gilman DCM/RCB Academy 74 17.3
55 Bajung DarboeA LCM Academy 55 14.8
90 Jack JasinskiA,A RCM Academy 58 17.7
90 Ian Abbey ACM/LM Academy 59 17.3
75 Shanyder BorgelinG,G S1 U II Pro 63 19.8
55 Nelson PierreG S2 Academy 53 16.4
45 Andrew Rick GK Academy 76 15.5
35 Marcus Zambrano S Academy 77 16.6
35 Gael Medrano S Academy 52 15.6
35 Diego Lopez DCM Academy 72 16.3
15 Trialist DCM ???? 71 ??.?
inj Gino Portella (injury) LCB !st Team SC 35 20.4

4 Comments

  1. Are games like this open to the public and, if so, is there a way to find out about them in advance?

    • Hi Andy, what I do, practically every day, is check the Union II dropdown menu that exists towards the right-hand end of the menu bar across the top of the Academy. Click on “Schedule.” Most days there is nothing new, but I do know that there is a member of the front office who is tasked with trying to get U II more such “friendly matches.
      .
      The match reported above appeared the Monday prior to the Saturday.
      .
      And sometimes they have simply disappeared from the schedule.
      .
      The two matches I have attended and reported this summer both had a double handful of spectators, I assume parents or other friends and relations.
      .
      No one asked me for my credentials either time. Since I am technically a member of the press I have told Union communications that I intended to come both times.
      .
      here is the URL for the schedule. https://www.philadelphiaunion.com/academy/u2/schedule

  2. Thanks for the write up! It’s been hard to get into the Union II so a) finding the website and b) seeing this write up is a huge help!

  3. USL League Two Finalist?

    West Chester United is a member of the United Soccer League Majors division.

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