Union II

Match report: Philadelphia Union II 2-1 New England Revolution II

Photo courtesy @PhilaUnionII

A shorthanded Union II squad, missing key players, was able to overcome the New England II team playing in their season opener. Multiple academy players debuted, including Cavan Sullivan, en route to a 2-1 come-from-behind win in Chester.

In Advance

This matchup has historically proven difficult for Union II, with the all-time record favoring New England with 5 wins to 2 losses before Sunday’s result. Most recently, Union II were knocked out of last year’s playoffs by Revolution II in Gillette.

As a result of the unavailable players, several members of the Union II squad made their debut. The list of debutantes included goalkeeper Mike Sheridan and academy player Gavin Wetzel, who both started and went the full 90. Subbing on for their first professional appearances were academy players Cavan Sullivan, Kellen LeBlanc, Diego Roccio and Jamir Johnson.

This was New England II’s season opener as they had a bye last week. They scrimmaged Hartford Athletic last week as a tune up, beating them. 

First Half

New England struck first in the 9th minute when Marcos Dias’s cross found Alex Monis. The winger’s first touch took him around Westfield and his second touch rocketed the ball into the net past Sheridan to give Revs II an early lead.

In the 33rd minute Union II were able to tie it up against the run of play. After a couple New England II chances were saved by Sheridan, Union II won a corner kick. Tucker played it short with a quick one-two pass to Perez and delivered a cross into the mixer which was turned into the net by Revs II defender Hesron Barry.

Both teams each had a good opportunity to pull ahead before the break, but the halftime whistle blew with the score still tied at 1 all.

Second Half

After the break, Union II seemed to grow into the game and began pressing their opponents more effectively. This nearly paid off in the 54th minute when Giovanny Sequera won the ball in midfield and laid off to Davis who carried the ball into the box, putting a defender on ice, but saw his shot corralled by Weinstein.  

Lots of cheers could be heard in the crowd when Union II made their first sub of the day. In the 56th minute Alex Perez was taken off and Cavan Sullivan came on for his debut.

The lively Ed Davis was able to work a good chance in the 60th minute. Cavan Sullivan pressured Collin Smith into a turnover near midfield. The loose ball was played forward to Davis first time by Berdecio. Davis had acres of space and hit a powerful low shot that was barely deflected out past the near post for a corner.

Union II were finally able to break the deadlock with a long range effort from Sal Olivas in the 81st minute. A beautiful ball over the top from Sullivan allowed Olivas to settle on the move. Despite the pressure from two Revolution defenders he was able to pick out the bottom left corner from just outside the box. 

New England should have tied the game up in the 83rd minute. A breakdown in defense allowed Escobar to get wide open just in front of the 6 yard box but he fired his first time shot well over the bar.

Again, the Union II defense was called into action in the 87th minute. A dangerous ball was crossed into the box. Sheridan was able to bat it down and Randy Meneses cleared away the follow-up shot.

Revolution II did get the ball in the back of the net in added time, however, the ‘goal’ was correctly called back and Victor Souza was booked.

The final whistle blew after 5 minutes of added time, cementing the victory for the depleted Union II side. 

Next Game

Union II will resume action with a midweek road game in Chicago where they will be reinforced by most of their missing players. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm ET.

Chicago Fire II started their season with a win by beating Cincinnati II via penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw after regulation.

Three Points

Thin Depth

  • Similar to the first team, Union II were faced with a tough challenge as many of their usual starters were unavailable for selection. Winning despite this is highly commendable, and speaks to the quality of the players as well as the coaching staff. 

Academy Quality

  • Notably, Union II was able to win by relying on academy players with many making their debuts. Among them was highly touted prospect Cavan Sullivan, who has recently been linked with Premier League giants Man City. While Sullivan’s quality was clear, it was also good to see his academy peers show up and show out. 

Winning Mentality

  • Union II have come from behind and gone on to win in back-to-back games. For a side that has struggled with winning consistently due to the commitment of youth development, these last two games are encouraging signs that Union II are capable of hitting both marks this year. 



Union II 4-2-2-2, L-R: 1st — 2, U II — 5, Acad Am — 11.

Starters: Mike Sheridan; Frank Westfield, Randy Meneses, Gavin Wetzel, Jamir Berdecio; Alex Perez, Kyle Tucker; Nick Pariano, Giovanny Sequera; Edward Davis, Sal Olivas.

Unused substitutes: Gavin Atkinson; Ryan Zellefrow, Jamir Johnson, Kellen LeBlanc, Cavan Sullivan,  Anisse Saidi, Diego Rocio.

Revs II

Starters: Max Weinstein; Collin Smith, Hesron Berry, Victor Souza, Damario McIntosh, Maciel, Marcos Dias, Patrick Leal, Cristiano Oliveira, Andrej Bejlajac, Alex Monis.

Unused substitutes: Gevork Diarbian, Joshua Bolma, Olger Escobar, Eric Klein, Brandonn Bueno, Colby Quinones, JD Gunn, Malcolm Fry.


Revs II               9th minute          Alex Monis ( Marcos Dias)

Union II          33rd minute          Own goal, Herson Berry

Union II           81st minute          Sal Olivas (Cavan Sullivan)

Yellow Cards

Revs II      90th + 1 minute         Joao Souza (Handball)


U II Statistic NE II U II Statistic NE II
Possession % 0 Offsides 5
14 Shots 13 Aerial Duels won
6 Shots on goal 4 Expected goals
3 Blocked shots 4 3 Saves 5
256 Total Passes 596 18 Clearances 4
62.5 Pass Accuracy % 85.7 11 Fouls 8
3 Corners 5 0 Yellow Cards 1
5 Crosses 14 0 Red Cards 0
Whistle & Flags
Ref:Olvin Oliva, AR1:Max Smith, AR2:Andrew Charron, 4th:Adam Mitchell.




  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Tim, your article mentions that the next game is midweek at 7pm but doesn’t specify Thursday. I’m assuming it is being broadcast on Apple.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    I thought the Union 2 were the more dangerous team yesterday as they had several good chances on the counterattack that they were unable to convert.
    I think the combination of lack of depth and lack of experience of the center backs contributed to the fact that the forwards weren’t pressing the New England backs like they normally would (which led to the winning goal last week against Toronto). Leblanc was probably worried about tiring them out when there were limited backups and he wanted to limit the chances of a counterattack through the inexperienced defense.
    I don’t know if any other first teamers were there yesterday, but Quinn was there to see his brother (who came over and spoke with him after the winning goal).

    • Thursday it is and you are correct that it is scheduled for Apple.
      Apologies for the error.

    • I thought the improvement in the play of the center backs over the course of the match was key.
      The goal goosed them to better their performances. Meneses in the last several minutes was essential.

  3. John P. O'Donnell says:

    Watched this game and it was quite entertaining. I know everyone is excited by Sullivan and it looks like the Union are going to get little for him as the rumor is he’s about to sign for Manchester City but the goal was also quality. Sal Olivas hit that ball inch perfect for a great goal under pressure. Good to see he’s actually signed to Union 2 and they control his rights.

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