Match Report / Union II

Match report: Philadelphia Union II 1 (4) – 1 (2) New York Red Bull II

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

 The Philadelphia Union II moved into first place in MLS Next by defeating New York Red Bulls II 2-1 (Union 4 Red Bulls 2 extra time shootout). The game was played at Subaru Park on a cool, but comfortable, Sunday afternoon.  

The Red Bulls jumped out to 1- 0 in the 14th minute, capitalizing on a slip by Union II free kick deep safety Jamir Berdecio that allowed Steven Sserwadda to breakaway 1 on 1 against Union II goalkeeper Andrew Rick who had only a minimal chance to stop the shot.  

In the 57th minute, after an entry pass from left midfielder Union II’s CJ Olney, overlapping left back Frank Westfield crossed to striker Edward Davis who tapped home the equalizer. 

In the consequent penalty kick shootout all four Union II shooters scored and goalkeeper Andrew Rick saved the second and fourth New York shots to earn the extra point in the standings and first place in the conference over Red Bull II on overall goal difference.

The match 

After a tentative start, Union II started taking over play from the 25th minute.  

The squad had two excellent chances in the 34th and 38th minute, but the finishing was lacking, leaving them  behind at the half.  

The second half started with no changes to either lineup and Union II continued their fine play and were rewarded when Westfield found Davis and Davis found the equalizer. It was Davis’ 4th goal of the season. Davis almost had another in the 58th minute, but 16-year-old Red Bull goalkeeper Aidan Stokes made the save. 

 The Union II defense shut down the Red Bulls II, allowing no shots on target in the second half. The central channel defensive triangle of left center back Olwethu Makhanya, right center back Neil Pierre, and single six defensive midfielder Sanders Ngabo played solidly. 

In one of three 67th minute substitutions by head coach Marlon LeBlanc,  Cavan Sullivan came in for right midfielder Nicholas Pariano and provided a spark to the offense with impressive runs. Red Bull II’s midfielders were pacier and more athletic than New England’s had been but the 14-year-old seemed to adapt to the challenge in his 20 or so minutes. 

Gavin Wetzel replaced Berdecio at right back and Sal Olivas replaced Markus Anderson at striker in the 67th as well.

In the 77th Giovanny Sequera replaced David Vazquez, moving Sullivan to Vazquez’s central attacking mid slot. Minutes later, in the 84th, in a move that looked to the potential shootout, captain Kyle Tucker replaced Davis and left Olivas as a single striker.

Neither team scored through five minutes of stoppage time and the match ended tied.  The Union won the shootout 4-2. (see shootout chart below.)

Next game  

The conference-leading Union II travels to Cincinnati on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 4 p.m. The match will be streamed on, a source that typically has been available live on YouTube.

3 Thoughts  
  1. Jamir Berdecio, after his unfortunate slip, played excellently. He was physical and kept the Red Bulls 2 forwards at bay 
  1. This was the second 2-1 Sunday shootout win this season by the Union II. 
  1. Francis Westfield contributed his 2nd assist of the season and continued his stellar play. Andrew Rick also continued his fine play in shootouts. 



Philadelphia Union II: Andrew Rick; Frank Westfield, Olwethu Makhanya, Neil Pierre, Jamir Berdecio (Gavin Wetzel 67’); Christopher Olney, Sanders Ngabo, Nicholas Pariano (Cavan Sullivan 67’), David Vazquez (Giovanny Sequera 77’); Edward Davis (Kyle Tucker 84’), Markus Anderson (Sal Olivas 67’).

Substitutes not used: Carlos Rojas, Alex Perez, Mike Sheridan, Ryan Zellefrow.

New York Red Bulls II: Aidan Stokes; Curtis Ofori (Jeffrey Bryjak 86’), Juan Esteban Gutierrez, Andrés Reyes, Aiden Jarvis (Dylan Sullivan 67’), Juan Mina (Malick Dembele 78’); Ibrahim Kasule, Bento Estrela, Steven Sserwadda, Rafael Mosquera (Tanner Rosborough 67’); Frank Ssebufu (Mohammed Sofo 86’).

Substitutes not used: Davi Alexandre, Dallas Odle, Alan Rutkowski.

Yellow Cards 

PHI – Markus Anderson (foul) 32’
PHI – Frank Westfield (foul) 38’
PHI – David Vazquez (dissent) 38’
RBNY – Frank Ssebufu (persistent infringement) 45+3’
PHI – Jamir Berdecio (foul) 49’ 
RBNY – Juan Estaban Gutierrez (foul) 63’
RBNY – Juan Mina (foul) 63’


Red Bulls II, Steven Sserwadda 14 minutes,

 Union II Edward Davis 57 

Union II  4 NY RB II 2
v Aidan Stokes v Andrew Rick
Westfield score Kasule score
Ngabo score Sofo saved
Tucker score Estrela score
Olney score Dembele saved

RF Anya Voigt, AR1 Justin Filmore, AR2 Mark Novoset, 4th JT Belzer. 


  1. This isn’t my first time saying this but wow, Nagbo looks real good.

    We have some real prospects on this team, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence we leveled up our performances as a result. Olney and Vasquez look productive at this level and are real possibilities for the first team. Pierre (16!) and Makhanya are rangy and athletic at this level and fit perfectly with what the first team wants from their CBs.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    I know that a few people have questioned how Anderson is doing with Union 2. Personally, I wasn’t all that impressed yesterday. He seemed unable to get past the NJ defenders and didn’t really make an impact on the game.
    One small correction to the write up, the shoot-out win over Orlando was on a Thursday afternoon rather than a Sunday.

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