ORLANDO, Fla. (February 17, 2017) – The Orlando City SC Pro Academy U-15/16 team fell to the Philadelphia Union Pro Academy U-15/16 by a4-1 final at the 2017 Generation adidas Spring Regional Event at UCF Soccer Complex.
“It’s a disappointing result. But in fairness, it’s one of those games where we have to take the chances. We counted five absolute clear-cut opportunities to score when we had them at 0-0,” Academy Director David Longwell said. “The game was actually quite tight until who gets the first goal. But Philly were a good side. Philly played well second half, so credit them.”
The Union pulled away from a closely contested match with four second-half goals, first from Seth Kuhn in the 54th minute. Kuhn’s shot from the left side of the box snuck inside the near post. Philadelphia was able to extend their lead as the Lions pushed forward for the equalizer when Chad Letts scored in the 70th minute. Four minutes later, Issa Rayyan made it 3-0.
Orlando City quickly responded one minute later when Mario Licor fired a sharp-angle shot across the face of goal and inside the far post. But Philadelphia’s Jason Aoyama made it 4-1 in the 78th minute.
The first half was marked by excellent goalkeeping from both sides. Orlando City keeper Aaron Smith showed why he was brought along to participate in preseason training camp with the First Team. In the 11th minute, Smith blocked a first-time shot from near the penalty spot before his back line cleared the danger. Then in the 25th minute, Smith charged out to stop a breakaway opportunity and quickly jumped up to catch the rebound attempt.
Orlando City also forced Union goalkeeper Kristopher Shakes into several spectacular saves. In the 28th minute, Andres Ojeda ran down the right wing and lofted a ball to Alejandro Pereira at the far post. Pereira directed the ball on net but Shakes saved it off the line. He came up with a similarly impressive save six minutes later when AJ Seals fired a first-time shot from the six-yard box.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, February 18, when they take on New York Red Bulls at 3 p.m.
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