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Philadelphia Union Academy Alumni Roundup

Virginia’s freshmen with ties to the Union Academy are off to a great start



Raheem Taylor-Parkes has had a good start to his college career at Virginia so far, registering assists in each of his first two exhibition matches for the Hoos. The first came in a 3-0 win over Longwood when Taylor-Parkes delivered an on the money cross to Simeon Okoro.

The second came in a 4-2 win over Liberty on Tuesday night. This time, Taylor-Parkes was setting up fellow freshman Leon Maric, who spent time with the Union Academy before joining Continental FC Delco the past couple seasons. Maric headed home the goal off an end line cross from a tight angle – the two combined earlier in the match on a similar play but the shot went wide.

Fellow Union Academy grad Jerren Nixon Jr. has also scored in exhibition play for Virginia, netting a goal in the win over Longwood (see highlights).

The Virginia freshmen aren’t the only newcomers making their presence felt.

Spencer Reinford registered a brace in his first preseason match for his new team, Coastal Carolina. The junior who transferred after winning a national championship with NAIA school Rio Grande scored in the 75th and 84th minutes of a 6-1 win over NC State.

Sebastian Elney scored a goal in Maryland’s 6-2 exhibition victory over Tulsa. The sophomore forward led the Terps in goals last year with seven.

Penn State senior forward Connor Maloney was one of 27 players named to the preseason Big 10 honors list.


Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen got the start and win in his first appearance on loan for Pittsburgh Riverhounds against Bethlehem Steel FC on Saturday. Steffen surrendered one goal and made six saves in the 2-1 win for the Hounds.

Steel FC defender Auston Trusty, a recent signing to the first team, played 90 minutes in the loss.

Steffen isn’t the only former Union youth player to play against the Steel this month. Zach Pfeffer came on as a substitute and played 13 minutes for Charlotte Independence in a 2-2 draw with Steel FC on August 7.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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