ABOUT PHILADELPHIA UNION YOUTH MODEL
Philadelphia Union and Official Youth Development Partner YSC have developed a truly innovative model for developing youth talent from the Home Territory of the Philadelphia Union. Philadelphia Union and YSC are deeply committed to youth development and strive to build one of the best youth development academies in North America. Our objective is to produce world-class players from our home territories to someday represent the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. The YSC/Philadelphia Union Youth development program is free of charge so Philadelphia’s future players of promise have an opportunity to pursue their passion without the burden of being required to "pay to play." Selection into the program is a true accomplishment and is the first step in a player’s path to PPL.
The innovative Philadelphia Union Youth program is deeply based in sports science and coaching education best practices and includes three developmental levels segmented by age: Union Futures (ages 6-7), Union Juniors (ages 8-12), and commencing in the Fall of 2013, Union Academy (U14, U16, U18). At all ages, our players are asked to lead by example and embrace the ethos and culture of Philadelphia Union and YSC.
All Union programs below the age of 12 follow our "club and country" format whereby youth players remain registered and play with their local youth clubs and are only "called up" into Union programs for supplemental training and competition opportunities. This "club-neutral" model enables Philadelphia Union and YSC to effectively partner with local youth clubs and share in the process of developing players. Starting in the fall of 2013 for U14, U16 and U18 age groups, Philadelphia Union will provide a full-time academy program (i.e., 5x week training + games) similar to professional youth academies in Europe and South America. The Union Academy will compete in the US Soccer Development Academy league.
The fourth and final step of the progression is a spot on either Philadelphia Union’s First or Reserve Teams and/or one of their professional affiliate partners Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-PRO) or Reading United (PDL).
Union Youth Development Fast Facts
• Philadelphia Union and YSC have formed a partnership focused on providing elite youth players supplemental training and competition opportunities via the Union Futures (6-7), Union Juniors (8-12) and Union Academy (13-18) programs.
• All Union Youth Development Programs are FREE OF COST.
• Philadelphia Union and YSC are committed to developing players who embody an ethos of hard work, grit, and tenacity rooted to the culture and pride of Philadelphia.
• Our innovative “club and country” model enables players to play for local club teams and get “called-up” to represent the Philadelphia Union.
• Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC staff is among the highest credentialed soccer trainers in the US, including three UEFA Pro licensed staff members.
• YSC Academy is the Official Education Partner of the Philadelphia Union and provides aspiring Philadelphia Union Academy youth players in grades 8-12 the opportunity to get a top notch education while pursuing their passion to play for the Union at PPL Park.
• College Scouting Network. Our extensive connections with college coaches and programs are leveraged to help find the right collegiate playing environment for our players.
• Sports Science Education expertise led by a PhD in Sports Psychology. Our Sports Science Team provides cutting edge information on nutrition, recovery, fitness, etc.
• Ability for Academy players to be “called up” to train and/or compete with Philadelphia Union Reserves / First Team.