Philadelphia Union announced today that Tommy Wilson, one of the world’s leading experts in youth soccer development and coaching, has been hired as Philadelphia Union Academy Director. Wilson most recently served as Rangers FC Academy Technical Director and Reserve Team Coach, and was formerly Head of Coaching and Education for the Scottish Football Association (SFA),
Wilson will direct, develop and manage the Philadelphia Union Academy as it works to develop the local soccer talents of top youth players in the region. His efforts will enable Philadelphia Union Academy and Official Youth Development Partner YSC to pursue the objective of creating the top youth academy and soccer education program in the United States.
“From our beginnings four years ago, we have been building and assembling a foundation to create one of the best youth development academies in North America. Our objective is to produce world-class players from our area to someday represent the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park,” said Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner, Nick Sakiewicz. “In order to achieve this goal, we searched the globe to find someone at the very top of player development to lead our youth initiatives. Having a youth development expert like Tommy join our team to continue our work and commitment to developing exceptional young talent is very exciting for us. We believe deeply that youth development is our future and are committed to developing our local youth.”
UEFA, national teams and associations, top international clubs and universities have benefited from Wilson’s expertise and insights. His teaching and leadership has played a key role in the development of numerous coaches and players currently in top leagues throughout Europe, the Americas and the world. Wilson managed the Scotland U-19 National Team to the Finals of the 2006 U-19 European Football Championship in Poland and the 2007 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Canada. He has directed the Scottish Football Association’s youth development and education programs, and most recently served as Rangers (Scotland) Academy Technical Director and Reserve Team Coach.
Wilson also had a successful career as a player. He played for Queen’s Park FC, Dunfermline FC, Heart of Midlothian FC, Kilmarnock FC, and St. Mirren, where he made 287 appearances and helped lead the team to 1987 Scottish Cup. He was also a member of the Scotland Men’s National Soccer Team (U-21).
"I am very pleased and indeed honored to be offered this opportunity,” said Wilson. “I have had seven great years at Rangers FC, but the opportunity to help lead the Philadelphia Union Academy into a world-class program was too good to turn down. I am excited to come to Philadelphia to help develop youth talent and look forward to getting started on this exciting challenge.”
Wilson’s arrival as Director of the Philadelphia Union Academy is awaiting U.S. Government approval of a work visa.
“We are confident that the visa process will go smoothly, and that Tommy will join us soon,” said Richie Graham, CEO of YSC Sports. “We can’t wait to get started with putting Tommy’s unparalleled knowledge and experience to work as we strive to make the Philadelphia Union Academy not only the best youth development program in the United States, but one of the most admired youth development programs in the world."