Philadelphia Union Academy, the number one ranked academy in Major League Soccer, have teamed up with leading sports scholarship agency FirstPoint USA in a ground-breaking collaboration which will support players with the transition into the country’s premier college soccer programs.
Founded in 2001 by Andrew Kean, a former student-athlete, All-American award winner and Hall of Fame inductee at the University of Cincinnati, FirstPoint USA are the world’s biggest recruitment and admissions agency for aspiring student-athletes. The agreement with Philadelphia Union’s academy is the first of its kind for an MLS club, with the high touch service provided designed to benefit the club’s young players for those seeking to pursue an academic and sporting route at university.
Having supported more than 30,000 student-athletes and securing over $300m in scholarship funding for young sportsmen and women, FirstPoint have recruited talent from all over the world for the top universities in the US – and provide similar services for some of the top academies in the UK, with players from clubs such as Chelsea, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Rangers and Celtic making the switch to the US in recent years.
Tommy Wilson, Philadelphia Union Academy Director, said:
“We are delighted to be working with FirstPoint USA on this new collaboration and it adds a further player care service to the young players in our academy. Whilst all the players have ambitions to stay at the club and earn a professional contract, we need to provide different options for those who are on a different path to ensure they have a successful transition into college soccer should they choose to explore that route.
“Andrew and his team have vast experience as former student-athletes themselves and deliver a fantastic service throughout the journey for the players and their families. They have a vast network of college coaches and work with some of the best teams in the country, so we know our players will be in great hands.”
Among FirstPoint USA’s other partnerships are the Football League in England, the Professional Footballers Association in Scotland, in addition to individual club academies in the Premier League.
“The collaboration with Philadelphia Union Academy is our first US-based academy and we are very excited to be working with Tommy and his staff in supporting transitioning players” said Andrew Kean, CEO and Founder of FirstPoint USA.
“The Union Academy has a glowing reputation for developing young players by providing first class support at all levels, and we are delighted to be a part of that and expand the range of player care benefits they already provide.”
“We have learned a lot from our international recruitment activities and while there is inherently more knowledge about sports scholarships among families in the US, we can still add real value at a very important stage of a player’s career and ensure they are given the best opportunities available to them.
“Having had first-hand experience of playing college soccer in the US, I know what a life-changing opportunity it can provide, whether continuing to play at a high level or using your degree to pursue a different career path.
Among the roster of FirstPoint’s former clients is 2017 Masters champion and European Ryder Cup golfer Danny Willett, current Rangers FC women’s captain and Scotland international Kathryn Hill, and Nashville SC assistant general manager Ally Mackay.
FirstPoint USA is an international scouting service, providing recruitment services to hundreds of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA member institutions seeking to identify the very best in overseas talent, both male and female.
The company was founded in 2001 by former University of Cincinnati All-American and Hall of Fame inductee, Andrew Kean, and evaluates over 100,000 prospective student-athletes, competing in over 20 different sports, across 187 countries each year.