In the fall of 2017, Philadelphia Union launched its innovative new program for selected boys aged seven to ten.This extension of Philadelphia Union’s renowned Union Academy will feature full-time players pools in the new “Union Pre-Academy” program for boys in the U8, U9, U10, and U11 age groups.
Philadelphia Union are proven thought leaders in youth development in North America, and once again are setting a League standard with a full-time, inclusive program for ages seven to ten.
Philadelphia Union’s culture and methodology are key pillars of Union Pre-Academy. Union Youth Director Ryan Richter has introduced players into a holistic, experiential, game oriented and player-centric environment at Union Youth Development’s home complex YSC Sports.
Coach Richter's staff of coaches dedicated to the Pre-Academy are essential members of Philadelphia Union Youth’s staff, and are provided their own extensive coaching education program and all of the resources available to the program to ensure that our players are provided an incomparable developmental environment. Our staff consists of a group of the most ambitious and dedicated coaches in the region.
The Pre-Academy program will include not only a soccer schedule, but also multisport sessions in the winter, a first for professional soccer youth teams. Union Pre-Academy players will participate in basketball and other multisport activities which sports science suggests are beneficial for the athletic and coordinative development of the under-12 athlete.
Philadelphia Union is passionately committed to providing our rich local talent pool every opportunity to play a starring role for the club, and believe that our “Pathway to the Pros” will be a key ingredient to the Union’s future successes.
With the Union Pre-Academy, an environment that develops a sustained love for the game is the ultimate goal. That love will drive some boys through the “Pathway to the Pros,” ultimately leading to a professional debut as a Philadelphia Union Homegrown player.