Philadelphia Union are thrilled to welcome Karl Spratt to the club as a Goalkeeping Coach for Philadelphia Union II and the Head of Academy Goalkeeping.
Spratt, the former Director of Goalkeeping for New England Revolution’s academy, will work closely with Union Director of Goalkeeping Phil Wheddon to grow a comprehensive goalkeeper program that accelerates development from a young age and prepares goalkeepers for the level of instruction they will receive with the senior team.
Few can claim to be more active developing young American goalkeepers than Spratt. While working with the U13s-U19s with the Revolution, he coached at US Soccer’s National Training Centers and joined Wheddon in Germany for an elite weeklong goalkeeping education program.
Additionally, Spratt influenced the college game through his work at Providence College, which won the 2016 Big East regular season title and 2013 Big East tournament during his time there. Two goalkeepers Spratt worked with were chosen in the MLS SuperDraft: Keasel Broome by San Jose and Austin Aviza by Orlando City.
The US National Team showed belief in Spratt’s ability to develop talent by calling numerous young goalkeepers he worked with in for training camps. Aviza, Eliot Jones, and Trey Miller have attended USMNT training camps, and Nick Cardona received the call for the US U14s, U16s, and U17s.
While goalkeeping coaching can appear to be a very individualized practice, Spratt arrives in Philadelphia to help develop a broad training curriculum so Union goalkeepers receive consistent instruction throughout their developmental pathway. As Wheddon has brought the best out of reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake and young USMNT U-23 talent Matt Freese, he has provided a model for how young goalkeepers in the Union system should play. Spratt’s extensive experience, energy, and strategic mindset will ensure that the Union’s goalkeeper pipeline, which has already produced both Freese and LAFC starting goalkeeper Tomas Romero, will become even more efficient in the future.