CHESTER, Pa. (January 24, 2023) – Philadelphia Union II announced today that the club has signed Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc to a new, multi-year contract, as well as additional changes within the first team and Academy technical staff as they prepare to begin their 2023 campaigns.
Last season, LeBlanc led Union II to a berth in the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs with a 11-9-4 record, finishing the regular season in third place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points. Under his leadership, LeBlanc’s young team, which featured many Union Homegrown players and Union Academy players, held a six-game unbeaten streak, scoring 17 goals and conceding only eight from July 24 to August 24. Additionally, with his commitment to rotating his lineup, Union II had nine different goal scorers in seven matches in their push to the playoffs. Philadelphia Union striker Chris Donovan was signed from Union II last season following his quick development under LeBlanc, and the Union drafted striker Stefan Stojanovic in the 2022 SuperDraft after his strong play with LeBlanc’s Union II.
LeBlanc joined the club in 2020 as part of the Union Academy coaching staff, working with players and coaches throughout the academy system before becoming head coach of Philadelphia Union II. Prior joining the Union, LeBlanc had a long tenure as the head coach at the West Virginia University. In his 14 seasons as head coach, the Mountaineers won 138 matches and made six NCAA appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007. Philadelphia Union SuperDraft picks Raymon Gaddis, who holds the records for most games played and most minutes in Union history, and Jack Elliott both played under LeBlanc at WVU.
Additionally, the Union have hired first team Head of Performance and Innovation, Max Lankheit, from San Jose Earthquakes, and Philadelphia Union Academy Athletic Trainer, Maria Mosquera, from Sporting Kansas City. The club would also like to congratulate the following first team technical staff on their promotions: Brad Papson, Head of Health and Innovation; Jay Cooney, Director of Video Coaching and Coaching Technology; Addison Hunsicker, Senior Data Analyst; Colin Campbell, Coordinator of Equipment Operations. Lastly, the Union congratulate Christiana Orgera on her promotion to Union II Lead Athletic Trainer.
Philadelphia Union First Team
- Max Lankheit joins the Union’s technical staff as Head of Performance and Innovation. Lankheit comes to the Union from the San Jose Earthquakes, where he was the Director of High Performance. Prior to that, Lankheit spent two years as Head of Developmental Performance for the Seattle Sounders. He was also a Strength & Conditioning Coach for the German 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Nürnberg in 2017/18. At his time at 1. FC Nürnberg, Lankheit helped his team be promoted to the 1. Bundesliga by decreasing total missed days through injury by 80%, helped increase the average total distance covered per match, and increased velocity sprints and HSR distance compared to previous seasons.
- Brad Papson has been promoted from Physical Therapist to Head of Health and Innovation and will oversee the Athletic Training staff including Union II and Academy.
- Jay Cooney has been promoted from Video Analyst to Director of Video Coaching and Coaching Technology and will oversee all of video technology and enhancements for the first team, Union II, and Academy.
- Addison Hunsicker has been promoted from Data Analyst to Senior Data Analyst and will continue expanding the analytics department.
- Colin Campbell has been promoted from Academy Equipment Manager to Equipment Operations Coordinator.
Philadelphia Union II
- Philadelphia Union II has signed Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc to a new, multi-year contract extension. LeBlanc led Union II to a berth in the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs with a 11-9-4 record, finishing the regular season in third place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points, winning the second most shootouts in the league with three. In 24 matches, LeBlanc has dropped the same lineup only twice all season and has never put out the same starting 11 in back-to-back matches played. LeBlanc joined the club in 2020 as head coach for the Philadelphia Union U-17 team, working with players and coaches throughout the academy system before becoming head coach of the Philadelphia Union II. Prior joining the Union, LeBlanc had a long tenure as the head coach at the University of West Virginia. In his 14 seasons as head coach, the Mountaineers won 138 matches and made six NCAA appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007.
- Christiana Orgera has been promoted from Academy Athletic Trainer to Lead Athletic Trainer with the Union II.
Philadelphia Union Academy
- Maria Mosquera joins the Union’s Academy as an Athletic Trainer. Mosquera comes to the Union from Sporting Kansas City, where she was the Athletic Trainer for the academy, SKCII, and SKCI.