Philadelphia Union Announce Technical Staff Changes
The Union announce new hires, promotion ahead of 2021 campaign
CHESTER, Pa. (March 2, 2021)– Philadelphia Union today announced 2021 staffing changes within the Union technical staff. Looking to continue to strengthen the leadership that led the team to their first-ever Supporters’ Shield, staffing additions include first team Assistant Coach Frank Leicht from KC Kairat, and Assistant Athletic Trainer & Strength and Conditioning Coach, Yaseen Khan. Additionally, Marlon LeBlanc has been named official head coach of Union II. The club would also like to congratulate Garrison Draper on his promotion to Vice President of Player Health and Performance.
Philadelphia Union First Team
- Frank Leicht joins the Union’s technical staff as an assistant coach. Leicht comes to the Union from the Kazakhstan Premier League side FC Kairat, where he was the Head of Academy Coaching. Prior to that, Leicht spent many years as a head coach and scout in the Eintracht Frankfurt and Red Bull Leipzig youth and academy systems. He was also an assistant coach for the German Bundesliga side 1FC Koeln in 2005/06. Over the course of his career thus far, Leicht has led his former teams to many achievements including winning the German championship in 2004 with VfB Stuttgart U17’s and was twice the Champion of the Bundesliga North in 2013/14 and 2014/15 with the U17’s and U19’s respectively. Leicht will join Pat Noonan, Dave McKay, and Phil Wheddon to round out Jim Curtin’s 2021 coaching staff.
- Garrison Draper has been promoted from Director of Performance to Vice President of Player Health and Performance. During a challenging 2020 season, Draper successfully helped develop, implement, and manage COVID-19 health and safety protocols, all whilst developing individual and team plans that helped Union players reach their peak performance abilities both during an extended quarantine period and return to play. In his new role, Draper will oversee the entire performance department and will lead all processes regarding performance, health, and respective data management. He will also lead efforts in creating innovative approaches to build philosophical guidelines and data usage for athlete development that can implemented from the academy to the first team.
- Yaseen Khan joins the performance department as the Assistant Athletic Trainer & Strength and Conditioning Coach. Khan was previously the athletic trainer for the then-named Bethlehem Steel FC in 2016. Following his time there, he went on to join San Antonio FC (USL) and later the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and their D league affiliates, College Park Skyhawks, as the Athletic Trainer and Strength Coach.
Philadelphia Union Youth and Development
- After earning the position of interim head coach in 2020, Marlon LeBlanc has officially been named the head coach of Union II. LeBlanc initially joined the club in 2020 as a U-17 academy coach and worked with players and coaches throughout the academy system. He was then tasked with taking the helm of Union II five games into their season where he led the team to a 3-2 victory in his first match. Focusing heavily on the development of young players, LeBlanc’s methods of ensuring his players are physically, mentally, and tactfully ready to join the first team were made apparent with the signing of five Homegrowns to the Union’s roster in 2021. Prior to joining the Union, he had a long tenure as the head coach at West Virginia University, where he coached Union veterans Ray Gaddis and Jack Elliott. In his 14 seasons there, the Mountaineers won 138 matches and made six NCAA appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007 and a three-time conference Coach of the Year.