CHESTER, Pa. (June 29, 2021) – Philadelphia Union announced today that Tommy Wilson has been promoted to Director of Academy and Professional Development, a position that will integrate his previous role as Academy Director with new responsibilities that will oversee the Union’s entire player development pathway. Wilson will have oversight of every team, staff member, and player from the Union Junior Academy through Philadelphia Union II, ensuring a unified approach to implementing the club’s methodology and player development strategy.
“From the moment I arrived, Tommy and I have worked closely together to understand how to build on the success the Academy has had and further accelerate its influence on our first team,” said Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner. “As our Director of Academy and Professional Development, Tommy will play an even larger role in creating a clear path from our Academy, through Union II, and to the first team roster.”
“Promoting Homegrown talents to the first team has always been a key pillar of our strategy at the Union, and I’m excited to streamline and accelerate that process in this new role,” Wilson said. “The first team has signed fifteen homegrown players during my time as Academy Director, including Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, and in my new role I hope to help the next generation of top young talent achieve their dreams of playing at Subaru Park.”
Wilson was named Director when the Union Academy was established in 2013. In addition to Aaronson and McKenzie, both of which were transferred to European clubs following the 2020 season, the Academy has produced 13 more Homegrown players and 30 total players that have gone on to sign professional contracts. The Union Academy was most recently named best Boys Soccer Club in the United States by SoccerWire.com and received the highest overall rating in Major League Soccer from Double Pass, an organization who works with U.S. Soccer and MLS to provide assessments and support for club academies.
Players developed in the Union Academy have gone on to play professionally in Major League Soccer and Europe, and many are called up to US Youth National Teams. Three former Union Academy Players have played for the senior US Men’s National Team in the past two years.