Union Juniors Pre-Academy


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 Juniors 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 Juniors Pre-Academy. Union Youth Director Iain Munro has introduced players into a holistic, experiential, game oriented and player-centric environment at Union Youth Development’s home complex YSC Sports (Wayne).

Coach Munro’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 includes Union first team legends Fred and Kleberson, and 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 Juniors 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 Juniors 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.

Quick Facts on Philadelphia Union Juniors Pre-Academy:

  • Union Juniors Pre-Academy features a centralized location at YSC Sports for most training and competition, significantly reducing weekly travel time in car providing convenience and more time to develop on-field.
  • Philadelphia Union Juniors Pre-Academy teams U8-U10 teams compete in the newly formed Philadelphia Union Development League (“UDL”), with games hosted principally at YSC Sports, Philadelphia Union’s Official Youth Development Training Center. U11 teams play an age group up in the Atlantic Premier League.
  • Philadelphia Union Academy and Union Juniors Pre-Academy staff coach and train the players in a high-quality learning environment implementing Philadelphia Union’s development methodology and philosophy.
  • Union Juniors Pre-Academy players are identified via our Union PDP program, or via tryouts for the U8 division.
  • Select players will be identified for the program by Philadelphia Union Youth’s scouting network, club coach and Director of Coaching nominations, and Union Youth Training Programs. For future information on Union Youth Training Programs please click here.
  • Union Juniors Pre-Academy is the new primary identification platform for the free-of-cost Philadelphia Union Academy. If you have any questions please email us at youth@philadelphiaunion.com