The Delaware Union Soccer Club announced Wednesday an agreement to become a Youth Development Affiliate (YDA) partner with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS).
The Philadelphia Union Youth Development Affiliate (YDA) partnership is a coaching education and curriculum development affiliation for select youth clubs meeting YDA requirements. The intent of the program is to promote coaching best practices and player development methodologies through the formation of a progressive group of like-minded clubs who share the Philadelphia Union’s passion and commitment to enhancing the player development experience for youth players.
“The addition of Delaware Union Soccer Club to our youth development program continues our commitment to create one of the best youth development academies in North America,” said Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “This is another step in the Union’s long-standing philosophy to partner with like-minded high-level soccer clubs to develop the best youth players for the future.”
Philadelphia Union youth academy head coach Chris Brewer echoed similar statements:
“We are thrilled to add the Delaware Union Soccer Club as a Youth Development Affiliate with the Philadelphia Union,” said Brewer. “The Delaware Union Soccer Club has proven itself as one of the top organizations in the region and we will benefit tremendously through our partnership as we develop the best young players in the area.”
"After assembling the best soccer minds in the state under one brand, a Philadelphia Union Youth Development Affiliation (YDA) was the natural next step for the evolution of the new Delaware Union as it continues to impact the state soccer culture,” said Mike Womer, Delaware Union Executive Director. “Such a relationship allows us to partner with like-minded organizations to learn from each other, while showcasing Delaware and everything it has to offer.
The goal of YDA is to openly share and use player development resources with YDA partners to help YDAs provide the best learning environment possible for their players. In doing so, the goal is to increase both the quality and the quantity of players capable of playing professional soccer. The youth development resources include Pre-Academy programs for youths age 6-12 and Academy programs for ages 13-18. Other resources are participation in academy training, academy friendly competitions, affiliate team playing opportunities, coaching education, Academy Staff led training, attendance at YDA training camps, and parent sports science education.
"Delaware Soccer is at a major advantage as the Philadelphia Union Youth Development Academy agreed to sign Delaware Union as a YDA. Delaware Union will be in the company of some of the best clubs in the region and country: 1776 United, CFSC Cape Fear Soccer Club, Continental FC, Penn Legacy, West Chester United/Penn Fusion, REAL NJSC and San Diego Soccer Club. It is always great to be with like-minded clubs and to have the Philadelphia Union Youth Academy partnering on your youth development, it’s a win - win." said Chad Reed Delaware Union Technical Director.
Thoughts echoed by Delaware Union Boys Director Bill Boyer “Being part of the Philadelphia Union family was always a top priority at Delaware Union. The core of this foundation began with our commitment to create curriculum in conjunction with Philadelphia Union philosophies and practices. This YDA acknowledgment just shows things have come full circle.”
The idea sharing will start immediately as the Delaware Union looks to build and continue to shape the culture of Delaware soccer across the state through the depth of its leadership team.
"Our club will only be better by working with coaches and players who understand what it means to perform at the highest level. This partnership will help our players achieve at every level and we are excited to be a part of the Philadelphia Union Youth Development Program" said Delaware Union Director of Curriculum Dr. Lew Atkinson
“I am extremely pleased with establishing a soccer development relationship with the Philadelphia Union. Our players, staff and families will benefit in all aspects of the game." said Joe Brown Delaware Union Girls Director.
About Delaware Union:
With over 400 Representative players and 3,000+ annual REC registrations, our unique style of program management allows for the execution of a centralized Representative/Travel program, while town level Regional Boards in Middletown, Smyrna and Dover manage the grass roots growth in our independent Recreational programs.
In the long-term, the Delaware Union will be a strategic anchor tenant in the $24 million dollar Kent County Regional Sports Complex and other facilities to host regional tournaments, friendlies, and a variety of youth and adult leagues within the borders of Delaware to help drive the local economy.
Over time, the Delaware Union will implement its strategic goal to partner with likeminded quality club affiliates or develop additional operational boards on the Rte 1 corridor to continue to build the Delaware Union brand to promote the best possible soccer in Delaware. At its end state, the Delaware Union footprint will encompass a 3 tier team Representative program in each age group, fed by six regionally managed Recreational town pools in New Castle County, Central Delaware, Northern Sussex County and everywhere in between.