Academy NLIs

Ten Union Academy Members To Sign National Letters of Intent

Ten members of the Philadelphia Union Academy will sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday during National Signing Day, the club announced today. Goalkeepers Andrew Verdi and Justin Bajek, defenders Shane Bradley, Robert Campbell, Joseph DeZart and Auston Trusty, midfielder Conor Bradley, and forwards Tiger Graham, Jerren Nixon and Raheem Taylor-Parkes have committed to attending college to take their respective next steps in soccer development.

“Education is crucial to us both on and off the field, evidenced by our world class school,” Philadelphia Union Academy Director Tommy Wilson said. “We will always look to produce First Team players as our No. 1 priority, but educational attainment goes hand-and-hand with that. Along with our staff, I congratulate the players on the commitment they are making to some of the top colleges in the country.”

The 10 academy members will attend a total of eight different schools. Nixon and Parkes will both attend the University of Virginia, while Conor and Shane Bradely will attend Villanova University. Goalkeeper Bajek (University of Maryland) and Verdi (Michigan University) will both apply their abilities in the Big 10 Conference. Joining Nixon and Parkes in the Atlantic Coast Conference will be Campbell (Clemson University), DeZart (Wake Forest University), and Trusty (University of North Carolina). Finally, Graham will attend Dartmouth College.

Come the fall, while each of these 10 players will be off to school, all of them will remain integral parts of the Union Under-18s for the remainder of the 2015-16 season. Currently, the Union are 8-3-4 this season, good for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. They also own the No. 2 wild card spot for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs. Union academy teams pick up play again in the Spring portion of their schedule on March 12 against Continental FC.

 

Justin Bajek

  • Position:  Goalkeeper
  • Hometown: Middletown, Del.
  • Development Club: Kirkwood
  • University: University of Maryland

Shane Bradley

  • Position: Defender
  • Hometown: Havertown, Pa.
  • Development Club: Nether Providence
  • University: Villanova University

Conor Bradley

  • Position: Midfield
  • Hometown: Havertown, Pa.
  • Development Club: Nether Providence
  • University: Villanova University

Robert Campbell

  • Position:  Defender
  • Hometown: Wallingford, Pa.
  • Development Club: Nether Providence
  • University: Clemson University

Joseph DeZart

  • Position: Defender
  • Hometown: Jackson, N.J.
  • Development Club: Ironbound Premier
  • University: Wake Forest University

Tiger Graham

  • Position:  Forward
  • Hometown: Paoli, Pa.
  • Development Club: TEYSA
  • University: Dartmouth College

Jerren Nixon

  • Position:  Forward
  • Hometown: Smyrna, Ga.
  • Development Club: KSA
  • University: University of Virginia

Raheem Taylor-Parkes

  • Position:  Forward
  • Hometown: Wesley Chapel, Fla.
  • Development Club: VSI West Florida Flames
  • University: University of Virginia

Auston Trusty

  • Position:  Defender
  • Hometown: Media, Pa.
  • Development Club: Nether Providence
  • University: University of North Carolina

Andrew Verdi

  • Position:  Goalkeeper
  • Hometown: Ivyland, Pa.
  • Development Club: VSI West Florida Flames
  • University: University of Michigan
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