TopDrawerSoccer.com ranked all of the MLS Academies heading into the 2017 season. TopDrawerSoccer.com is a website dedicated to covering pre-professional soccer. Just 3 years into the current structure that includes YSC Academy, the Union Academy is receiving high praise.
8. Philadelphia Union
Top product: D Auston Trusty
Top current player: D Rayshaun McGann
Philadelphia’s YSC Academy opened in 2013, but it didn’t seem to make much of a dent until technical director Earnie Stewart arrived in late 2015. YSC is a distinctly European model (sans the monetary cost absent a scholarship) combining school and academy soccer into one, and Philly’s players raved about its convenience and promoted its benefits ceaselessly. The signings, under Stewart, of players like Auston Trusty, Matthew Real and Derrick Jones into the Union system (some for Bethlehem Steel in the USL) proves the system is beginning to churn out tangible value. And, more to the point, that there is tangible value deep into the club’s academy. There should be more where that came from. Philly’s system is one of the most sustainable in MLS, and it should pay out Homegrowns year over year so long as the front office continues to value a pipeline it’s done well to cultivate.