In the fall of 2017, Philadelphia Union will be launching an 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 (birth years 2007-2010).
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 innovative firsts include its soccer-specific independent high school partner, YSC Academy. Now, with the Union Juniors Pre-Academy, Philadelphia Union will become the first club to introduce multisport activity into its full-time soccer program.
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, gymnastics, and other multisport activities which sports science suggests are beneficial for the athletic and coordinative development of the under-12 athlete.
Philadelphia Union’s culture and methodology will be key pillars of Union Juniors Pre-Academy. Union Youth Director Iain Munro will introduce players into a holistic, experiential, game oriented and player-centric environment at Union Youth Development’s home complex YSC Sports (Wayne).
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 will 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.
- Philadelphia Union Academy and Union Juniors Pre-Academy staff will coach and train the players in a high-quality learning environment implementing Philadelphia Union’s development methodology and philosophy.
- Union Juniors Pre-Academy players will be identified through tryouts for 2009 and 2010 boys (who will be U8 & U9’s for 2017/2018), and invite-only tryouts for 2007 and 2008 boys (who will be U10 & U11’s for 2017/2018).
- 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.
- Union Juniors Pre-Academy is the new primary identification platform for the free-of-cost Philadelphia Union Academy.
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