To play with the first team is a dream for many young aspiring soccer players. For three young Academy stars, the opportunity to train with Philadelphia Union during preseason is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Among the many new faces for the Boys in Blue during preseason, the Union has also welcomed Brenden Aaronson, Michael Pellegrino and Tomas Romero from the Union Academy.
Midfielder Brenden Aaronson is an exciting Union prospect who is considered to be a versatile playmaker. The Medford, Pennsylvania native trained regularly with Bethlehem Steel FC last year.
Aaronson impressed so much that he even started two games and made six appearances for the club during their postseason push. The 17-year-old registered 214 minutes with the Steel, a number he looks to improve this season.
Recently, Aaronson officially committed to the Big 10 power house Indiana Hoosiers. Until he begins collegiate play, he will learn valuable lessons from the players and coaching staff of Philadelphia Union.
Midfielder Michael Pellegrino is another player brought in to train with the first team in Clearwater, Florida. Like Aaronson, Pellegrino also made two starts for the Steel last season, where Pellegrino registered 180 minutes on the year.
Last season, Pellegrino played mostly with the Philadelphia Union U-18/19 squad where he made 10 appearances and started in nine of them. Of the 10 appearances, Pellegrino was able to tack on two goals to his name.
The holding midfielder has also made several appearances for the United States U-16 and U-17’s National Team.
Goalkeeper Tomas Romero is the third Union Academy player to be invited to preseason and is the second time he’s attending the camp. Romero is an exciting Salvadorian goalkeeping prospect who hails from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This will mark Romero’s second time training with the Union in Florida.
The 17-year-old has made a remarkable seven appearances with Bethlehem Steel FC and has worked with Union goalkeepers John McCarthy and Jake McGuire.
When he was just 16, he became the youngest goalkeeper ever to start a USL match.
Romero has made several appearances with the U-17 El Salvador National Team, including helping them get a win in the 2017 U-17 CONCACAF Championship qualifying match against Belize.
Romero has officially committed to Georgetown after he graduates from the Academy, but in the meantime, Romero will continue to climb up the ranks of the Union system.