CHESTER, Pa. (April 7, 2022) - Philadelphia Union II announced today that Union Academy U14 head coach and 2002 World Cup winner Jose Kleberson will join Marlon LeBlanc’s coaching staff as an assistant coach for the club’s inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season.
“Since joining Union Academy in 2017, Kleberson has shown an incredible willingness to learn and build his skillset as a coach and communicator,” said Tommy Wilson, Philadelphia Union Director of Academy and Professional Development. “He’s coached at many levels, from the U9s to the U19s. He led our U13s to a first-place finish in our region in the U13 MLS Next League and our U12s to first place in the Generation Adidas Cup. He has always been respected by his players given his impressive career, but he’s earned their trust through the work he puts in every day.”
“Kleberson has proven himself to be an excellent coach in our academy and is greatly respected by his players,” said Union II Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc. “He’ll be instrumental in helping create the atmosphere and mentality we need to develop this talented group of players and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the coaching staff.”
Kleberson came to Philadelphia when he signed as a player for Philadelphia Union in 2013, making eleven appearances and scoring one goal and notching two assists. Before joining the Union, Kleberson played for Turkish powerhouse Besiktas and the English Premier League’s Manchester United. He appeared 32 times for the Brazilian National Team, including in the 2002 and 2010 World Cups. Kleberson started the World Cup final in 2002 as Brazil beat Germany 2-0.
“I’m so grateful and excited about this opportunity to join Union II and continue to help these players reach their potential at the next level,” said Kleberson. “I’m honored to continue developing some of the best young players, both in the Philadelphia region and beyond, and look forward to an exciting season ahead."
Philadelphia Union II began their inaugural MLS NEXT Pro campaign on Sunday, March 27, with a 2-0 victory over FC Cincinnati 2 and followed up with a win, decided in penalty kicks, over Inter Miami CF II. All matches are streamed live on MLSNEXTPro.com and fans can buy tickets and see the team’s full schedule by clicking here. Philadelphia Union season ticket members receive free tickets to up to three Union II matches during the 2022 season.