Youth development is the core of our mission and the heart of our passion. The Philadelphia Union Academy program is free of charge so Philadelphia’s future players of promise have an opportunity to pursue their passions without the burden of paying to play. Selection into the program is a true accomplishment and a major step in a player’s path to our first team.
The innovative Philadelphia Union Youth program is based in sport science and performance and follows best practices in LTAD (Long-term Athletic Development) and coaching education. It includes two developmental levels: Union Juniors Pre-Academy (U8-U11), and the Union Academy (U12-U18). At all ages, our players are asked to take ownership of their learning, lead by example, and embrace the ethos and culture of Philadelphia Union.
Philadelphia Union Youth was established after studying the most effective and successful high performance youth development models worldwide. Philadelphia Union set about implementing a holistic developmental platform integrating world-class player training and sport science for the youth soccer players of the Greater Philadelphia region. Philadelphia Union Youth is the renowned soccer platform providing an opportunity for the youngest players to develop a lifelong passion for the game and elite academy-aged players, on the cusp of professional stardom, the opportunity to pursue excellence in an enriching and nurturing environment. Philadelphia Union Youth has one of the most qualified and skilled staffs in North America, featuring sport scientist, sports psychologist, and Athletic Development trainers as supporting elements to our core soccer development staff and programming. Philadelphia Union Youth is overseen by UEFA Pro Licensed Academy Director Tommy Wilson and is based out of YSC Sports in Wayne, PA. The program benefits from an innovative partnership with YSC Academy, a first-of-its-kind soccer specific independent school for boys in grades 8-12. Philadelphia Union Youth currently comprises the following three programs: