First Team debut for Fontana and Trusty
Philadelphia Union’s mission to build the best-in-class youth development program in MLS began five years ago with the establishment of a full-time program at Philadelphia Union Academy and the founding of YSC Academy, the Union’s independent school affiliate. Since 2013, the school has grown to 75 students, the Academy has come to feature seven teams, and a first-of-its-kind “Pre-Academy” was introduced for the U8-U11 age groups.
Every evolution of the Union’s youth development platform has been with an intention to develop local Philadelphia homegrown talent that rivals players anywhere in the world.
Philadelphia Union took to the pitch at Talen Energy on March 4th for this first time this season, starting two teenage Homegrown players and Union Academy and YSC Academy alumni, Auston Trusty and Anthony Fontana. Both players are local talents who have been a part of the Union Youth program since their early participation in the first iteration of the Union Juniors program. Two of the now five under-21 Homegrown players on the Union roster (Derrick Jones and recent signings Matt Real and Mark McKenzie rounding out the Homegrown cohort), Trusty and Fontana embody the vision introduced five years ago of a Philadelphia Union squad lead by local heroes. In their debuts, Anthony Fontana scored the first goal of the season and Austin Trusty lead a stalwart defense to a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory.
The project has much further to go, but the pivotal contributions of Fontana and Trusty in the season opener are a major testament to the commitment made by Philadelphia Union, Union Youth, and YSC Academy.
Read more about the Fontana's and Trusty’s debuts:
- – Union’s patience finally paying off: Debuts of YSC Academy products Fontana, Trusty a milestone for club (TheAthletic.com)
- – Article: Auston Trusty’s star turn in Union debut helped by U.S. national team pedigree (Philly.com)
- – Article: Union academy products Auston Trusty, Anthony Fontana ready for spotlight as MLS season kicks off (Philly.com)
- – Article: Anthony Fontana spices dream debut with goal in Union’s win over Revs (Delcotimes.com)
- – Article: Philadelphia teenager Anthony Fontana has an MLS debut to remember (Socceramerica.com)
- – Article: The kids are finally all right for Union in season-opening win (nbcsports.com/Philadelphia)
- – Article: Newark’s Fontana starts, scores for Union in Major League Soccer debut (Delawareonline.com)
- – Article: Philadelphia Union youth was on display in Week 1 (Espn.com)