Union Youth Development Program

YSC is the Official Youth Development Training Center of the Philadelphia Union and the home of Philadelphia Union Youth’s innovative holistic development platform.

After studying the models of the most innovative and successful soccer clubs 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 beginner to learn basic proficiencies, or for an elite academy player on the cusp of professional Stardom to pursue excellence, all in the same enriching and nurturing environment. Philadelphia Union Youth has one of the most qualified and skilled staffs in North America, featuring sport science, sports psychology, and athletic development training as important resources. The program is overseen by UEFA A Licensed Academy Director Tommy Wilson, with former Pro Ryan Richter directing the Pre-Academy.

Philadelphia Union Youth currently comprises the following three programs:

Player Development Program:  The platform for prospective soccer players begins with the Player Development Program, or “PDP.”  PDP is an opportunity for boys and girls of any skill level to access the unrivaled resources of Philadelphia Union Youth. Under the guidance of Union Pre-Academy Coaches, beginners will learn the joys of soccer along with core proficiencies, while the elite player may discover the tools to one day join the Philadelphia Union Pre-Academy or Academy.

Philadelphia Union Juniors Pre-Academy:  The Pre-Academy is the foundation of the Philadelphia Union Youth player pathway, and features dedicated teams for ages seven to ten. The Union Pre-Academy’s goal is to develop passion, technique, and decision making skills, encourage freedom, and emphasize core values and attitude in a fun, nurturing, development-oriented environment. The Union Pre-Academy is a unique endeavor that focuses on long-term development by encouraging players to challenge themselves and make mistakes to develop the technique, self-esteem, and the life-long passion for the game that will serve them well as they continue their development. Much of the Philadelphia Union Academy will be comprised of players from the Pre-Academy.

Philadelphia Union Academy:  The free-of-cost Philadelphia Union Academy and its independent partner school YSC Academy have produced seven professional Philadelphia Union players. Philadelphia Union Academy begins with the U12 age group, and competes in every age bracket of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Players in the Academy often feature for the Union’s USL team Bethlehem Steel, and the best players are provided the unique opportunity to sign directly with Philadelphia Union at any age. 

The Union’s investment in the most innovative developmental program in Major League Soccer will provide the club a crucial competitive edge on the field as local Philly kids today become the heroes of Talen Energy Stadium tomorrow.