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Kalil ElMedkhar verbally commits to Kentucky

The Philadelphia Union Academy U16 midfielder will take his talents to the Bluegrass state in the fall of 2017.

Matt Ralph

Philadelphia Union Academy midfielder Kalil ElMedkhar has verbally committed to play college soccer at the University of Kentucky.

The Middletown, Delaware native has been with the Union Academy since 2013 when he joined the U14 team after playing for Penn Fusion and Kirkwood Soccer Club in Delaware.

He's played 18 games and started 12 times for the U16 team this year and is tied for third on the team in goals with six. He played nine games and started five times for the U16s last season and scored nine goals in 24 appearances for the U14 team in 2013-14.

He announced his decision on Instagram on Thursday.

Though Kentucky is known mostly for its men's basketball team, the men's soccer program - one of only two SEC teams that has the sport - has made strides in recent years. The Wildcats have secured three NCAA tournament berths over the last four seasons and were the regular season champions in Conference USA in 2015.

ElMedkhar is the fifth Union Academy player to verbally commit for the 2017 season, joining Wake Forest commits Mark McKenzie and Matthew Real, Liberty commit Evan Godfrey and Stanford commit Andrew Aprahamian.