Students at YSC Academy, the private school located in the office park near YSC Sports outside King of Prussia, are at the tail end of the school's third academic year, yet the LA Galaxy's recently launched school is being heralded as a unique, first of its kind experiment in soccer development in the U.S.
LA Galaxy's academy director Pete Vagenas was quoted in the LA Times in a May 3 article saying that their school is "unique and the first of its kind" and writer Kevin Baxter didn't bother to fact check him.
Neither did MLSsoccer.com, which referenced the article and the quote in an article of its own. To their credit, they did at least mention the existence of a school operated by the Philadelphia Union.
YSC Academy opened its doors in September 2013 with similar goals to LA Galaxy's school, which utilizes classroom space at the nearby college campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.
As stated on the Philadelphia Union website, having an in-house school provides players with "an educational environment that is designed to integrate and facilitate their athletic development training with their academic pursuits." Simply put, the school offers scheduling flexibility, nutritional needs and training sessions as part of the school day.
Some 48 percent of the players in the Union Academy system - as of this year all of the high school-aged players attend - are enrolled in the school, which is also open to select players not in the Academy (the tuition for the current academic year is listed on the website as $28,500).
While LA Galaxy's version of a soccer school might be unique to southern California, for once this "revolutionary" idea originated on the opposite coast.
The Philadelphia Union acknowledged as much, posting a gif of Shia LeBeouf laughing on its Twitter account this morning. Good move, Union.
.@MLS @LAGalaxy "First of its kind", huh? pic.twitter.com/PgHrPHaix8— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) May 5, 2016