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Union Academy forward commits to Duke

Issa Rayyan commits to ACC program for 2018

Issa Rayyan
Matt Ralph

One of the more high profile members of the Philadelphia Union Academy - thanks in part to his recent appearance in the first episode of the “Earn Your Place” documentary - recently announced his future college plans.

Issa Rayyan verbally committed on social media last week to Duke University for 2018, where he will join teammate Seth Kuhn competing in college soccer’s toughest conference.

The 16-year-old Michigan native joined the Union Academy from Vardar Academy last season and was second in goals on the U16 team with 11 in 23 appearances while also making two appearances for the U18s.

This season, he’s spent a majority of his time with the U18s with two goals in nine appearances but has also made an appearance for the U16s in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play and captained the team in the first leg of qualifiers for the Generation adidas Cup in October.

Duke was 7-8-2 this season, their first losing season under head coach John Kerr since he took over the program in 2008. The Blue Devils last made the NCAA Tournament in 2011 and won it all in 1986.

Rayyan and Kuhn won’t be the first with ties to the Academy to join the program. Union Academy alum Noah Snyder will be a senior next fall along with classmate Brian White, who was a member of the Union’s 2012 Generation adidas Cup squad.