Three Philadelphia Union Academy players have joined the first team for their trip today to Florida for the start of a preseason camp in Clearwater, Florida.
Midfielder Anthony Fontana and goalkeepers Tomas Romero and Kristopher Shakes made the trip with the team.
Fontana, who made eight appearances for Bethlehem Steel FC last season as an amateur, impressed in the first team’s first week of training in Chester and West Philadelphia.
“Anthony Fontana has been out here and he doesn’t just look like he belongs, but he’s leaving a mark on every training session and doing well,” head coach Jim Curtin said after training in Philadelphia on Monday.
The 17-year-old, who doesn’t graduate high school until next year, has three goals in five appearances this season for the Union U18s, his fourth representing the blue and gold in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Shakes and Romero are even younger.
Romero is a 16-year-old who is part of the El Salvador U17 player pool and has regularly trained with Bethlehem Steel and the first team. He has one clean sheet in four starts between the U16 and U18 teams this season and showed well in the first round of qualifiers for the Generation adidas Cup.
Shakes is a 15-year-old who has seven starts this season between the U16 and U18 teams, including two clean sheets for the U18s. Like Romero, he has also trained with Bethlehem Steel and the first team. Though Shakes is from Florida, he’ll still be pretty far away from his hometown of Coral Springs, nearly four hours away from Clearwater.