The Philadelphia Union have announced a new pre-academy program for youth that will feed into the Philadelphia Union Academy.
Known as the Philadelphia Union Juniors Pre-Academy, the program will launch this fall for players born in 2007 through 2010.
“Now that we’re established and we have programs in place we feel it’s timely to look at the younger ones,” Academy Director Tommy Wilson said in a video on PhiladelphiaUnion.com. “If you look at best practice across the world, young players of that age are with professional clubs. Young players at that age are doing between four to eight hours of activity a week.”
The pre-academy program will not just include soccer, but will incorporate multisport sessions in the winter with players participating in basketball, gymnastics and other athletic activities.
U8, U9, U10 and U11 teams will compete in the newly formed Philadelphia Union Development League with games hosted primarily at YSC Sports near King of Prussia. The players will be identified through tryouts for 2009 and 2010 boys and invite-only tryouts for 2007 and 2008 boys.
“The way we go about our business now is making sure that we have a great pyramid so at the bottom you have to have a lot of talent, you know those kids we have running around, to try and influence them the Union way,” Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in another video posted on the Union website. “The sooner we can start that I think the better we can be going forward.”
Click here for more information on the new program.