Much of the focus on development these days is given toward the academy and USL ranks, but there are a number of Philadelphia Union Academy grads to keep an eye on during the college soccer season this fall.
Andrew Verdi, GK, R-Fr., Michigan
After sitting out a redshirt year and seeing starting keeper Evan Louro leave early to sign a pro deal with New York Red Bulls II, Verdi is poised to take over the starting job after a productive summer training with Bethlehem Steel FC.
Zach Zandi, MF, Jr., Villanova
Zandi helped lead the Wildcats to their first ever NCAA appearance last season and after a summer that included a trip to Europe, playing with Reading United and training with Bethlehem Steel he’s ready to help lead his team to bigger and better things.
Mark McKenzie, D, Fr., Wake Forest
McKenzie spurned a USL offer with Steel and other potential pro offers abroad to join the defending national runner ups from a year ago. A mainstay with Steel FC before he left for North Carolina, the first step for him is to win a starting job, something that’s never a guarantee for even the most talented freshmen in the ACC.
Dawson McCartney, MF, Fr., Dartmouth
Few players from the academy ranks have grown as much as McCartney has over the past couple seasons and his stellar play with Steel FC has him full of confidence going into his first college season, where he’ll be joined by Union teammate Tiger Graham on a team poised to again compete for the Ivy League title.
Matthew Freese, GK, Fr., Harvard
A high school star at Episcopal Academy who spent only part of his final year in high school with the academy, the United States U19 keeper will look to crack the starting lineup in year one of a Harvard program recovering from its season being suspended due to scandal.
Justin McMaster, F, Fr., Wake Forest
After seeing a lot of time with Steel FC in 2016, McMaster made just one appearance this season before leaving for school, where he’ll provide an added jolt of pace and attacking prowess to a Demon Deacons team with plenty of complementary attacking talent.
Raheem Taylor-Parkes, F, So., Virginia
The speedy forward only played 400 minutes his first season in Charlottesville, but still managed three assists. He’ll look to boost his output and use his pace to make more of an impact in the offensive third.
Mo Conde, MF, So., Florida International
After a season at NAIA University of Mobile and a summer with Reading United, Conde moves to Division 1 and has a chance to build on the steady growth he’s shown since his academy days.
Lamine Conte, D/MF, So., University of Mobile
Few academy grads saw their stock rise as much as Conte’s did this summer with his standout season with Reading United. A strong and relentless defender, Conte excelled playing center back but is a versatile player who should see a lot more time on the field for the NAIA school this season.
Sean Wilson, MF, R-So., Xavier
After an unsuccessful two years in Chapel Hill, the former United States youth international will try to kickstart his college career in Cincinnati. A late college signing who may have been a lock for a pro deal had Steel FC already existed, Wilson has some ground to make up but Xavier should be a good fit for the holding mid.
Robert Campbell, D, So., Clemson
After a successful stint with Reading United this summer, the right back will look to lock down a starting job Philadelphia Union/Steel FC rookie Aaron Jones had well covered last year.
Shane Bradley, D, So., Villanova
Bradley stepped in to anchor a young backline last fall and helped lead the Wildcats to their first ever NCAA Tournament largely on the strength of its defense in a couple key wins over highly rated competition. He and twin brother Conor Bradley will be key to Nova’s success this season.
Joey DeZart, MF, So., Wake Forest
When you have guys named Ian Harkes and Jacori Hayes in your midfield, it’s understandable why DeZart didn’t get a lot of playing time his first season in Winston-Salem, but according to his head coach there was a lot of growth in his game that unfortunately was set back by an injury that limited him with Reading United this summer.
Morgan Hackworth, D, So., Akron
After two quiet years at Syracuse the former U18 captain will look to get his college career going in the right path at one of the top programs in the country.
Sebastian Elney, F, Jr., Maryland
The Florida native saw his production drop last season with three goals and four assists after finding the back of the net seven times his first season in College Park. He also dropped off the radar for the United States U20 team and beyond playing against the Union in a scrimmage in the spring it’s not clear what connection he still has to the organization since playing for the U18 team for one season.
Below is a list of the Philadelphia Union Academy alums who will be playing in college soccer this fall. The names in italic left the academy before the end of the senior year in high school. Note: this includes only the players who played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and does not include those who trained with the academy as members of local youth club affiliates.
Philadelphia Union Academy Alums
|Player||College||Pos.||Class||Hometown||State||High School||Previous College|
|Player||College||Pos.||Class||Hometown||State||High School||Previous College|
|Morgan Hackworth||Akron||D||So.||Wallingford||Pennsylvania||Strath Haven HS||Syracuse|
|Robert Miller III||Bowling Green||F||So.||York||Pennsylvania||Central York|
|Freeman Dwamena||Cal Poly||D||Fr.||Philadelphia||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Emmanuel Perez||Cal Poly||MF||Fr.||Boynton Beach||Florida||YSC Academy|
|Isaiah Holquist||Chicago (D3)||D||Fr.||Bala Cynwyd||Pennsylvania||Lower Merion|
|Robert Campbell||Clemson||D||So.||Wallingford||Pennsylvani||YSC Academy|
|Dawson McCartney||Dartmouth||MF||Fr.||Voorhees||New Jersey||YSC Academy|
|Tiger Graham||Dartmouth||F||Fr.||Paoli||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|John Schroeder||Delaware||D||Jr.||Houston||Texas||YSC Academy|
|Max Sakiewicz||Delaware||MF||Fr.||Glen Mills||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Justin Bajek||Delaware||GK||R-Fr.||Middletown||Delaware||St. Elizabeth||Maryland|
|Ryan Trapp||Delaware||D||Fr.||Yardley||Pennsylvania||Germantown Academy|
|Patrick Murphy||Drexel||D||Fr.||Lansdale||Pennsylvania||North Penn HS|
|Noah Snyder||Duke||MF||Sr.||Warrington||Pennsylvania||Central Bucks HS South|
|Omar Ayala||Duquesne||MF||Fr.||Norristown||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Brandon Levano||East Stroudsburg (D2)||F||Jr.||Allentown||Pennsylvania||Whitehall||Loyola Maryland|
|Diallo Simon-Ponte||Fairfield||MF||So.||South Brunswick||New Jersey||YSC Academy|
|Jahmali Waite||Fairleigh Dickinson||GK||Fr.||Philadelphia||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Mohamed Conde||FIU||MF||So.||Philadelphia||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy||University of Mobile|
|Josh Gotlib||Franklin & Marshall (D3)||GK||Jr.||Broomall||Pennsylvania||Marple Newtown HS|
|Brandon Golden||Fordham||D||Fr.||Morganvile||New Jersey||YSC Academy|
|Juan Infante||Gettysburg (D3)||F||Fr.||Willow Grove||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Matthew Freese||Harvard||GK||Fr.||Bryn Mawr||Pennsylvania||The Episcopal Academy|
|Michael Kalpokas||Immaculata (D3)||GK||Fr.||West Chester||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Eric Guiterrez||Jefferson (D3)||GK||R-Jr.||Croydon||Pennsylvania||Harry S. Truman|
|Kalill ElMedkhar||Kentucky||F||Fr.||Middletown||Delaware||YSC Academy|
|Garrett Keys||La Salle||D/MF||Jr.||Allentown||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Cameron Keys||La Salle||GK||Jr.||Allentown||Pennyslvania||YSC Academy|
|Chris Gomez||Lafayette||D||R-So.||Jamison||Pennsylvania||Central Bucks East||Syracuse|
|Doyle Tuvesson||Lehigh||F||Sr.||Kennett Square||Pennsylvania||Unionville|
|Evan Godfrey||Liberty||D||Fr.||Millville||New Jersey||YSC Academy|
|Sebastian Elney||Maryland||F||Jr.||Boca Raton||Florida||YSC Academy|
|Andrew Verdi||Michigan||GK||R-Fr.||Ivyland||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Lamine Conte||Mobile (NAIA)||MF/D||So.||Philadelphia||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Jack Skahan||North Carolina||MF||So.||Memphis||Tennessee||Memphis University School|
|Will Campbell||North Carolina||D||R-So.||Wallingford||Pennsylvania||Strath Haven|
|Kevin Carvalho||Northeastern||MF||Jr.||Richboro||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Max Silberg||Northwestern||F||Fr.||Pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||Kiski Prep|
|Patrick Berneski||Notre Dame||Sr.||D||Warrington||Pennsylvania||Central Bucks South|
|Kyler White||Rowan (D3)||GK||Jr.||Haddon Township||New Jersey||Haddon Township|
|Josue Monge||South Florida||MF||Fr.||Philadelphia||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy|
|Freddy Gil||South Florida||D/MF||Fr.||West Palm Beach||Florida||YSC Academy|
|Dontrim Namani||Saint Joseph's||MF||So.||West Chester||Pennsylvania||West Chester Bayard Rustin|
|Andrew Aprahamian||Stanford||D||Fr.||Malvern||Pennsylvania||Malvern Prep|
|Conor Bradley||Villanova||D||So.||Havertown||Pennsylvania||Haverford School|
|Shane Bradley||Villanova||D||So.||Havertown||Pennsylvania||Haverford School|
|Zach Zandi||Villanova||MF||Jr.||West Chester||Pennsylvania||Henderson|
|Jerren Nixon Jr.||Virginia||F||So.||Atlanta||Georgia||YSC Academy|
|Raheem Taylor-Parkes||Virginia||F/MF||So.||Tampa||Florida||YSC Academy|
|Mark McKenzie||Wake Forest||D||Fr.||Bear||Delaware||YSC Academy|
|Justin McMaster||Wake Forest||MF||Fr.||Kingston||Jamaica||YSC Academy|
|Joey DeZart||Wake Forest||MF||So.||Jackson||New Jersey||YSC Academy|
|Brett Glasco||West Chester (D2)||MF||Sr.||West Chester||Pennsylvania||Rustin|
|Nick Jachwak||West Chester (D2)||D||Jr.||Souderton||Pennsylvania||Souderton Area|
|Sean Wilson||Xavier||R-So.||MF||Bethlehem||Pennsylvania||YSC Academy||North Carolina|