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Villanova to host Penn State at Talen Energy Stadium on September 7

Former Union U19 head coach Jeff Cook returning to the area with his new team

Villanova played Georgetown at Talen Energy Stadium last October
Matt Ralph

A familiar face will be on the sidelines at Talen Energy Stadium on September 7 when Penn State visits Chester to play Villanova.

Nittany Lions head coach Jeff Cook will make his first trip back to the area for a game with his new team that night. Cook left his job as the Philadelphia Union U19 head coach and Bethlehem Steel FC assistant to take over the Big 10 program in January. The Saturday night non-conference game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.

Cook will face former players Shane Bradley and Conor Bradley, who he coached with the Union U16 and U19 teams. Wildcats captain Zach Zandi is also a Union Academy grad. Villanova played Big East rival Georgetown at the home of the Philadelphia Union last October.

Villanova last played the Nittany Lions in 2010, losing 1-0 in University Park. They tied 1-1 the last time the two teams played in the Philadelphia area. Nova is 1-8-1 all-time in the series with the only win coming at home in November 2003.

Penn State will also be hosting La Salle in their first preseason exhibition game. The two teams played in University Park back in February.

Among Cook’s incoming recruits are current Union U19 forward Jeremy Rafanello, who leads the team in goals with 22 in 20 games and recently scored a goal for the United States U19 team at the Slovakia Cup.