Selmir Miscic became the youngest player in Philadelphia Union history to sign a professional contract with the organization by inking a deal with the Bethlehem Steel FC on Tuesday.
The 15-year-old is a little more than four months shy of his 16th birthday. The Union signed homegrown Zach Pfeffer in 2010 a couple weeks shy of his 16th birthday.
The Vermont native joined the Philadelphia Union Academy with his twin brother Arnel Miscic two seasons ago after his family relocated to Royersford.
“My parents made huge sacrifices for Arnel and I leaving,” Miscic said in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s all paid off.”
Miscic is the fourth player to sign a USL deal with the Steel straight from the Union’s academy. Derrick Jones and Matt Real both signed USL deals prior to becoming first team homegrowns and Yosef Samuel was a late-season signing with the Steel in 2016. Samuel now plays for Atlanta United 2 in the USL.
“It’s credit to him and his mentality, the way he trains, the way he approaches each game,” Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.
Miscic, whose father had his own promising youth career in Bosnia interrupted by war and ended up playing in the third division in Germany for several years, had other options and interest abroad, but decided he wants to stay put for now.
“This is home for me,” he said. “My teachers, my friends, my teammates, my family, we’re all here.”
Miscic’s profile exploded last year when he scored 33 goals in all competitions for the Union U15s, but beyond the goals and attacking prowess it’s his soccer IQ and maturity both on the field that make him such an exciting prospect both for the Union and the United States Men’s National Team. He is rejoining the US. U16 team today — along with academy teammates Patrick Bohui and Dante Huckaby — for a training camp in Florida.
“From a mentality standpoint he’s one of the best we’ve seen and it’s why we want to reward the loyalty he’s shown the club,” Burke said.
Prior to relocating to the area, Miscic and his brother Arnel Miscic, a defender who has also shown a lot of promise, played for Synergy FC and for the Vermont Athletic Academy in Shelburne.