United States youth national team players Aaron Heard, Jack McGlynn and Mitch Budler lead a list of 15 players who have joined the Philadelphia Union Academy for the fall.
Aaron Heard, a 2006-born midfielder, is joining from Bethesda SC in Maryland, 2003-born midfielder Jack McGlynn is joining from Gotschee Academy in New York and 2003-born Shattuck’s St. Mary goalkeeper Mitch Budler, a Nebraska native, is also joining.
Caden Clark, a highly sought after midfielder who last played for Barca Academy in Arizona, has also been recruited to join the academy but has not decided where his next stop will be. He was recently in Germany training with RB Leipzig.
Two of the three U.S. youth internationals that have signed on to join the Union are from rival MLS territories — New York and Maryland — but families have the option of relocating to join the academy as has happened in the past with families who move to the area for their son to join the academy and attend school at YSC Academy.
Players recruited from outside the area also have the option of joining the residency program, which houses members of the academy in team houses with a house parent or places them with a host family.
Three newcomers to the academy hail from the Pittsburgh area, two others are from Maryland, two are from North Carolina and one other newcomer hails from Michigan.
The players from western Pennsylvania include 2002-born goalkeeper Ben Martino from Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy and Allegheny Force FC clubmates Joel Torbic (born in 2005) and Aldi Flowers (born in 2007).
Torbic was part of the U.S. Club Soccer id2 camp that went to France and Belgium in the spring that included Union Academy forward Dominic Dubon and Philadelphia Ukrainians standout Stevie Davis. He is also one of four players among the newcomers that has been invited to a U.S. Soccer Training Center.
Charlotte Soccer Academy forward Kyle Gee, Michigan Jaguars forward Gael Medrano and Anthony Ramirez from North Carolina Fusion have also received previous invites to the U.S. Soccer Training Center.
In addition to Heard, who is among the highest rated players out of the new group coming in, there are three newcomers with ties to Maryland. Peyton Carpenter is a 2004-born player from York, Pa. who played for Baltimore Armour last season, Joey Yakim is a 2006 from FCUSA and Lamonte King Jr. is a 2007 from Pipeline SC.
The 2003-born Caden Stafford comes to the Union from Syracuse Development Academy, where he helped lead his team to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships and was second in the U16 boys division in goals with four during the championships in Kansas. He had 42 goals and 34 assists playing for Cincinnatus High School last fall.
Two local players — Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals center back Robert Myrick (born in 2005) and Matthew Routzahn from Washington United in New Jersey (born in 2003) — have also been added.
Six of the 15 new players competed in the U.S. Development Academy last season.
Players that are part of the group heading to Costa Rica for the Concacaf U13 Championships started training last week. Everyone else has been reporting to the academy this week. The Development Academy season opens on August 31.