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Philly Soccer Notebook: Union Academy grad signs with Indy Eleven

Penn swept the major awards at the Philly Soccer Six, West Chester United announces several more players for USL League Two and more

Indy Eleven

After spending six months in Denmark, Delran, N.J. native Jeremy Rafanello is back in the U.S. to continue his pro career with Indy Eleven.

The Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC Academy grad signed a contract with the USL Championship team this week. He left Penn State University after his first season to sign with Helsingborgs FC in Denmark last summer.

“I’m very excited to get the ball rolling here with Indy Eleven,” the 19-year-old said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to learning from the veterans on the squad and getting what should be a great season started.”

Rafanello joined the Union Academy from FC Delco for the 2017-18 season and made two appearances in the USL Championship with the Bethlehem Steel FC. He scored 43 goals in 49 games in his final two seasons in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

He returned to the U.S. in December and impressed at an open tryout and in preseason with Indy Eleven. He’ll get a chance to return to Chester when Indy Eleven plays Philadelphia Union II on Easter Sunday at Subaru Park on April 12, at 2:30 p.m.

• Penn swept the major awards at the Philly Soccer Six awards banquet. Alex Touche was named the Chris Jones Player of the Year, Kai Lammers the William “Bill” Wilkinson Freshman of the Year, Brian Gill the Bill Harris Coach of the Year and Casey Barone the John McAdams Academic Player of the Year. All six teams were represented on the all-star and all-rookie teams. Locals Pat McCarthy (Cinnaminson, N.J.), Chris Donovan (Paoli, Pa.), Leon Maric (Gilbertsville, Pa.) and Shane Bradley (Havertown, Pa.) were named to the all-star team. Full List

• Union Academy U17 defender Samuel Jones, a native of Portsmouth, Va., started and scored a goal in the United States U17 team’s 2-1 loss to Spain in England on Tuesday.

• Philadelphia Lone Star alum Joseph Aidoo signed a two-year contract extension with NISA club Michigan Stars FC.

Arnel Miscic, the twin brother of Union II midfielder Selmir Miscic, has left the Union Academy to join FC Cincinnati’s academy. He was part of the FCC U17 team that traveled to Atlanta last week for the second leg of qualifying for the GA Cup.

Protagonist Soccer has a feature story on Casa Soccer League, the Philadelphia-based adult soccer league.

• Penn men’s soccer head coach Brian Gill announced his eight-player recruiting class for the fall. includes West Chester, Pa. native Michael Hewes (Penn Fusion Academy / Unionville High School) and prospects from the Seattle Sounders and NYCFC academies.

• Temple women’s soccer announced the hiring of assistant coach Maria Loyden. Loyden is a former Stockton University and Rowan University keeper and has coached at Sky Blue FC in the NWSL, Drexel University, Clearview Regional High School and Pittsgrove SC.

• FCUSA Philadelphia’s Belle Fusco rescued a boy struggling in the water while in Florida in January with her team for the National League.

• Former West Chester University goalkeeper Will Marshall has joined the Virginia Tech staff as a volunteer assistant coach.

Rob Smith has been hired on as the associate head coach of the UWS club Lancaster Inferno.

Fernando Carrizo was announced as the new head coach of UPSL club Allentown United FC.

• The Philadelphia Union Foundation will be hosting a Legends of Soccer Gala on April 1 at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia. Delran, N.J. native and USWNT star Carli Lloyd will be honored at the event, which will be hosted by NBC Sports ‘Two Robbies’ Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.

• Two-time D3 All-American goalkeeper AJ Marcucci (West Chester, Pa. / Connecticut College) is returning to West Chester United for their USL League Two season. Nick Jennings (Devon, Pa. / Lehigh), Dane Jacomen (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Penn), Shane Bradley (Havertown, Pa. / Villanova), Vito Vincent (King of Prussia, Pa. / West Chester), Christian Coridon (East Windsor, N.J. / Robert Morris) and RC Williams (Wayne, Pa. / Penn) have also been announced. Eastern University head coach Jeremy Payne, a former D3 National Player of the Year was announced the club’s League Two assistant coach and director of player personnel and strategic planning.

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