The Philadelphia Union development pipeline isn’t just for players.
Ryan Richter has been promoted from head coach of the Union U15s to first team assistant coach, the team announced Tuesday.
“We’re a club that not only believes in young players, but also young coaches,” head coach Jim Curtin stated in a news release. “I got my chance after spending time with our academy and through a similar path Ryan has earned the opportunity to join our first team staff and help us implement our philosophy.”
A Southampton, Pa. native, Richter played college ball at La Salle and was picked up by the Union in the 2011 Supplemental Draft. After spending the 2011 season with the Union he went on to play for the Charleston Battery, Toronto FC, Ottawa Fury and New York Cosmos. He was also a member of the Bethlehem Steel in their inaugural season in 2016. Richter graduated from William Tennent High School and played youth soccer for FC Delco and Phoenix SC.
After stepping away from professional soccer in 2018 he started out overseeing the Union’s pre-academy and went on to serve as the head coach of the Union’s U15 team the past two seasons. He led the U15s to the final of the first ever MLS Next Cup last summer.
“I’d like to thank Ernst Tanner and Jim Curtin for the opportunity to join the first team staff,” Richter stated in a news release. “I’m excited to help build on the culture and philosophy that has driven the club to success over the past seasons.”
Richter also spent time as a U12 coach and an assistant for the U17s during his academy coaching tenure and has served as the director of the advisory council for The SWAG, a no-cost soccer training program focused on young athletes in African-American and immigrant communities.
“I’d like to thank Richie and Steve Graham, Iain Munro, and Tommy Wilson for their support of me over the past three and a half years working in the academy,” Richter stated. “I’d also like to thank my colleagues, family, and most importantly the players that I have worked with during my time in the academy. I look forward to seeing their development over the next few years and hope many of them can continue to make the step to the first team.”
Richter is filling the role of former longtime assistant Pat Noonan, who departed this offseason to take the head coaching job at FC Cincinnati. The U15 team is currently being overseen on a temporary basis by Union II assistant Frazer Robertson until a new coach is hired.