Six players who spent time in the Philadelphia Union Academy and three others with local ties are among the 174 players listed as eligible for the MLS SuperDraft next week.
Ben Bender (Maryland), Daniel Bloyou (Penn State), Ivy Brisma (NC State), Seth Kuhn (Penn State), Emmanuel Perez (Cal Poly) and Nyk Sessock (Indiana) all spent time in the academy before college.
Also on the list are former Pennsylvania high school player of the year and Drexel and West Chester United standout Chris Donovan, Reading United standout Pierre Reedy and Clemson midfielder Quinn McNeill, who lived in Wenonah, N.J. before moving with his family to South Carolina.
Bender, a Baltimore, Md. native who spent just one season in the academy during the 2015-16 Development Academy season, signed a Generation adidas contract with MLS after two standout seasons at Maryland. Both of his brothers, Jacob and Mark, played at Messiah, where Jacob Bender was a national player of the year.
Sessock, a 2018 YSC Academy graduate from Philadelphia, announced last month that he would be staying for one final season in Bloomington.
Bloyou (4 goals, 7 assists), who is originally from Ghana and Wyomissing native Kuhn (5 goals, 8 assists) are 2018 YSC Academy grads who were a big part of a Penn State team that captured the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships in 2021. They both played in USL League Two last season — Bloyou for Philadelphia Lone Star and Kuhn for his hometown team Reading United.
Reedy, a Kutztown native who has also played for Reading United, was a captain on that Nittany Lions team and finished the season with 3 goals and four assists.
Perez, a 2016 YSC Academy grad from Florida, had 16 goals and 5 assists over his career at Cal Poly. Brisma, a 2018 YSC Academy grad who was born in Haiti and grew up East Windsor, N.J., made 52 starts and 68 appearances for NC State over his four seasons and finished with 5 goals and 11 assists in his college career.
Donovan, a Paoli native, was named the CAA and Philly Soccer Six Player of the Year after leading Drexel with 12 goals and a pair of assists. He finished his college career with 30 goals and 13 assists in 60 appearances.
The draft will be held January 11. The Philadelphia Union traded their first and second round picks away but still have a third round pick should they choose to use it.
For more information, visit mlssoccer.com/superdraft.