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Philadelphia Union opens a high school
by Mike Woitalla, August 22nd, 2013 3:21AM

TAGS:  mls, philadelphia union, youth boys


[DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY] MLS's Philadelphia Union has opened its own high school for its youth academy players.

“We’re the only ones [in MLS] that have started and deployed our own high school program,” Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz told “I think that’s going to be a game-changer for us.”

Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas have partnered with outside schools but the Union is launching the YSC Academy in an office complex across the street its youth development training center in Wayne, Pa.

“What the school allows us to do is really drive the cultural identity of the club,” Richie Graham, the owner of YSC Sports and a part owner of the Union, told’s Dave Zeitlin. “We considered partnering with an outside school, but an outside school has its own culture.”

The school, which opens for class in September, welcomes 32 boys for the 2013-14 school year in grades 8th through 11th.

The curriculum includes training sessions in the morning and another one in the afternoon.

“This is not an inexpensive venture,” Sakiewicz said. “This is multiple millions of dollars over a long period of time. But our dream is to put as many starting-11 players as we can from our local area. And this is how we can do that.”

  1. Emiliano Zapata
    commented on: August 22, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.
    Thats a great idea for Usa and I hope every MLS Academy catches up on this quick.
  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: August 22, 2013 at 9:08 p.m.
    Great idea, IF they accept the reality that most of these kids will never make a living kicking a ball, and flat insist that every kid complete a College Prep curriculum that will get him into a real college.
  1. Kenneth Cabral
    commented on: August 23, 2013 at 12:06 p.m.
    As a retired educator and life long avid soccer fan, I have often contemplated the creation of a soccer charter high school. One difference - I would make it coed. Alan is right in his commemt that the curriculum should be challenging. Most graduates won't become profession soccer players, but they should all strive for an advanced education post high school.

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