Who We Are

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Established in 2013, YSC Academy is the first of its kind, a soccer-specific sports high school, providing secondary education to student-athletes in grades 7-12. The school enables talented youth soccer players of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue their passion to play soccer at elite levels while simultaneously obtaining a highly individualized, learner-centered, and rigorous college-preparatory education. YSC Academy employs a cutting-edge, responsive educational model specifically designed for adolescent learners that honors their minds and bodies and encourages their personal ownership of the educational process. Academy faculty and staff strive to align the latest research in the science of the brain and the science of the body with the end-goal of empowering students to become self-directed learners in the classroom, on the soccer field, and in all life pursuits.

Accredited by the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS), YSC Academy offers a college-preparatory program ideally suited for courageous, and responsible young men. Our students, spanning grades 7-12, have been identified as among the most competitive soccer athletes in their age groups nationally. Our college acceptance record is exceptional, with 34% of our students admitted to highly selective colleges and universities, compared to a national average of 12%.

A majority of the students play on the academy teams of our soccer partner, the Philadelphia Union, while 10-20% play on other US Development Academy teams in the area, such as FC Delco. While most of our students go on to pursue a college education and play soccer at the Division 1 level (85%), even our signed players pursue higher education through our college counseling and support program. Regardless of the pathway, helping our students pursue a degree from an institution of higher education is our priority.

Meet Head of School, Dr. Nooha Ahmed-Lee


YSC Academy employs a cutting-edge, responsive educational model specifically designed with the student-athlete in mind. We have put into practice a paradigm that extensive research has shown to be crucial to the advancement of education, one that places the student rather than the teacher at the center of a dynamic learning process that emphasizes creativity and problem-solving. By training our students to be the primary agents of their learning, we prepare them for success in academic and professional environments that are increasingly defined by interdisciplinary collaboration, technological advancement, and cutting-edge innovation.

Our partners on the soccer side, the Philadelphia Union, run our innovative sports-science driven soccer-training program. The Union Academy coaching staff works tirelessly to design a program that will enable each of our student-athletes to maximize his development as an elite player. With two training sessions per day and an individualized training program for each athlete, our students receive on average 150% more training time and instruction than their counterparts at any other school in the country. While we cannot guarantee that an athlete will reach the professional level, we can guarantee that he has the best chance of reaching his highest potential in our program.

For the 85% of our students for whom the professional track is not an option, our teachers and college counseling office ensure that his future options are bright by helping him find the best academic and athletic fit possible for his college education. For 15% of our students who do receive professional contracts, we work with them beyond their graduation from YSC Academy to ensure they can attain their college degrees while pursuing their professional careers.

We aim high with every student-athlete at the same time as we routinely affirm, “Success is not measured by how far one goes in the game, but by the person, one becomes in the process of trying to be the best one can be.”



Dr. Nooha Ahmed-Lee