Training at the stadium, working with professional coaches has helped me become a better soccer player. It has taught me to play and think quicker and strive for excellence.
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I think about is our young players. We charge the staff with trying to incrementally improve what we are doing so each day we find ways to make our players better.
Director of Philadelphia Union Academy
YSC Academy’s innovative, sports-science driven soccer training program is managed by our soccer partners, the Philadelphia Union. The program is designed and led by Union Academy staff who enable our student-athletes to maximize their development as elite players, approximating the experience of their international peers which includes remarkable resources in injury prevention, strength training, nutrition counseling, and sports psychology.
The Union Academy coaches strive to combine the seriousness of competition with the sheer fun of play to create an environment that fosters integrity, growth, and respect for our players, coaches, staff and the game of soccer. They are dedicated to igniting a passion for the sport while cultivating a ‘team player’ mentality and modeling skills that extend beyond the soccer field.
At YSC, athletes have ownership of their development. Every student-athlete has an extensive Individualized Development Plan (IDP) that the coaching staff helps develop, but most importantly, that the player takes ownership of and refines their plan based on his motivation and goals. Players seek out additional help from the Technical Staff in areas they feel are needed to improve their game, whether that is Sports Psychology, Nutrition, Athletic Development, or any related topic. This type of proactive and self-directed mindset aligns completely with the culture on the academic side at YSC, where self-directed learning is the ultimate goal.
YSC Academy graduated 95 students in its first six years; as of May 2020, there were: