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Philadelphia Union

calendar icon Closed: 15th February 2024

Academy Director

money icon Chester, Philadelphia, USA

Job Role Summary

Chester, Philadelphia, USA
Academy, Academy Management
Employment Terms
Full-Time, Permanent
Closing Date
Applications must be submitted by Thursday, 15th February 2024


Philadelphia Union Academy encompasses not only the U12 to U17 age groups but also offers a professional pathway with Union II for players ready for the next step in their development. MLS NEXT provides the best player development experience in North America. Founded on a collaborative approach to governance and a commitment to innovation, MLS NEXT players have access to the highest levels of competition and to training to prepare them for their futures, both in soccer and in life.

The Union Academy has produced fifteen Homegrown players for the Philadelphia Union, including Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, both of whom became record European transfers for the club. Overall a total of 32 players have gone on to sign professional contracts with countless more filling the ranks of collegiate soccer at some of the most prestigious universities in the United States. On the field, the Union Academy has become one of the top contenders for countless titles including the GA Cup which it won at the U17 level in 2012 and the U12 level in 2019.


The Philadelphia Union Academy Director will be tasked with creating a welcoming, first-class environment for player development. This role identifies and recruits talent that fits the player profile and seeks out players who can thrive at the higher levels of the game. This individual will broker a sense of collaboration and community with local soccer environment stakeholders as we work towards the unified goal of providing the best and alternative pathways for the players within the Philadelphia region and beyond. Serves as a member of the technical committee reporting to the Philadelphia Union Sporting Director.

This role has duties related to the Philadelphia Union Academy, teams affiliated with MLS Next, and Philadelphia Union II, affiliated with MLS Next Pro.


  • Oversee all aspects of the Philadelphia Union Academy
  • Disseminate 1st team methodology and style of play throughout each age group within the Academy
  • Overseeing the talent identification strategy of the Teams as defined by the Philadelphia Union Sporting Director and the Technical Heart
  • Manage the Youth Development Program and all aspects of business related to the Philadelphia Union’s youth development academy (the “Philadelphia Union Academy”), including all financial, operational and technical elements, all as determined by the Philadelphia Union Sporting Director and/or the Youth Development Program Managers
  • Support innovations and look out for competitive advantages in conjunction with the Philadelphia Union Academy, the Philadelphia Union Sporting Director the Technical Heart
  • Oversee the operations of Union II and MLS 2 as directed by the Philadelphia Union Sporting Director
  • Represents the Clubs at MLS, U.S. Soccer Federation, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football seminars and coaching conferences; researching and implementing recruitment, and talent identification best practices as directed by the Youth Development Program Managers and/or the Philadelphia Union Sporting Director
  • Oversee the cooperation with the YSC Academy, a full time, soccer specific, Pennsylvania Department of Education accredited, college preparatory school for kids grades 8 – 12; and
  • Communicate early, effectively, and often with families regarding the status of their player(s)
  • Work directly on player IDP’s and pathway goals throughout the year
  • Work in conjunction with the head scout and assist when needed in our scouting process.
  • Attend Academy training sessions when possible
  • Assist in the development of Academy coaches when applicable
  • Maintain a cooperative, working relationship with local clubs and academies
  • Create robust college placement program for players in the Academy


  • Previous experience as an academy director or director of a sizeable MLS NEXT or youth soccer club
  • Experience managing multiple teams and player developmental club programs simultaneously
  • Experience as an A licensed soccer coach
  • High level of administrative experience within a youth club setting


  • USSF “A” Preferred.
  • College degree in education and/or sports science
  • Strong experience in business administration
  • Vast knowledge of the local, regional, and national soccer landscape.
  • Must be available to travel when necessary and work evenings, weekends, and holidays with some irregular hours.
  • Attend MLS NEXT games and events when possible.


  • Comprehensive benefits package including three medical options, vision and dental coverage, including flexible spending & health savings accounts
  • Pre-tax and Roth 401k (up to 4% is matched, after 90 days of service)
  • Paid medical and bonding leave.
  • Onsite fitness facility and Sportsplex
  • Company-paid life insurance and disability
  • 50% merchandise discount
  • Other league and partner discounts
  • Complimentary or discounted tickets


If selected for a position with the Philadelphia Union, the individual will be required to provide the following clearances:

  • PA Child Abuse History Check
  • PA State Police Criminal Records Check
  • An FBI Criminal Background Check
  • Annual Safesport certification
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Please verify you have uploaded any documents requested by the recruiter prior to submitting your application.