Penn United’s Mission
Our mission is to bring the joy of soccer to the youth of our region and to help all of our players realize their full potential as people and as players in accordance with their ability and commitment.
We accomplish this mission by…
- fostering the enjoyment and love of the game;
- focusing on each player’s personal growth and character development;
- establishing a culture of friendship, fair play, and good sportsmanship;
- assembling the best possible group of coaches, staff, and volunteers;
- prioritizing long term player development over winning or short term success.
Penn United Soccer Academy is a federal non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status.
Our Philosophy: One Club United for Every Player
We believe that youth sports should be about providing the best possible experience for every player. Whether that player is looking to be part of a rec team and play one season a year or that player is working to play for the U.S. National Team; we think that person has a place in Penn United.
Many have commented that Penn United has been a “breath of fresh air” in the way we do things. Our coaches think of themselves as teachers first and foremost; their focus is on the development and enjoyment of every player in the program and winning is never the top priority. We recognize that winning takes care of itself if you first have the developmental approach with each player. Yes, there are times where stronger players are pooled together to form select teams, but the focus is still on playing well and seeing how far it takes us. Over the past 10 years we can safely say that our approach works. As ALL the players in the program have improved, we’ve seen our teams competing on higher and higher stages including National level competitions.
Penn United’s coaching staff has provided the best training in our region for the past 10 years. During games the coaches observe the players putting what they have learned into the game environment and give the players feedback so that they continue to develop. This is done with the coaches being respectful of the players and not raising their voices. Our staff has a measured approach to coaching that helps players truly enjoy their time on the pitch and leaves them wanting more. We are careful to avoid over coaching players or creating situations where players burn out at the younger ages. And we bring in players without the use of typical large scale tryouts.
Not every player is at the level where a travel team is the right environment for their development. Penn United has never turned those players away, and has training programs in place to help those players improve. Every player within Penn United knows that they have a “soccer pathway” to that next level of play and that they have a place with Penn United year after year without needing to “try out”. This helps avoid “player drain” whereby many players leave a sport early because of frustration or burnout. And it enables the stronger players to accelerate their development and face new challenges on a regular basis.
Parents are educated as much as players at Penn United. Our parents are a class act and we’ve had many referees and tournament directors compliment us on our conduct on the sideline. Coaching and/or directing from the sideline is not allowed. Yelling at referees is not allowed (by anyone in the club). We pride ourselves on breaking the mold when it comes to youth sports and sideline activity from parents and coaches.
College Search & Placement
A big part of our program is to help players make the right choice regarding college. Not all of our players play in college-but for those that want to, they have a support system which is unrivaled in the region. College showcase events, online college recruiting profiles and meetings offer the nuts and bolts of the process. Where Penn United is different is that we have an extensive network of college coaches that we know well. We will pick up the phone for you and call those coaches. We will set up games to allow that coaches to come and watch you play, but more importantly we prepare YOU, the player for college through our training. Our reputation has seen our older teams now being invited to several college campuses to play games in the spring.