The Philadelphia Union 2008/Under-12 team includes fourteen players, thirteen 2008 boys and one 2009 boy, including three children of Brazilian families now living in the USA.
The Philadelphia Union Academy is considered to be one of the top Academy programs in the United States, and the Philadelphia Union is one of the top professional teams in Major League Soccer.
The players on this team have participated in four IberCups in past years, winning two times (Dallas 2017 and Estoril 2017). The players on the team have also won multiple National Championships and Regional Championships in the United States in small-sided football (called ‘soccer’ in the United States) and in Futsal, with the team’s most recent national championships including Major League Soccer’s Under-12 Generation Adidas Cup (November 2019) and the Under-11 United States National Futsal Championships (July 2019).
Many of the players on the team have been playing together since they were just six and seven years old. Over 50% of the boys on the team are children of 1st generation immigrants to the United States, including children of Brazilians, Africans, Europeans and Asians.
The coaches of the team are Jose Kleberson (winner of 2002 World Cup for Brazil and former Manchester United, Flamengo and Atlético Paranaense player) and Matt Poole (a former player with the University of Virginia, where he was a leading player on the team). The team will also be accompanied by Philadelphia Union Academy Director, Tommy Wilson (former Academy Director for Rangers FC in Scotland and coach for the Scottish Youth National Team, as well as a Premier League and Youth National Team player in Scotland).
From Penta World Champion to football coach
Kléberson has won many titles throughout his career. Since Brazilian championships (Athletico and Flamengo) as well as The FA Cup (Manchester United), and World Cup (Brazil 2002). Besides having played in the best league in the World (Premier League), he was presented on the same day in Man United that the one and only: Cristiano Ronaldo! He also played for Turkish and American soccer.
He is currently one of the coaches of the Philadelphia Union (USA) youth team and will be present once again in our tournament. The world champion Brazilian star doesn't want to be a simple coach. His goal is to transmit the best of tactics and techniques to all the players as well as all the professional experience he had during the years of Professional Soccer at the highest level.