My typical day consists of waking up at 6:30 every morning and leaving the house at 7:15 for a 30-minute commute to school/practice. When I arrive at school, I have until 8:30 to complete schoolwork I may not have finished earlier. Our training sessions are held across the street at YSC Sports starting at 9:00am.
The morning training usually consists of light weight lifting with some soccer-related games or technical skill work. We also do gymnastics and other activities to work on our coordination and motor skills. Then after training, we have until 11 to walk back to school and get ready for our first class. I usually get down to school earlier so I have time to get a snack out of the kitchen.
Our school isn’t like most; we have a very small school with only 60 kids. For my schedule I have first period off, so until 12:45 I have time to complete homework, eat lunch and/or get ahead in my classes. At around 12:45 I have to be in Physics class. A lot of our work is done online such as Spanish or economics class. Our classes last for one hour each, so at 1:45 when first period is over we have 15 minutes to either grab a snack or complete your work.
Our school has the philosophy that we shouldn’t have work to go home with because we get home 7:30 at night. Every other day I have Spanish 4 from 3-4 so I have to manage my time throughout the day to make sure I finish my work so it doesn't end up piling up. At 4 pm, everyone heads back up to training, which is across the street at YSC Sports. Everyone walks together and has until 4:30 to get changed and be on the field.
Academy training is from 4:45pm to 6:30pm. The main difference between the Riverhounds/Century training sessions is the mental challenge. The sessions require you to always be switched on and paying full attention. The speed of play is also very different. Everyone is always going 100% competing for 1 of 18 spots for the game on the weekend. At every session, you have to be prepared to play your very best.
The sessions at the Union can also get very complicated. The coaches are always testing your soccer knowledge and how well you can read the game. To be in a program like the Philadelphia Union is a great experience. You are truly treated like a professional. I have never been exposed to such a professional atmosphere in all of the places I have played. It’s an honor representing the Philadelphia Union.