The U18s finished the season with a 10-4-11 overall record in USDDA play, good enough for fourth best in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Forward Matt Greer led the way with 10 goals this season, followed by nine from Brandon Levano and eight from Neicko Williams. The club even ended the season with a 4-1 win over Oakwood SC last month.

As for one player in particular in Williams, he also became a first for the Academy, becoming the first ever graduate of YSC Academy, the pristine new school in Wayne that educates various members of the club’s academy system.

Williams, 19, a native of Jamaica says the chance to grow his game and get a high quality education was something he’ll never be able to repay.

“This experience has been one of the best of my life,” Williams told philadelphiaunion.com on his graduation day. “The people and coaches I have met here have definitely helped me become the man I wanted to be. I learned a lot of great things here, both on and off the soccer pitch that I hope to take with me for the rest of my life.”

Williams’ next move could be that of a shot to play for one of the Union’s developmental affiliates in either Reading or Harrisburg, thus continuing his quest of becoming the ultimate first: coming up through the school and hopefully make his way to the Union first team, after honing his game on the developmental level.

Even more important, he’s a pretty bright kid too.

“Soccer aside, I think he longer he spent here he realized that academically, he could also do it,” said Union U18 coach Peter Fuller. “He was in an environment too that made it possible for him to succeed. Going forward, he’s a good player and he’s got some good qualities that would lead you to believe that he will earn a chance to make it. I think an environment like college will be really good for him in terms of really understanding the game, I think right now that will be the place where he will be the most successful in his career off the bat and then we’ll see from there.”