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Sporting PA to be absorbed by Sporting Athletic Club as collaboration between local youth clubs shifts



Sporting PA we hardly got to know you.

The partnership between Radnor Soccer Club, Lower Merion Soccer Club and FC Europa that created the Sporting PA branding has shifted again with the decision to absorb Sporting PA into Sporting Athletic Club.

The shift was announced earlier this week. Under the new arrangement beginning with the 2024-25 season, Radnor SC and Lower Merion SC will continue to provide players for Sporting AC teams while FC Europa will take a different path.

Europa and Lower Merion had been working together over the past few years and created Sporting PA out of that partnership along with  Radnor SC.

“The partnership had grown in baby steps over its three-year tenure but the current period saw the need for a full integration and the two clubs concerned could not agree on the best path forward,” FC Europa Director of Soccer Barry Davey wrote in an announcement. “More significantly, there were fundamental differences in the criteria used to make the decision.”

The new partnership between Radnor SC, Lower Merion SC and Sporting Athletic will include National Academy League Boys and Girls (new for 2024-25) at the U13-U19 age groups that will be based at Cabrini University in Radnor. MLS Next boys and Girls Academy teams will continue to be available to Radnor, Lower Merion, Sporting PA and outside players with training offered in both Wilmington, Delaware and Chester, Pa.

Radnor and Lower Merion will continue to have boys and girls travel teams at every age group wearing the Radnor and Lower Merion badges. Radnor has about 35 travel teams while Lower Merion has around 50.

The shuffling of teams and leagues has been a recent trend in youth soccer nationally and locally as clubs pursue ways to provide development platforms and competitions for top players in the boys and girls game. Those include leagues with national footprints like MLS Next, ECNL, ECRL, Girls Academy, National Academy League, US Youth Soccer Elite 64 and USYS National League.

Sporting Athletic Club, formerly known as Sporting Delaware, joined MLS Next this past season and has been in Girls Academy since its launch in 2020.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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