Easter Monday Play Day

Penn Legacy will host a free and optional opportunity to come play at our Junction Road fields this Easter Monday from 10am to 12pm.  Simply show up and members of our coaching staff will put you in age appropriate games.  No coaching, no pressure, just come out and play.  Stay for the 2 hours, come for an hour, whatever works for your schedule.  Bring a friend or sibling, bring your cousin from out of town!  We just want to provide the opportunity for kids to come play street soccer style in a safe and supervised environment.

When?  Easter Monday (April 17th).  10am-12pm

Where?  JTL Training Complex (park at the gravel car park side)

Why?  For the love of the game

Any special instructions?  Please wear a black shirt, bring a ball, and your own water.  All are welcome, you do not need to play for the club to attend.

PL Goalkeeper Sessions Begin April 6

Our Goalkeeping Sessions begin April 6th. The program is led by the hugely popular Adam Lewis, and assistance will be provided by Kenny Archer, Wendell Hannaford, Scott Steffen (all GK training licensed) and Emily Faust (current York College of Pennsylvania keeper and former Penn Legacy standout).

WHAT: PL Goalkeeper Training Sessions

WHEN: Every Thursday evening starting April 6th-May 25th.

6:15-7:15 - u9s and u10s, and u11s
7:15-8:15 - u12s, u13s, and u14s
8:15-9:15 - u15s and older

WHERE: Hempfield High School Quad

WHAT TO BRING: A ball, gloves, water, and GK pants/old sweatpants for diving on turf

CONFLICTS: We think that all our keepers who are dedicated to the position should put these sessions as a priority each week. If this presents a conflict with your team training then please talk things through with your coach. I am confident we can figure out the best solution for all in each situation where conflicts may arise.

Any questions on our GK program should directed to Seamus at seamus@pennlegacy.org and questions about the art of goalkeeping should be directed to any of the coaches above or specifically to Adam at gkcoachadam@gmail.com.

What can we learn from FC Barcelona?

As you may well have seen, FC Barcelona went into the 2nd leg of their recent Champions League tie with Paris St. Germain down 4-0 from the first leg.  As good as they are, and even with You-Know-Who in their ranks, they were pretty much written off and given no chance of turning around the tie.  After 88 minutes of the second leg they were even further out of it.  Despite leading the 2nd leg 3-1, they still needed 3 goals to advance due to the complicated "away goals" rule in European competitions.

Then a funny thing happened........Barcelona scored again in that 88th minute to make it 4-1 on the night, and almost immediately 6 minutes of stoppage time went up on the boards.  The home crowd roared them on, sensing that the unthinkable might yet happen.  Strangely, the players didn't rush to grab the ball out of the net, or even sprint back to the halfway line.  They knew PSG were a top, top team full of experienced international players.  Surely they would see out the game with what was still a 2 goal cushion.

But history will tell us that they wouldn't.  Barcelona did indeed score 2 more goals in stoppage time and it was they who ran around celebrating like crazy people at the end, not the team from Paris who had let a seemingly unassailable lead slip through their fingers.

Apart from savoring what was simply an amazing sporting occasion, the idea crept into my head that there was more to take from this game.  The players of Barcelona never stopped playing their hardest, never stopped running, never gave up.  Not only that, they didn't change tactics or panic.  They believed that they would score enough goals to win the game.  Their fans also never gave up, and never got on their players' backs.  They supported them the whole way through because they saw the commitment from the players and that was enough for them.  

As a youth soccer player, many things happen over the course of your time playing the game.  Sometimes you question your own ability.  Sometimes you wonder if this is really what you want to devote some much time, energy, and emotion to.  Sometimes you question your coach, or your teammates.  Sometimes you even question your passion for the game.

Did the Barcelona players go through some of those moments leading up to the game, knowing they were 4-0 down and hearing everyone say they had no chance?  Did they question themselves during the actual game as the minutes ticked by?  I am sure they did.  But they didn't dwell on it.  They didn't turn negative on each other, and they continued to focus on what they could control; their game plan, their determination to win every ball, their 1v1 battle against their immediate opponent.  They gave us all a lesson in how to continue to do the right thing, with utmost conviction, and to never, ever give up.

If you do all this, are you guaranteed the success and utter jubilation that the Barca players felt at the final whistle?  No, not at all.  But you are guaranteed the inner feeling of complete satisfaction that you gave your absolute all, as an individual and as a teammate, and sometimes that is all that matters.......

Ian Graham Signs for Philadelphia Union

Ian Graham signs for the Philadelphia Union!

Penn Legacy star has already impressed at the highest level



I recently sat down with Ian Graham and chatted about his new life as a Philadelphia Union Academy player. Ian, who is now 15, followed his brother into our Futures Program under Rossi at A. Herr Park at 3 years of age, and played all the way through into our travel program (a total of 12 years with our club!) until a few months ago when he started training with Gary Lewis and the Union u14 squad. Ian also played ODP and varsity as a freshman for Hempfield High School over the past 2 years.

Coach Lewis and his staff were immediately impressed with what they saw from Ian; both in his play, and how he adapted to new surroundings and new teammates. They loved his overall attitude to the game and how determined he was to seize the opportunity before him. Within a week they had made the decision to bring him into their famed Academy.  Coach Lewis had these very nice words to say about Ian and our club....."Ian has integrated very well into the Philadelphia Union 2001 group.  He is a talented soccer player with a self assuredness that has allowed him to perform at a consistent level.  Praise has to go to the outstanding program at Penn Legacy in assisting with Ian's development".

Below are excerpts from my chat with Ian and some of his answers will give you a sense of how hard-working he is and also what type of young man he has already become. Enjoy!

Seamus: How has everything been so far with your new environment?

Ian: Everything so far in Philadelphia has been an interesting process. The players at the beginning showed me around. At first things were awkward, I'd show up, play and leave. After getting to know each player, it is like everyone is related. The connection everyone has is amazing. The practices I wouldn't say they were harder, but more intense. It was difficult to get used to the intensity on the field all the time, but after a couple practices I adjusted and played the way I was taught.

S: What is the most impressive thing about the Union Academy?

I: The most impressive thing about the Union Academy would have to be their ability to produce players. The way the coaches coach at Union Academy allows each player to strive for success in the career.

S: How has playing for Penn Legacy prepared you for the jump to one of the most prominent Youth Academies in the country?

I: Penn Legacy taught and prepared me in many ways for growth. Penn Legacy teaches each player the fundamentals at a young age and the skills to start growing off of. Legacy has taught me the importance of teamwork and how to adjust to new players. This has allowed me to get to know the players at Union very well and create friends. Legacy has also taught me determination. Determination is one of the most important qualities for a player to have. Legacy has made me determined to succeed. One day you have a bad practice then the next practice you must be determined to do better. So when I started training with the Union I was determined to try my best so even if I didn't make it I would have come back knowing I had given my all.

S: Do you have any advice for our younger Penn Legacy players on how to improve their overall game so that maybe they can follow in your footsteps?

I: If you commit yourself to every training session and every game then you will always be better than the player not trying. A player who is trying his/her hardest to succeed is a player who will improve. Each player that wants to continue and succeed in his/her career is going to be the player who works the hardest, is determined to be his/her best and who wants to improve him/herself for the better.

Everyone at Penn Legacy wishes Ian all the best on his new path. He and his family have been tremendous ambassadors for our club and, in a way, he still represents us down with the Union. We will follow his continued progress very closely.


Seamus Donnelly
Director of Coaching and Player Development
Penn Legacy Football Club

Players Selected for Upcoming US Soccer Training Centers

As promised last month, we have been given the list of girls that have been selected for the upcoming US Soccer Training Centers. We are very proud of all our players, but we certainly do want to recognize players who are reaching new plateaus and inspiring our younger players.

You can read about the US Soccer Training Centers here: http://www.ussoccerda.com/about-training-centers

U.S. Soccer Development Academy
U.S. Soccer Training Center Program. U.S. Soccer is conducting training sessions in conjunction with local clubs and state associations to identify players with Youth ...


and here is the list of girls chosen to participate at the first session at Villanova University:

Kayla Weaver
Brooke Wentz
Jaylin Berrios
Lily Heistand
Emma Toomey
Allison Burkholder
Alyson Riggle
Megan Burkholder
Ashtyn Heisey
Alyson Riggle
Delaney Minder
Elizabeth Suydam
Rilyn Saner

Seamus Donnelly
Director of Coaching and Player Development
Penn Legacy Football Club

Some well-deserved recognition for PL Players!


We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Drew Johnson of our ’00 black team (coached by Mike Seigfried and Dan Hogan) who was recently selected for Eastern PA ODP team to travel to Arizona to compete for the National Championships. Eastern Pennsylvania earned its place in the national championships by winning the Region I Championships—which features all state associations from Virginia to Maine—last June. The 2000 Boys—then Under-16—defeated New York-West in penalties after a 3-3 game..

“We are proud of the players’ efforts to reach the ODP Championships,” said Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Technical Director Mike Barr. “Eastern Pennsylvania has a strong history in the event. We hope this group adds to it.” 

Drew and his boys will take on Region III (South) Champion Team Georgia in the semifinals on Friday at 5:30 PM local time. A win will clinch a spot in Sunday’s final on March 5 Iowa (Region II) plays Oregon (Region IV) in the other semifinal. 

In addition, we had 20 (!) players selected for ODP teams this year. We also have many of our girls in contention for a spot in the US Soccer Training Centers which will start up again later this month. When we receive that list we will post a separate release on that program. 

Below are the 20 PL players in our State ODP program. 

India Deck 

Matthew Russinko 

Hunter Evans 

Jack Bruggeman 

Victor Mattilio 

Ethan Smith 

Kayla Weaver 

Brandon Yang 

Drew Johnson 

Jaylin Berrios 

Samuel Hershey 

Nathan Leach 

Emma Toomey 

Brett Kreider 

Giavonna Sweeney 

Ian Lutter 

Aidan Smith 

Avery Rhine 

Benjamin Ammon 

Matthew Connolly

About the Olympic Development Program - The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team will be selected for international competition; to provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels; and, through the use of carefully selected and licensed coaches, develop a mechanism for the exchange of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching. 

About Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer - For more than 40 years, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer has worked throughout Eastern Pennsylvania to promote, foster and perpetuate the game of soccer to the region’s youth. Through competitions, educational programs, workshops and coaching clinics, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer impacts the lives of more than 130,000 youth soccer players from ages five to 19. Additional information about Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer can be found at epysa.org

Final Winter SoX & Futsal of 2017

This weekend wraps up our final Winter SoX & Futsal sessions for 2017. Next up, Spring Season. Then we will be running Summer SoX & Futsal. Never-ending opportunities to play the game you love!

WSoX - Saturday, February 25th

Where: Lanco Fieldhouse (1901 Miller Rd, East Petersburg, PA 17520)

Topic: Coach's Choice

When: 9 AM - Noon 
1st hour - PTP, U9-11
2nd hour - U12-15
3rd hour - U16 & older

NOOK FUTSAL - Feb 26th

Where: Spooky Nook (75 Champ Blvd, Manheim, PA 17545)

When: 4-7 PM

1st hour - PTP, U9-11
2nd hour - U12-15
3rd hour - U16 & older

Real Madrid Foundation Clinics Registration

Penn Legacy is proud to be a part of a select group of adidas clubs invited to host Real Madrid Foundation Clinics in 2017.

This program offers a once in a lifetime experience to be coached for a week by the youth coaches of one of the world's greatest professional soccer clubs. Real Madrid Foundation will be running a clinic at the Penn Legacy soccer fields in conjunction with Penn Legacy Football Club, and you will enjoy a week of intense training with world class coaches. Open to ALL boys and girls ages 8-17.

All campers will get to go through training every day with Real Madrid Foundation coaches, while also receiving a training kit and signed diploma from Real Madrid Foundation upon completion of the clinic.


Monday, June 26, 2017 - Friday, June 30, 2017

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


Penn Legacy Soccer Fields

1695 State Street

East Petersburg, Pennsylvania 17520


Senior Player Council

We are delighted to announce the formation of an official Penn Legacy Senior Player Council. All high school age players are invited to apply to be on this Council (application link below).

What exactly is the Senior Player Council (SPC)?

We envision that the council will consist of approximately 12 players (freshmen through seniors), selected coaching staff and club leaders.  We hope that the Council will serve an important role in helping the club fulfill its mission statement. 

What will be the purpose of the SPC?  

While we hope the purpose of the SPC will evolve and grow into different roles that we haven't yet considered, we do see the primary purpose to be threefold: 

  1. To provide a voice to our players and to give them a seat at the leadership table.
  2. To help the club better serve the community through projects/special events.
  3. To enhance existing club programs and to create new ventures for the club through social media and the power of young people. 

How will the SPC go about this?

We plan to have tri-monthly meetings at the PL office, and then stay in regular contact through an SPC TeamSnap group.  We want the Council to work closely with Stephanie, our Social Media officer, and to form committees by reaching out to other PL players to help get projects off the ground.  

How much of a commitment will this be for Council members?

We will not ask for too much from our players as we know they are already busy.  Rather we hope that by bringing in committed and resourceful people that we will achieve wonderful things because of the positivity and energy generated by the group. 

Closing date for applicants is Tuesday February 28th
We will contact the successful applicants by March 15th, and our first official meeting will take place at the end of March.  The application does need to include a resume.   

Xbox vs Xtra Training

I think we can all agree that the game of soccer is by no means an easy one. Before we even introduce the ball you need coordination, balance, and agility. Once the ball comes in you need composure, a soft first touch, good technique, and comfort with both feet. Then we add teammates and opponents and everything gets so much more complicated as game awareness and decision-making becomes so important. Lastly we add the competitive element and now there is the pressure to execute all of the above in the frenzy of the actual game.

So how does a youth player improve? How can a coach work on all of this with only 2 practice sessions a week and many players to look out for? 

The answer, in my humble opinion, can lie in the players themselves. Ten minutes a day spent with a ball getting quality touches will add up to over 3,500 minutes a year. 15 minutes will amount to almost 5,500 a year. Juggle a tennis ball while taking a break from school work; use only your weaker foot while striking a ball against a wall; juggle with a teammate before practice starts; watch some Coerver moves/skills on YouTube and try to replicate; even work on balance and coordination exercises while watching television. In short, spend time improving your body mastery and ball mastery skills and I promise you'll be astounded at how much you'll improve at this sport. No matter what your long-term plan for your soccer career may be, surely it is worth spending 10-15 minutes a day to become the best player you can be.  

In the spirit of my previous declaration of The Year of Individual Technical Improvement, we are going to have a little competition where players can send in a short video of them juggling with a ball, or demonstrating a move. The top three entrants will receive a nice prize.

XBOX vs Xtra Challenge

TYPE OF VIDEOS: you juggling a ball or demonstrating a move

INSTAGRAM - take a video on Instagram and tag @PennLegacySoccer

FACEBOOK - post your video or share your YouTube video link to our wall on Penn Legacy’s Facebook Page

EMAIL - send your video to seamus@pennlegacy.org

HASHTAG - #PennLegacy #XBOXvsXtra

Deadline: Feb 28th, 2017