Breaking News / Press release

Real to USL, Scheer to direct Academy

Philadelphia Union Loan Matt Real To Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

24-year-old joins USL side through 2024

CHESTER, Pa. (April 18, 2024) – Philadelphia Union announced today that the club has loaned Homegrown defender Matt Real to USL side, Switchbacks FC, through 2024.

Real signed a contract as a Homegrown with the Union in 2018 after spending time with Bethlehem Steel FC in the USL. Over six seasons Real made 50 appearances, with his debut on March 31 against Colorado. In that time, the former Union Academy player and YSC graduate logged two goals and four assists, with an overall 75.95% pass percentage.

Internationally, Real was selected to the 2018 U.S. Men’s Under-20 National Team training camp and was subsequently named to the U.S U-20 roster for the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship as the team’s captain. He also was named to the U.S roster for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup where he made substitute appearances in two group stage matches. Real made additional appearances for both the U16 and U18 Youth National Teams.

Born in the United States to a Brazilian father and an Italian American mother, Real made 50 appearances for the Union, mostly as a left back, and scored four goals.

Philadelphia Union Promote Jon Scheer To Director of Academy And Professional Development

Former Director of Scouting to oversee all youth development and enhance integrated approach

CHESTER, Pa. (April 18, 2024) –  Philadelphia Union announced today that Jon Scheer has been promoted to the Director of Academy and Professional Development. Coming from his previous position as Director of Scouting, Scheer’s new position will oversee the Union’s entire player development pathway. In addition to overseeing the team, staff, and players from the Union Junior Academy through Union II, he will focus on maintaining and enhancing the unified approach to implementing the club’s methodology and player development strategy.

“Jon’s pathway from the academy to the professional side speaks volumes not only to his wide-ranging capabilities on the sporting side, but also the effectiveness of his leadership,” said Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner. “He adopted our style of play and philosophy at the earlier stages and his implementation of our principles will be vital in keeping the consistency that is needed with our youth development.”

“I’m thrilled to continue expanding my role at the Philadelphia Union. The holistic system we have in place to streamline our efforts from the academy to the first team, and apply consistency throughout, is a key pillar to our competitive strategy and has been vital to our success as an organization. I look forward to overseeing the development of the future generation of professionals here at the club,” Scheer said. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to Ernst Tanner, Jay Sugarman, Richie Graham, Jim Curtin, and Tommy Wilson, all of whom have paved the way to make the Philadelphia Union one of the leaders in player development in the United States.”

Scheer first joined the Union Academy as the Director of Talent Identification in March 2018 where he led the club’s scouting efforts that helped identify many of the top Union Academy talents and accelerate its growth into the best development pipeline in Major League Soccer. Following the success he brought to the academy, Scheer was promoted to Director of Scouting for the Philadelphia Union. Continuing to utilize his knowledge of the American market, his role focused on identifying first team talent in the United States while expanding and leading the club’s scouting efforts internationally. He has continuously been successful in bringing players that complete the player pathway to the pros, from the academy to the first team roster.

The Union Academy was named best MLS Academy in 2023 by


  1. Real loan makes sense, He’s a fine player but probably won’t get much game time ahead of Wagner, Harriel, and Mbaizo.

  2. Wishing Real best of luck. He always played hard. Could probably be good bench player on Most MLS teams . At 1 time we had zero talent and depth at left fullback. Things have changed

  3. George Diamond says:

    Man, I’m bummed to see Real go (on loan). But, it was pretty clear his path to minutes this year was very difficult, especially with Curtin preferring Harriel on the left when Kai is unavailable.

    He’s one of the longest tenured players, and longest HGP, on the roster but at this point he needs minutes so it makes sense.

  4. He started for Switchbacks and played the full 90.
    Back in the day he actually played with James Chambers at Bethlehem for coach Burke. Since Chambers is now the Colorado Springs head coach, it is a reunion.

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