D'Anjolell Award: Penn Fusion Soccer Academy-West Chester United SC
In recognition of Penn Fusion Soccer Academy & West Chester United Soccer Club’s tremendous commitment to and development of soccer for all ages and abilities, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is proud to distinguish the club as the D’Anjolell Award recipient for 2017.
The D’Anjolell Award is handed out each year to a club or league that dedicates itself to growing soccer across all levels of play. This includes travel teams, recreational leagues, special needs programs and support of the Olympic Development Program.
Penn Fusion Soccer Academy-WCUSC will be honored on Saturday, February 24 as part of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Annual Awards Banquet. The event will be held at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. For more information about the Awards Banquet and how to purchase tickets please visit EPYSA.org.
“Penn Fusion and West Chester United continue to be one of the premier clubs in the state, region and country,” said Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer President Jim Kuntz. “Their commitment to developing soccer at all levels of play—intramural, recreational and travel—speaks for itself, and we’re proud to recognize their dedication to the sport.”
Penn Fusion Soccer Academy-WCUSC lived up to its mission to “to inspire young athletes to achieve their highest potential” in 2017. The club registered 1100 travel players across 75 teams, while offering three seasons of recreation play: Fall (1500 players), Winter (350) and Spring (1200). In addition, West Chester United hosted an Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer State Coaching Course for more than 20 recreational coaches. On the travel side, the Penn Fusion Elite Boys ’98, coached by 2017 Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Boys Travel Coach of the Year Jamie Scott, closed out their youth career with a fifth Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup, a second US Youth Soccer National League Division Title and a third US Youth Soccer Region I Championship. Stunningly, 23 players from that team—and 56 boys and girls in total from the club—have debuted in or are committed to play college soccer. With a 40+ year presence in West Chester, the club continues to expand and seek new ways to better support its players. Penn Fusion joined the U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy in 2017, added boys and girls showcase tournaments and continued to funnel players to Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program—51 players from Penn Fusion were on ODP rosters for the 2016-17 season. The club has also orchestrated successful outreach efforts. The Community Development Program offers the youth of West Chester and surrounding communities supplementary programs and events that develop participants' athletic, academic, and life skills in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.
The D’Anjolell Award is named in honor of Ron and Betty D’Anjolell, two luminaries of the youth soccer community both in Eastern Pennsylvania and beyond. Ron served as the association’s president from 1983-87 and as the Region I Girls ODP Chair from 1986-88. He succeeded his wife Betty in that role when she moved to the National Chair of Girls ODP. Betty is best remembered for laying the foundation for the United States Women’s National Team. She also became the first female executive in Major League Soccer history when she joined D.C. United in 1995. D.C. won the MLS Cup twice in Betty’s three years with the club.
In the later years of her life, Betty returned to work with Lansdowne Soccer Club, proving that her heart remained in Eastern Pennsylvania. Ron and she both sought to foster the sport in the region, a characteristic that defines their legacy.