Philadelphia Union and Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa today announced the formation of a strategic partnership that will focus on player development and training methodology, as well as best practices in commercial, stadium and financial operations.

“Saprissa is one of the most successful clubs in our part of the world,” said Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “They have won at every level of club competition, developed some big stars, some of which had storied careers abroad and have fueled the national team with many players such as Josué Martinez, who is now a Philadelphia Union player. They have world-class ownership that truly understands the current international football scene and are aligned with our technical and business philosophies. We are delighted and looking forward to our new partnership.”

The agreement aims to grow both the Union and Saprissa brands in their respective markets and around the world through activities such as a youth technical staff and player exchange program, a yearly soccer clinic in both Philadelphia and San Jose, Costa Rica, and an exhibition match played between the club’s first teams. Philadelphia Union and Deportivo Saprissa merchandise will also be available for purchase in each club’s official team store.

“Philadelphia has, in a very short time, proven to be one of the top MLS institutions,” said Saprissa President Juan Carlos Rojas. “We share similar values in terms of how a sports club should be run and this agreement will allow us to collaborate on many fronts. We are excited about the opportunities that this can provide Saprissa in one of the fastest growing soccer markets in the world.”

Saprissa is one of the most successful clubs in CONCACAF and Central America, having won three CONCACAF Champions’ Cup titles (1993, 1995 and 2005) and five Central American crowns in 1972, 1973, 1978, 1998 and 2003. The squad has also claimed 29 Primera División de Costa Rica championships, the most of any team in history.

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