DAPHNE, Alabama (WKRG) — A local 13-year old is leaving his friends in Saraland to play soccer and attend a new school in Pennsylvania.

Anthony has left for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to be a soccer player at Union Youth Academy.

Anthony played soccer for the Gulf Coast Rangers FC on the Eastern Shore in Daphne/Fairhope and a few months ago Gulf Coast Rangers (GCR) called Union Academy to discuss some of the players.

Gerardo, Director at GCR, says, “We were fortunate that a Union staff gave us the green light to send Anthony up for a visit.  They’ve been top notch along this whole process.”

Once the Union Academy was able to see Anthony and speak to his family about the entire program, it was clearly an opportunity for Anthony they could not pass up.

“Our family couldn’t be more proud of Anthony. His hard work and dedication have really paid off.  He has made tremendous sacrifices in all aspects of his life to get to this level. We are thankful for the coaches he had at Gulf Coast Rangers.  They have been true mentors and guided him to success,” says Keri Defilippo, Anthony’s mom.

“We know we have talented players in our club and helping our players reach the best setting for them should be our main priority” says Gerardo.

About to start his 8th grade year in Middle School, he will attend the YSC Academy school for players.

Gulf Coast Rangers wish Anthony and his family all the best as they take on this new and exciting chapter of his soccer career.