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Former D.C. United star will work under direction of assistant coach John Hackworth

Former Major League Soccer player Alecko Eskandarian joined Philadelphia Union’s technical staff as Youth Technical Director, the club announced Wednesday.

Eskandarian had previosly been an assistant coach at University of Virginia, after being forced to retire from MLS in 2010 due to concussions.

Eskandarian will oversee the club’s academy under the direction of Coach John Hackworth, assist Brendan Burke in MLS Reserve League competition, as well as help manage club partnerships in the region.

“I am extremely excited to join the Philadelphia Union family as it is a first-class organization from top to bottom with a passionate fan base,” said Eskandarian. “Not only are the Union dedicated to being one of the top clubs in MLS today, they have placed a strong emphasis on building for the future. The foundation for a world-class youth academy is already in place, and I look forward to using my experience to help take it to the next level.”

Eskandarian was the first overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United, and he won the 2004 MLS Cup while playing for current Union manager Peter Nowak.

After leaving D.C. United in 2006, Eskandarian represented four other MLS teams (Toronto FC, 2007; Real Salt Lake, 2007; Chivas USA, 2008-09; and LA Galaxy, 2009) before being forced to retire due to concussions.

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