“Wonderful kid. Wonderful competitor. He has matured over the last three years with us into a leader. He has removed any negative or down aspects of his game. He doesn’t compound a mistake, he turns them around. He’s a vocal leader with support for his teammates and he is a presence on the field and backs it up with the way he plays the game. Since he’s been with me, we’ve played in the National Championship in the Final Eight in Kansas City. He was a big reason why we were there,” stated Daniel Harmon, Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals Chairman of Soccer Development and coach of Nicholas Yurcho, this week’s featured athlete in the ongoing EDP College Commitment Series.
Yurcho, who has been named to NJ.com’s 2019 All-Group 1 Boys Soccer First Team and NJ.com’s 2019 Boys Soccer Burlington County Scholastic League All-Stars Freedom Division First Team, is committed to playing men’s soccer at La Salle University in the 2020 recruiting class and signed his Letter of Intent in November 2019.
“We have at our club something called the College Development Program or CDP. Within the College Development Program, our 01s, 02s, 03s, and 04s, all work together. They are trained by college-level coaches from Temple, La Salle, Villanova, Penn State Abington, and other additional coaches who aren't college coaches but have tremendous experience and background. Nick was discovered, via the College Development Program by La Salle. They invited him down to camp and loved what they saw at their camp and reached out for a scholarship for him to attend,” explained Harmon.
While attending Florence Township Memorial High School as a senior, Yurcho helped lead his team to the NJSIAA Tournament Semifinal Round for Central Jersey and Group 1.
“Nick Yurcho is a driving defensive force for a Flashes program that finished 2019 with 16 victories,” said Tom McGurk of the Cherry Hill Courier-Post. He added, “[Yurcho] anchored a backline that allowed less than a goal per game this season. This included only three goals allowed in nine September contests,” in his selection for H.S. Boys' Soccer All-South Jersey squad for the 2019 season. McGurk added that Yurcho contributed heavily to Florence’s 10 shutouts.
During the midseason of 2019, Brian Deakyne of NJ.com named Nick Yurcho as the 2019 Defender of the Year and stated, “Yurcho has been the unquestioned leader out of the back for a Florence team that is built on a stellar senior class — and has been working toward this season their entire career. Big and physical, Yurcho is a prototypical center back and has been one of South Jersey's best defenders this year.”
His club coach, Harmon explained his history with Yurcho and the growth and development he’s watched in Nick since he joined his team. He says, “I’ve been coaching Nicholas for the last four years. When Nick first came to us he had to work on some emotional battles that he would have on the field. He’s a competitor and he would be very hard on himself. We worked on him changing that from being hard on himself and getting down in a game, to turn that around to being hard on himself and turning himself into a leader through it. He’s really blossomed into one of the leaders of this team.”
Harmon added, “If you look at Nick, you can misunderstand who Nick is. Nick looks like a tough, standoffish, maybe even a little intimidating kid. What you find with Nick is he has a tremendous spirit, he's a funny kid, he’s a happy kid and he’s a good kid. He enjoys his teammates. He enjoys leading his teammates and he just enjoys coming to practice and being with his team and it translates on the field. His spirit is just infectious. He's one of the nicest kids you’re ever going to meet.”
EDP would like to wish Yurcho the best of luck at La Salle in his first season as a freshman this year and the remainder of his club season with the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals. EDP would also like to thank Daniel Harmon for his time and the interview about his player, Nick.
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. The key emphasis for EDP’s leagues and tournaments is its Pathway to College™ programming which enables soccer players to reach their full potential with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.