Many 19-year-olds have no idea what they want to study or do with their lives. That is not the case for Anthony Fontana. He knew by the age of 3-years-old that all he wanted to do was play soccer. Sure, that meant kicking a soccer ball around the house, pretending the various furniture pieces were the defenders, which I’m sure his Mom absolutely loved, but the playful “soccer practice” has led to great things.
The defining moment which really secured Fontana’s dream happened in 2006 when he and his family watched Italy win the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Seeing Italy win the World Cup made him feel so happy, and he enjoyed seeing how happy it made his family. At this time, Fontana was 6-years-old scoring 20 goals a game at the Kirkwood Soccer Club. Fontana and his parents knew he was a pretty good, or as Fontana says during his post-game interview with TPL’s Jason Blevins, “a kind of ridiculous” “Kinder Kicker.” However, it wasn’t until he was the ripe old age of 8-years-old playing travel soccer that his natural born talent was more professionally recognized.
Transition to the Pros
Now on to more of his amazing “kind of ridiculous” talents, Anthony Fontana kicked his first Major League Soccer goal with the Philadelphia Union in March 2018 – before he even graduated from Holy Angels School in Newark, Delaware, in conjunction with the YSC Academy which provides a program specifically for student-athletes. So while many of his friends were choosing colleges, Fontana, at the age of 17, had already signed a contract with the Philadelphia Union to be one of their midfielders.
This soccer prodigy has had some hiccups along the way. A few years ago, he was out of the game for about four months due to an injury. Fontana says being out for an extended period of time was a challenge for him, as his whole life primarily revolves around playing soccer. However, this downtime allowed him an opportunity to “focus on mental work” which he says helped him improve his game. “You can’t control everything; you can improve your own performance.”
While Fontana has been playing soccer for 16 years, mind you he is only 19-years-old, there is much more time for him to continue establishing himself as a midfielder. Fontana says being part of the Philadelphia Union team, with players from all over the world, is a definite way to strengthen his game. He has also acknowledged that he would like to improve his confidence. More time on the field is likely all he needs.
Recent and Upcoming
On July 20, 2019, Anthony Fontana scored his second Major League Soccer goal for the Philadelphia Union. The team has their next match on Sunday, August 4 at the Audi Field against D.C. United.
For more Philadelphia Union soccer content, read the TPL Union archives.