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2010 USL PDL Defender Of The Year Joe Tait On Trial With The Philadelphia Union

Joe Tait while in college. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Athletics)
Joe Tait while in college. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Athletics)

The Philadelphia Union have brought in former Player Development League (PDL), part of the United Soccer Leagues (USL), Defender of the Year Joe Tait on trial. 

Tait, revealed as a Union trialist during the team's 5-3 friendly win over the USL's Harrisburg Islanders, is a 21-year-old defender with the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL PRO division. He also played a full 90 minutes in the Union's last reserve game.

The Englishman joined the Dutch Lions in 2011 after spending 2010 with the Baton Rouge Capitals, where he earned Defender of the Year honors after playing in 12 league games and scoring six goals. His college career was spent in the NAIA, a separate system from NCAA soccer.

It does not appear that Tait has a green card or any time of citizenship, as he came over to the USA in 2009. Currently the Union do not hold an open international roster spot.

Since trading former starting left back Jordan Harvey to the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Union have carried only four natural defenders on their first team squad. Due to the lack of defensive depth on the squad, central midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi has been called into action as a central defender on multiple ocassions in league play and friendlies and Ryan Richter has been converted into a right back.

Center backs Danny Califf and Carlos Valdes, along with right back Sheanon Williams, have started almost every minute of the season. Their back up, Juan Diego Gonzalez, has yet to make an appearance in 2011. Additionally, current starting left back Gabriel Farfan has started every game at the position since the Harvey trade. 

The Union are most likely looking for young defensive talent late in the season, as they did last year when Williams was signed from the Islanders and ended up starting at the end of 2010.