After freeing up an international roster spot with Vincent Nogueira receiving his green card, the Philadelphia Union signed Brazilian midfielder Ilsinho. Ilsinho has been on trial with the Union since the preseason started and fans have taken kindly to him. Ilsinho has 24 goals and 21 assists in his 220 game career and even has a cap with the Brazilian national team. Ilsinho has won the Ukranian Cup in '08, '12, '13 and the Ukranian Super Cup in '08, '12, and '14. Ilsinho also has experience in the UEFA Champions League as recent as 2014-2015, when he was a part of Shakhtar Donetsk where they would go on to the knockout stages only to lose to eventual semi-finalists Bayren Munich. Ilsinho scored the game winning goal in Donetsk's first ever UEFA Cup in 2009. Like Tranquillo Barnetta, Ilsinho is a top free agent who some thought should be targeted by BPL clubs such as Aston Villa, Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle. The addition of Ilsinho adds to the already plentiful midfield the Union have, meaning the Union may have their starting right wing locked up. The opening day midfield could very well be Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Tranquillo Barnetta, Roland Alberg and Ilsinho, which is a dangerous midfield for any MLS side.
Earnie Stewart spoke very highly of Ilsinho saying, "We're extremely excited to land a player of Ilsinho's caliber and that he chose Philadelphia over other options. For a player with experience at the highest level in this sport, he came into our preseason camp with tremendous work rate and that speaks to the type of person he is and who we want at our club. His elite-level attacking ability speaks for itself and we're confident he'll have an immediate impact."
The 30-year-old Brazilian is sure to make a significant impact on the pitch as the Union prepare for the 2016 season and will help add to the goal tally whether by assisting goals or scoring them.