The Philadelphia Union and Vincent Nogueira have agreed to mutually terminate the Frenchman's contract, the club announced in a press release. The team added that due to "personal health issues," Nogueira will return to his home country.
Sporting Director Earnie Stewart had more to say:
"We want to thank Vincent for his contributions to the club over the last two years and we wish him the best, both personally and professionally," Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said. "At this time, it was our desire to enable him to be with his family at home in France."
Stewart said the health issue is private but said he will definitely play soccer again. It's not life-threatening or anything.— Dave Zeitlin (@DaveZeitlin) June 16, 2016
This is seemingly the same announcement that was set to be made prior to today's press conference, but was continually postponed until it was cancelled.
The news certainly comes as a surprise, as the central midfielder went 73 minutes in the Union's U.S. Open Cup match last night. Since joining the team in January of 2014, Nogueira has made 64 league appearances for the club, and most would agree that he was the club's best player over that time.
In the club's release, Nogueira said, "I want to thank Philadelphia Union for their understanding of my situation and wish my teammates well going forward."
With Nogueira gone, questions about who will take his place abound. Warren Creavalle, Roland Alberg, and Leo Fernandes look to be the immediate candidates, while Maurice Edu will probably step into that central midfield role when he returns from injury.
We'll have more on this shocking news in the coming days, but in the meantime, leave your reactions in the comments.