Promising defensive prospect Auston Trusty has opted to forgo his college eligibility and begin his professional career close to home with the Philadelphia Union. The club announced today that the young defender has signed a Homegrown Player contract.
The Media native, who turns 18 on Friday, has starred in central defense for Bethlehem Steel FC as an amateur this season, and had arguably his best performance in a U.S. jersey earlier this month for Brad Friedel’s U19 team in the COTIF Tournament in Spain.
He joins recent homegrown signing Derrick Jones as the second player to truly follow the Philadelphia Union’s development pipeline from the Academy, to Bethlehem Steel FC to the first team (the three previous homegrown players came through local youth affiliate clubs before a full-time academy and school were established).
Barring changes to the depth chart, he’ll likely spend a majority of the rest of the season with Brendan Burke’s Steel FC side.
Trusty joined the Union Academy U16 team from local club Nether United FC in its first season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in 2013-14, appearing in 13 games while making five starts. He made 26 appearances and 23 starts for the U16 team in 2014-15 and scored four goals for a team that finished third overall in the Development Academy finals. He also made five starts for the U18s.
This past season he made only five appearances for the U18s and chipped in a goal, spending the bulk of his time training and playing for Steel FC. He’s made 13 appearances and played 1,170 minutes there.
Trusty’s signing, along with recent signings of Alejandro Bedoya and Charlie Davies and a trade of Sebastien Le Toux to Colorado Rapids, leaves one open spot on the first team roster.