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Tranquillo Barnetta heading back to Switzerland in 2017

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The Philadelphia Union midfielder will return to his native St. Gallen after the Union’s season is finished

Philadelphia Union vs Montreal Impact Photo Gallery Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

The Philadelphia Union announced this morning via press release that midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta will return to St. Gallen at the conclusion of the 2016 season. This puts to rest weeks of speculation around the midfielder’s future with the Union.

Barnetta started his professional career with St. Gallen in the Swiss Super League in 2002 before moving to the German Bundesliga and eventually MLS with the Union. He was also capped 75 times by his native Switzerland, with his last appearance coming in 2014. To date, Barnetta has six goals and seven assists in 37 appearances with the Union. He’s been one of the Union’s best players during that span, playing the role of both an attacking midfielder and a holding midfielder.

“The entire soccer community here was so welcoming, and I’m so thankful to everyone at Philadelphia Union for making me feel so appreciated.” Barnetta said in the press release from the Union. “Playing in front of my friends and family and making plans for life at the end of my career where I want to live is a force I can’t resist.”

Barnetta has been with the club during one of it’s most trying periods, and has helped lead it to what is looking to be like one of the brightest periods in its history. We’ll always be grateful for his time here for moments like this.