Former Clemson teammates Aaron Jones and Alex Happi reconnected this week at the Philadelphia Union’s preseason training camp, both hoping to play their way into a professional contract.
Jones, an English right back, was the 33rd overall pick by the Union in the MLS SuperDraft while Happi received an invite to camp after going undrafted earlier this month.
Happi paired with Derrick Jones in the midfield in full-field 11-v-11 training at Power Training Complex on Friday.
A former Cameroon youth international who lived in France before coming to the states, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Happi was third on the Tigers in goals in 2016 with a career high of four playing in central midfield and added two assists.
All four of his 2016 goals came in the postseason, including a game-winner in the ACC Tournament to beat Boston College, both goals in a 2-1 NCAA Tournament win over South Carolina and an insurance goal in a 3-1 win over Albany in the Sweet Sixteen.
He had six career goals and nine assists in 76 appearances, playing both in the midfield and at center back over his four-year career. Prior to college, he played at Montverde Academy in Florida.
Jones and Happi aren’t the only Clemson ties in training camp. Defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is training with the Union but not considered a trialist at this point, played for the ACC school for two seasons before heading to France to begin his professional career in 2001.
Other trialists who have been in camp this week include Fafà Picault, from 2. Bundesliga club St. Pauli, former Akron star and Red Bulls Academy graduate Adam Najem and the Unon’s four other draft picks: former South Florida winger Marcus Epps, former West Virginia defender and midfielder Jack Elliott, former Syracuse forward Chris Nanco and former Pfeiffer midfielder Santi Moar.