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Philadephia Union trim roster to 20

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The 2018 picture just got a whole lot clearer.

Photo Gallery // Philadelphia Union vs Seattle Sounders Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

The Philadelphia Union announced a slew of roster moves via press release on Wednesday that includes declining the options on nine players and not extending two other contracts for the 2018 season.

Defenders Aaron Jones, Oguchi Onyewu, Ken Tribbett and Giliano Wijnaldum; midfielders Roland Alberg, Marucie Edu, Fabian Herbers and Ilsinho; and forward Charlie Davies have all had their options declined for the upcoming season.

Additionally, the Union have decided that they will not be extending the contracts of Fabinho and Chris Pontius as their contracts will expire at the end of 2017.

That means that as of today, there are now four more international slots, one Designated Player slot with the option of a second if the luxury tax is paid, and as of now $2,723,731 in base salary to rebuild for 2018.

Additionally, the Union announced that they were picking up the options on Andre Blake, John McCarthy, Jake McGuire, Jack Elliott, Raymon Gaddis, Keegan Rosenberry, Warren Creavalle, Marcus Epps, Derrick Jones, Adam Najem and Fafa Picault.

Richie Marquez, Auston Trusty, Josh Yaro, Alejandro Bedoya, Anothy Fontana, Haris Medunjanin, CJ Sapong and Jay Simpson were already guaranteed for the 2018 season.

Roland Alberg has already agreed to join CSKA Sofia starting January 1st, 2018, while Herbers, Ilsinho, Jones, Onyewu, Tribbett and Wijnaldum would enter into the waiver draft and Davies, Edu and Fabinho would be eligible for the re-entry draft if new deals aren’t reached. Chris Pontius is officially a free agent and can choose between the re-entry draft and MLS free agency.

Head coach Jim Curtin and Sporting Director Earnie Stewart talked about both Herbers and Ilsinho as possibilities to return to the team during a press conference Wednesday. Herbers was previously under a Generation adidas contract paid by the league that didn’t count toward the salary cap but its expiration means the club will look to negotiate new terms and Ilsinho likely would return if he’s willing to take a lower salary.

With the announcement, the number of players on the roster has been reduced to 20:

GK: Andre Blake, John McCarthy, Jake McGuire

DF: Jack Elliott, Raymon Gaddis, Richie Marquez, Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty, Josh Yaro

MF: Eric Ayuk*, Alejandro Bedoya, Warren Creavalle, Marcus Epps, Anthony Fontana, Derrick Jones, Haris Medunjanin, Adam Najem, Fafa Picault

FW: CJ Sapong, Jay Simpson

*Eric Ayuk is still on loan and the Union still have an option for him when he returns.