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Anthony Fontana signs homegrown deal with Philadelphia Union

17-year-old Newark, Delaware native becomes third player to travel pipeline from Academy to Steel to first team; will officially join first team on January 1, 2018

Anthony Fontana signed a first team contract with the Philadelphia Union on Monday, two days after making his debut in a friendly against Swansea City.

The 17-year-old midfielder from Newark, Delaware will officially join the Union on January 1, 2018. He will turn 18 in October.

“We are delighted to sign Anthony and welcome him to Philadelphia Union as a Homegrown Player,” Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in a news release. “This is a momentous achievement for Anthony and one that he has thoroughly earned through his hard work with our Academy and with Bethlehem Steel FC.”

Fontana joined the academy in its first season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in 2013-14 after playing at Penn Fusion Academy and for Kirkwood Soccer Club in Delaware. He’s scored 25 goals in 88 appearances over his academy career.

He made his Bethlehem Steel FC debut in July 2016 and joined the first team in preseason camp earlier this year. He played 14 minutes against Swansea City AFC in a friendly at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday.

While he’s the sixth homegrown player to sign with the first team, he joins Derrick Jones and Auston Trusty who have gone from full-time members of the Academy and playing in USL with Bethlehem Steel before signing. Zach Pfeffer, Cristhian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin all signed homegrown deals while playing for youth club affiliates.