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Philadelphia Union roster trimmed to 17 for 2019

Options were picked up for Jack Elliott, Olivier Mbaizo, Keegan Rosenberry, Ilsinho, Derrick Jones and Fafa Picault

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Philadelphia Union Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The annual roster trim has begun.

The Philadelphia Union announced the reduction of the roster for 2019 to 17 players on Monday morning.

The casualties (for now) include goalkeeper Jake McGuire, defenders Richie Marquez and Josh Yaro, midfielders Marcus Epps, Fabian Herbers and Adam Najem and forward Jay Simpson. Fabinho’s option was also declined but the team is negotiating to bring him back, according to a news release.

Borek Dockal, the team’s highest paid player in 2018, was on a year-long loan so he’s not currently on the 2019 roster. Raymon Gaddis, John McCarthy and Warren Creavalle are all out of contract and the team has not decided whether to pick up the option for forward Kacper Pryzbylko.

Options were picked up for defenders Jack Elliott, Olivier Mbaizo, and Keegan Rosenberry; midfielders Ilsinho, Derrick Jones and Fafa Picault; and forward Cory Burke.

This leaves 17 players on the roster for 2019 as things stand currently:

Goalkeepers (1): Andre Blake

Defenders (6): Jack Elliott, Olivier Mbaizo, Mark McKenzie, Matt Real, Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty

Midfielders (8): Brenden Aaronson, David Accam, Alejandro Bedoya, Ilsinho, Anthony Fontana, Derrick Jones, Haris Medunjanin, Fafa Picault

Forwards (2): Cory Burke, CJ Sapong

With the anticipated departures — one or more of the out-of-contract players could be brought back with a new deal — the Union have shaved 40 percent of their payroll — $3,430,110.12 off $8,491,197.74.

Dockal represented a big chunk of that salary with $1,714,285.68 and the little used Simpson was the fourth-highest paid player on the roster last year at $623,341.33 in total compensation.