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Kevin Kratz’s Union ‘legend’ status grows with MLS Cup win

Kratz spent three months with the Philadelphia Union but never featured in a match

MLS: MLS Cup-Portland Timbers vs Atlanta United FC Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Kratz never made it off of Atlanta United’s bench in their 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final on Saturday night, but his status as a former Philadelphia Union player only grew with this latest achievement.

The German veteran (he and teammate Julian Gressel were the first German to win an MLS Cup) spent only three months on the books with the blue and gold and never featured in a match. But he’s a former Union player nonetheless and just the second to dress in a final for the MLS Cup champion after leaving the club.

The first was Brian Perk, a reserve goalkeeper who never made it into a game for the Union during his one season with the club in 2010, but was in the 18 for the LA Galaxy when they won an MLS Cup in 2012. Kyle Nakazawa was also rostered with the Galaxy that season.

Rounding out the list of players who have gone on to an MLS Cup-winning side after leaving the Union, Chandler Hoffman was with the Galaxy when they won it again two years later and Michael Farfan made one appearance for the Seattle Sounders during the season they won MLS Cup in 2016.

Jack McInerney is the only former Union player to play in an MLS Cup final after leaving the team (he came off the bench for the Columbus Crew in their final loss to Portland in 2015). Brad Knighton was in the 18 for New England Revolution when they lost the final to the Galaxy in 2014.

Kratz isn’t the only former Union player to win a trophy this year.

Andrew Wenger, Eric Bird and Chris Seitz were all part of the Houston Dynamo team that beat the Union in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this season (Wenger started, the other two were in the 18) and former Union reserve goalkeeper Chris Konopka was a late-season roster addition to a Cardiff City team that finished second in the English Championship to earn promotion to the English Premier League.

Former head coach John Hackworth won the USL Cup with Louisville City FC and had a former Union player on his technical staff in assistant coach Danny Cruz.