The first player to travel the Philadelphia Union’s pipeline from academy to Bethlehem Steel FC to the first team is on the move.
Derrick Jones’s MLS rights were dealt to Nashville SC in exchange for $175,000 in general allocation money, the Union announced on Thursday evening. The trade will take effect on January 1, 2020, but the 22-year-old will spend the rest of the 2019 season on loan with Nashville SC in the USL before the club joins Major League Soccer next season.
“We would like to thank Derrick for his contributions to the Union over the past four seasons,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in a news release. “Derrick has been through some difficult situations this season, both on and off the field, and both he and the club agree that a change of scenery is best for all parties involved at this time. All of us wish him nothing but future success with Nashville.”
The Union also retain a 20% sell-on clause should Jones be transferred outside of MLS in the future. Jones appeared in 26 matches (11 starts) with the Union since signing with the club in 2016 but he’s only made two appearances and played 57 minutes this season.
Born in Ghana, Jones, who went by Derrick Amaniampong prior to signing his first pro contract, emigrated to the U.S. when he was 14 and first joined Junior Lone Star FC as a youth player before being invited to join the Philadelphia Union Academy two years later after the teams played each other in a friendly.
He was the first signing to Bethlehem Steel FC in December 2015 ahead of their inaugural season in 2016 and was signed to a first team deal that July.
Jones is the third player to be acquired for Nashville’s MLS team. He joins Cameron Lancaster and Daniel Rios, who are both on loan with the USL Championship team this season.