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Jack de Vries signed to Philadelphia Union for 2020

Signing of Union Academy and Bethlehem Steel attacker announced at Town Hall event on Tuesday

Photo by Matt Ralph

Philadelphia Union Academy attacker Jack de Vries will be joining the Philadelphia Union as a homegrown player, Sporting Director Ernst Tanner announced during a Town Hall event on Tuesday night in Chester.

The 17-year-old U.S. youth international had previously verbally committed to Virginia. Born in Akron, Ohio, the Dutch-American lived in Brussels, Belgium and in Virginia Beach, Virginia before his family moved to the area and he joined the Union Academy in 2015.

He spent time at the world renown Anderlecht Academy when his family lived in Belgium and his Dutch passport meant he could have chosen a European route instead of signing an MLS deal.

“Completing the signing of an Academy product to the first team is a momentous occasion for both the player and our club, and the same holds true with Jack finalizing his agreement today,” Tanner said in a news release. “He is an exciting attacking prospect who has appeared at the highest levels within his age group in the United States youth national team setup.”

The son of Colorado Rapids original Raimo de Vries, he’s made three appearances this season for the Bethlehem Steel and was part of the United States U17 team for the Concacaf U17 Championship in May. He had six goals in the Development Academy last season, including an impressive one-time volley at Villanova University in the final game of the regular season.

A left-footed attacking prospect, de Vries has played both in the midfield and as a forward.

“Additionally, he is a very versatile player, capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or as a forward,” Tanner said. “He is ready for the leap to the professional game and we are pleased to have him officially join our first team next season.”

When he’s added to the first team roster in January 2020 — along with midfielder Cole Turner — he’ll become the 12th homegrown play in team history.