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Skilsinho returning to Philadelphia Union after finalizing one-year contract

Super sub is back after accepting offer

SOCCER: OCT 20 MLS Cup Playoffs - New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Skill-sinho will be back in business in Chester in 2020.

The Philadelphia Union announced Friday morning that the veteran playmaker is returning on a one-year contract. Ilsinho has been absent this week during the first week of preseason, sparking speculation that the 34-year-old might not be returning. The team teased the news with a video of Ilsinho posted on social media.

“We are pleased to have come to an agreement with Ilsinho and welcome him back to our roster for the 2020 season,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in a news release. “His footwork and ability to press and possess on the attack are unmatched and proved to be crucial to our successful 2019 season, as they have over the last four seasons with the club. We look forward to what his continued leadership and skill will bring to our midfield this season.”

Ilsinho had his best season in a Union uniform last year despite being used almost exclusively as a second-half sub. He made an MLS career high 28 appearances and chipped in five goals and eight assists. He put in an unforgettable performance in a comeback win over the New York Red Bulls fans will be talking about for decades to come during the regular season and helped spark another second half comeback in the team’s first ever playoff win, an overtime victory over the Red Bulls.

As a team, the Union had a +24 goal differential when the Brazilian was on the field last season so getting him back, even if it is for just one more season, is an important move for a team looking to build on the success of 2019.