Brandan Craig and Quinn Sullivan have been teammates for most of their soccer careers so it only makes sense that the two Philadelphia natives would be announced as future homegrown players for the Philadelphia Union on the same day.
The two 16-year-olds will officially join the first team as the No. 16 and 17 homegrown players in franchise history after impressing in 2020 with Philadelphia Union II.
“These are two young, promising players who have fit in well with our system at every level of their development,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in a news release. “Both players excelled at our academy, which is one of the most challenging environments for young talents. Their work ethic is evident by their quick ascension and success with Union II where they were able to make early, immediate impacts.”
Craig and Sullivan both have deep roots in Philadelphia soccer. Their fathers, Andrew Craig and Brendan Sullivan, played locally at Temple and Penn and for the Philadelphia Freedom in the USISL Pro league in the mid-’90s. Quinn’s mom, Heike, also played soccer at Penn.
Quinn and Brandan both joined the academy from Fishtown Athletic Club at the U12 age group level and progressed to Union II together this past season.
Craig became the youngest player in Union II history to wear the captain’s armband on September 2 and played both as a central defender and holding midfielder for the young squad. Sullivan had more of a reserve role off the bench as an attacking midfielder/forward.
“Brandan has a strong set piece delivery and impressive passing range for his age,” Tanner said. “Quinn is strong in the tackle, covers an incredible amount of ground, and has the precise type of tenacious attitude we want in our squad.”
Sullivan’s grandfather, Larry Sullivan, was a long-time coach at Villanova, where he coached Union head coach Jim Curtin in college. Sullivan’s cousin, Chris Albright, is the Union technical director and played for the Union in 2012-13.
Craig and Sullivan will be part of new class of homegrowns for 2021 that includes previously announced signings Jack McGlynn, Nathan Harriel and Paxten Aaronson.