Twenty-six teams will be kicking off the 2020 season of MLS on Saturday and most of those teams have players or coaches that are either from the greater Philadelphia area or have played locally for the Philadelphia Union and other local teams or college programs.
Jeff Larentowicz: The Atlanta United player, who can play both in the midfield and in defense, is a West Chester native. In 2000 and 2001, he helped Chestnut Hill Academy to win back-to-back Interacademic League championships. The 36-year-old also helped FC Delco Arsenal win two USYSA National Championships in 2002 (U-18 for Andy Stone Cup) and 2003 (U-19 for James P. McGuire Cup) as the captain of those squads.
George Campbell: The defender, who has spent most of time with USL-affiliate Atlanta United 2, was born in Chester and played for Nether United as a kid before his family relocated to Atlanta. His older brothers Will Campbell and Rob Campbell both played for the Philadelphia Union Academy and in college. Will played at UNC and Penn State while Rob played at Clemson and Delaware. The 18-year-old is hoping to get his first action with the MLS club this season.
Mo Adams: The 23-year-old midfielder, who spent his entire youth career in England with Nottingham Forest and Derby County, played five matches for Reading United in 2017 before being selected in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire. He was then traded to Atlanta in July 2019.
C.J. Sapong: The former Union and Reading United forward is now preparing for his second season in the Windy City. However, before being traded from the Union in February 2019, Sapong was a star for the Chester club. He is currently the team’s second all-time leading goal scorer with 38 goals across all competitions, behind club legend and Ring of Honor recipient Sébastien Le Toux (57).
Fabian Herbers: The German was drafted sixth overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by the Union after an incredible career at Creighton. During his three-year stint with the MLS-side, along with playing for the Bethlehem Steel, the 26-year-old scored five goals and added nine assists across 56 appearances in all competitions. He was then traded to the Fire for a second-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
Haris Medunjanin: The former Union midfielder played a huge part of the Union’s success after arriving from Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2017. This past season was huge for the Bosnian international as he led the league in total passes (2,571), total completed passes (2,182), passes in the opponent’s half (1,521) and completed passes in the opponent’s half (1,217). After being released by the club, his rights were selected by FC Cincinnati during the MLS waiver draft.
Jimmy McLaughlin: The former Union midfielder, who is from Malvern, represented FC Delco for three seasons, leading the club with 16 goals in 24 appearances during 2010-2011. He played for the Union from 2012 to 2015, but only made five appearances for the club across all competitions, spending more time on loan with Harrisburg City Islanders.
Fatai Alashe: The midfielder is a Reading United alum, playing for club in 2013 as he scored one goal in nine appearances for the USL League Two squad.
Bobby Edwards: The goalkeeper, who was born in Germany but raised in Parsippany, N.J. spent three seasons of his collegiate career at Saint Joseph’s University. The 24-year-old was recently acquired from the club from Portadown FC, which participates in Northern Ireland’s NIFL Championship.
Ben Lundt: The Reading United alum was a part of the squad in 2017, after spending some time with Hertha BSC’s reserve team. He has been with the Ohio club since its inaugural campaign, but spent last season on loan with Louisville City, which is led by former Union head coach John Hackworth.
Austin Berry: The strength and conditioning coach spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Union in 2014-2015, making only six appearances.
Keegan Rosenberry: The former Union and Reading United right back from Ronks, Pa. made an immediate impact with the MLS club after arriving from Georgetown University via the MLS SuperDraft. He was a part of the 2016 MLS All-Star Game and finished second in the race for Rookie of the Year that season. However, his time with the Union, which dates back to his time with the Union Reserves and the Union youth squad at the time, came to an end in 2018 when he was traded to the Colorado Rapids.
Auston Trusty: The former Union center back from Media, who played youth soccer for Nether United and in the Union Academy, signed a Homegrown Player contract in 2016. During the 2018 season, Trusty became the youngest field player to play every minute of every match over a 34-game regular season. Seen as a big part of the club’s future, the 21-year-old was then traded to the Rapids at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Tim Hanley: The former Philadelphia Union goalkeeper coach is now on the technical staff with the Crew.
Fafa Picault: The former Union player, who played with the squad from 2017 to 2019 after arriving from FC St. Pauli, was a problem for defenses with his electric pace. During his tenure with the club, he scored 18 goals in 73 appearances across all competitions, including scoring the game-tying goal against the New York Red Bulls in the playoffs last season. In November, Picault was traded to FC Dallas.
Matt Hedges: The Reading United alum, who spent time with the club in 2010 and 2011, has been played a huge role for FC Dallas as their center back. The 2016 MLS Defender of the Year and three-time All-Star made 24 appearances for Reading, scoring four goals as a result.
Russell Canouse: The D.C. United midfielder is a Lancaster native who spent his youth career with the PA Classics, a squad that has also produced American soccer sensation Christian Pulisic, in 2007 and 2008. After spending some time in Germany with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and VfL Bochum, Canouse made the move back to states in 2017 with D.C.
Chris Seitz: The former Union goalkeeper, who was traded for Real Salt Lake to the expansion franchise in 2009, made 22 starts for the club before being dropped to the bench by Brad Knighton after posting the league’s worst goals against average (1.80). That would be his only season in Chester.
Ben Olsen: The head coach of D.C. United since 2010, the Middletown native was already a huge name in the league as a player, where he wore the black and red from 1998 to 2009. Olsen began as an assistant with the club until Curt Onalfo led the nation capital’s squad to a league-worst record, taking over the helm ever since.
Zarek Valentin: The Lancaster native and Reading United alum is set to begin his first season with the Dynamo after playing with the Portland Timbers since 2016. The left back played with Reading in 2009, making four appearances with the club.
Omid Namazi: The Dynamo Assistant Coach was a coach and player for the Philadelphia Kixx and is a former director of soccer for the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals.
Cody Cropper: The Reading United alum is entering his first season with the Houston Dynamo after being at New England since 2016. A member of Reading’s youth squad in 2008 and 2009, his senior career would begin in England, where the goalkeeper played for Southampton and Milton Keynes Dons before moving back to the states to join the MLS.
Jordan Harvey: The former Union fullback, who was part of the club’s inaugural season, has been a pivotal player in the MLS for years. After being selected in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft, Harvey played a little more than one year at the club before being traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in July 2011.
Mike Sorber: LAFC’s Director of Soccer Operations served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Union for four years.
Ben Sweat: The Reading United alum is set to begin his first season with the new franchise, Inter Miami, after being selected in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft. Sweat played for Reading in 2013, scoring once in eight appearances for the club.
John McCarthy: The former Union, La Salle, Reading United, Bethlehem Steel and Ocean City Nor’easters goalkeeper will be a second-string goalkeeper for The Herons, backing up New York Red Bull legend Luis Robles. McCarthy made 21 appearances for the Union during his time with the club.
Tyler Miller: The Woodbury, N.J. native and Ocean City Nor’easters alum makes the move to Minnesota after being the starting goalkeeper for LAFC in the franchise’s first two seasons. The 26-year-old played a key role in helping the team win the Supporters’ Shield last season en route to the most points in MLS history.
Mason Toye: The 21-year-old spent time living in Delaware County and played for Nether United. Toye is considered a name for the future as Minnesota United hope he makes a big impact with the club this season.
David Accam: The former Union forward scored six goals in 36 appearances for the club. Accam was then traded to Columbus Crew SC last season before being traded eight days later to Nashville.
Derrick Jones: The former Union, Philadelphia Lone Star and Union Academy midfielder was loaned to the USL club last May ahead of a permanent transfer to the MLS squad in January. Throughout most of his career with the Chester side, Jones featured more prominently for the Bethlehem Steel, but did make 27 appearances in the MLS from 2016 to 2019.
Daniel Lovitz: The Wyndmoor native makes the move from Montreal to Nashville as the Music City squad hopes that the experienced left back will help them in their inaugural season.
Ken Tribbett: The former Union, City Islanders, Ocean City Nor’easters and Drexel alum, Tribbett is set to begin his career with the MLS side after playing for their USL team last season. During his tenure with the Union (2016 to 2017), he scored two goals in 23 appearances.
Taylor Washington: The former Union defender, who spent one season with the club in 2016, has been a part of the Nashville side since their USL debut in 2018. Although Washington never played for the Union, he did feature for the Bethlehem Steel 28 times.
Brad Knighton: The former Union goalkeeper was selected by the club in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft. After making eight league appearances with the Union in his lone season, he was waived in January 2011.
New York Red Bulls
Brian White: Played for Union U17s in 2012 GA Cup. Now, the 24-year-old forward is getting ready to help the Red Bulls improve after falling in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Tom Barlow: The Reading United alum spent one year at the club in 2015, where he found the back of the net five times in 13 appearances. With the departure of Bradley Wright-Phillips to LAFC, this could be a big season for the forward.
Rob Vartughian: The NYCFC Assistant Coach was an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Union for five seasons and spent time also serving as technical director during his time in Chester.
Joey DeZart: DeZart, a midfielder who graduated with the Union Academy and spent time with Reading United, recently signed a first team deal with Orlando City after being drafted out of Wake Forest No. 31 overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
Kamal Miller: The Reading United alum spent one season with the club (2018), where the defender made nine appearances.
Ray Gaddis: The Indianapolis native played two seasons for Reading United in 2010 and 2011 while he was in college at West Virginia University and was drafted by the Union in 2012.
Matt Freese: The homegrown goalkeeper is from Wayne, Pa. and is a graduate of the Philadelphia Union Academy and Episcopal Academy. He also played youth soccer at Penn Fusion Academy and was signed by the Union after two seasons at Harvard.
Mark McKenzie: The Union Academy grad and former Delaware FC standout was born in the Bronx but grew up in Bear, Del. He signed a homegrown deal with the Union in 2018 after a season at Wake Forest.
Cole Turner: Turner is a first-year homegrown player from Maryland who joined the Union Academy in 2014 and signed a USL contract with the Steel and a first team pre-contract last July.
Jack de Vries: De Vries relocated to Wayne, Pa. with his family in 2015 to join the Union Academy and officially joined the first team as a homegrown player in January.
Matthew Real: The left back from Drexel Hill, Pa. played for FC Delco prior to joining the Union Academy in 2013 and was signed to a homegrown in contract in 2018 after going pro with the Bethlehem Steel in 2017.
Anthony Fontana: The midfielder from Newark, Del. played for Kirkwood FC and Penn Fusion Academy before joining the Union Academy in 2013. He joined the first team in 2018 and scored a goal in his MLS debut.
Brenden Aaronson: The midfielder from Medford, N.J. played for Real Jersey FC prior to joining the Union Academy in 2013 and was a finalist for Rookie of the Year in 2019 after joining the first team roster as a homegrown in January 2019 and scoring in his MLS debut in Atlanta.
Jim Curtin: The Union’s head coach grew up Oreland, Pa. and played soccer at Villanova University.
Chris Albright: The Union’s technical director played his last two seasons in MLS with the Union. He grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from William Penn Charter School.
Real Salt Lake
Zac MacMath: The former Union goalkeeper was selected by the club with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of Maryland. He was a part of the team until 2015, where he was traded to the Colorado Rapids for a second-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. MacMath is expected to be the starting goalkeeper after the departure of club legend, Nick Rimando.
Luke Mulholland: The Reading United alum spent two seasons with the club (2009 to 2010), where he scored eight goals in 30 appearances. The attacking midfielder has been a part of Real Salt Lake since 2014.
Justin Portillo: Portillo spent one season with Reading United, where the midfielder made two appearances for the club.
Todd Hoffard: The RSL goalkeeper coach is a Lancaster, Pa. native and former Lebanon Valley College women’s head coach. He previously coached for the Harrisburg City Islanders and at Penn and Temple and had stints during his playing career with the Harrisburg Heat and Philadelphia Kixx.
Paul Marie: The Reading United alum arrived in 2015 after playing for Caen II in France. From 2015 to 2017, Marie scored 14 goals in 30 appearances for Reading.
Shea Salinas: Salinas was selected by the Union during the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft. In his lone season in Chester, he scored one goal in 17 appearances before being selected by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft.
Trey Muse: The Sounders goalkeeper had a brief stint with the Union Academy for a tournament in the Middle East. However, the 20-year-old from Louisville, Ky. has spent a majority of his time with the Sounders organization, where he signed a Homegrown Player contract in 2019.
Peter Vermes: As the head coach of Sporting Kansas City, the Delran, N.J. native has notched 134 wins in 317 league games as the coach of the squad, who he has led since 2009. Some of the accomplishment Vermes has had as the boss are winning the MLS Cup in 2013 and being part of the U.S. Open Cup in 2012, 2015, and 2017.
Kerry Zavagnin: The assistant coach spent one season playing in the Lehigh Valley for the Lehigh Valley Storm in the A-League in 1999.
Alex Bono: The goalkeeper spent two summers playing for Reading United in 2013 and 2014 while at Syracuse and joined Toronto FC via the MLS SuperDraft in 2015.
Jon Conway: The goalkeeper coach is a native of Aston, Pa. He graduated from Sun Valley High School and played club soccer for Lower Merion SC. The former MLS goalkeeper (Chivas USA, Toronto FC and Chicago Fire) joined Toronto FC initially as an academy coach and then as the first team goalkeeper coach.