Philadelphia Union homegrown Jack de Vries is in line to make a little history today against New York City FC.
If the 18-year-old midfielder makes an appearance — as head coach Jim Curtin’s comments in recent weeks clearly suggest he will — he’ll become the eighth second generation player in MLS history and the first to play for the Union.
“I wish it was in front of 18,000 in Subaru Park but that might have to wait a little bit,” Curtin said last week. “He’s going to get an opportunity to show his talent and show people what he’s about.”
Other father-son combos in MLS have included Alex Bunbury (1999-2000 KC) and Teal Bunbury (2010-13 KC; 2014-16 NE); David Ferreira (2009-13 DAL) and Jesus Ferreira (2017 DAL); John Harkes (1996-98 DC; 1999-2001 NE; 2001-02 CLB) and Ian Harkes (2017-18 DC); Roy Lassiter (1996-98 TB; 1998-99, 2002 DC; 2000 MIA; 2001-02 KC) and Ariel Lassiter (2015-16 LA); Onandi Lowe (2001 KC) and Damion Lowe (2014-15 SEA); Robert Warzycha (1996-2002 CLB) and Konrad Warzycha (2011-12 KC; 2013 CLB); and Adolfo Valencia (2000-01 MET) and Jose Adolfo Valencia (2012-13 POR).
Raimo de Vries came to the U.S. from the Netherlands to play soccer and get his degree at Wake Forest. He went on to play professionally for the Raleigh Flyers and through the club’s affiliation with the Colorado Rapids joined the team at the end of the 1996 season. He made his MLS debut in the starting lineup on August 29, 1996 against D.C. United and started the final three games of what ended up being his lone season in MLS.
“My dad has really taught me everything I know about soccer,” Jack de Vries said in an interview in preseason. “He just told me it’s not really all about how good you are and how talented you are, it’s about how hard you work and how much you want it.”
Jack’s journey started off in Akron, Ohio, but it was when he lived in Belgium with his family that he fell in love with the game. He moved back to the U.S. to Virginia Beach prior to joining the Union Academy when he was 13 and moving to the are with his family.
Raimo credited his son’s work ethic with getting him to where he is in a recent interview for The Path Soccer Podcast.
“As a dad, I’m sure it’s gonna be a fantastic experience seeing him out there and so to speak passing the baton to the next generation,” Raimo de Vries said. “I think if I had a small role to play on that by passing on that passion you know that’s a good feeling.”