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Cole Turner becomes 12th Union homegrown to make MLS debut

The Churchville, Md. native came on late in the 4-1 win over Montreal

Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych

Cole Turner became the 12th Philadelphia Union homegrown to make his MLS debut when he stepped on the pitch at Red Bull Arena on Sunday night.

The 19-year-old 2019 YSC Academy graduate from Churchville, Md. spelled captain Alejandro Bedoya in the 87th minute with the score 4-1 to the Union.

A former Baltimore Celtic youth player, Turner joined the Union Academy in 2014. He signed a USL contract last summer, opting to turn pro instead of heading to the Naval Academy.

His debut at Red Bull Arena was also his first live game action since last fall with the Bethlehem Steel in USL Championship. Since the coronavirus has limited crossover between first and second team and injuries have depleted the first team roster, Turner has stayed with the first team waiting his chance to make a first impression.

His three minutes leaves Matej Oravec, Aurelien Collin and Michee Ngalina as the only field players on the active roster who haven’t played in 2020. When he took the field, it was the most homegrowns (6) the Union have had on the field at the same time.

Turner is the 12th Philadelphia Union homegrown to play in MLS and just the second to be recruited to the academy from outside of the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Jack de Vries was the first when he made his debut back in July.

Previous homegrowns to play in MLS include Zach Pfeffer, Jimmy McLaughlin, Cristhian Hernandez, Auston Trusty, Derrick Jones and the rest of the current homegrowns on the roster (Brenden Aaronson, Mark McKenzie, Anthony Fontana, Matt Real, Matt Freese, Jack de Vries).