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Philadelphia Union trading Kalil ElMedkhar’s homegrown rights to FC Dallas

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Multiple sources have indicated the Middletown, Del. native is heading to Texas to start his professional career

Dave Musante

Philadelphia Union Academy grad Kalil ElMedkhar, a first round prospect for the upcoming MLS SuperDraft, is getting his homegrown rights traded to FC Dallas, according to multiple sources.

The Middletown, Del. native scored 20 goals and collected 21 assists in four seasons at the University of Kentucky and was a regular for Reading United in their back-to-back runs to the USL League Two championships in 2018 and 2019.

ElMedkhar graduated from YSC Academy in 2017. He joined the Union Academy from Penn Fusion Academy in their first season in the U.S. Development Academy in 2013. During his time in the academy, ElMedkhar played as a winger in the 4-2-3-1 formation that was preferred then. The team down through the academy now employs the 4-4-2 diamond midfield setup, which doesn’t utilize traditional wingers.

FC Dallas picks No. 21 in the first round of the SuperDraft next week so trading for ElMedkhar’s rights eliminates the chance of another team drafting him ahead of Dallas. He’s listed No. 12 on the draft board Ives Galarcep published on SBI on January 8.

While the Union have traded for the homegrown rights of a player — they acquired Adam Najem’s rights from the New York Red Bulls in 2017 — this would mark the first time a team has acquired rights to a Union Academy grad ahead of the draft.

Union Academy grad Joey DeZart was drafted by Orlando City in 2020 and made 11 appearances as a rookie.

Wake Forest forward/winger Justin McMaster, who graduated from YSC Academy with ElMedkhar in 2017, is among the pool of players considered draft prospects. Matt Freese’s teammate from Episcopal Academy — A.J. Marcucci — is also considered a draft prospect.