Julián Carranza is getting a new team and a new number in 2022.
The 21-year-old forward, who is on loan with the Philadelphia Union from Inter Miami for the 2022 season, will wear the No. 9 shirt, according to a social media post from the team on Friday.
The Argentine striker wore No. 21 in his two seasons with Inter Miami after they reportedly paid $6 million for his transfer to Club Atlético Banfield, where he also wore the 21 jersey.
The Union only gave up a second round SuperDraft pick in the deal to bring in Carranza, who made $750,000 last season and will count as a young designated player in 2022. The Union has an option to buy after the loan expires.
While Carranza isn’t quite the type of acquisition many fans were hoping for this off-season, him being given the No. 9 shirt may signal that expectations within the club are high and that he is the striker acquisition Sporting Director Ernst Tanner teased after the Union season ended.
Carranza had 3 goals in 1,268 minutes over two seasons in Miami, but Miami was also not a model of stability in the young forward’s two seasons there.
The Union technical staff certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt in their ability to scout undervalued or unproven players who will match their system but the big question for Carranza going into the season with the No. 9 on his back will be whether he is a striker Miami paid $6 million for or a $6 million striker the Union got for a steal.
The Union’s history with No. 9s has been positive.
Ring of Honor inductee Sébastien Le Toux wore the number in the club’s first two seasons and again in the 2015 and 2016 seasons after wearing No. 11 in 2013-14. He’s the team’s all-time leading goal-scorer with Przybylko not far behind.
Fafa Picault had 14 goals and 9 assists in his two seasons wearing No. 9 from 2018-2019 (he wore No. 22 in 2017). Jack McInerney had the best two seasons of his career with 20 goals and 3 assists over the two years he wore the number in 2012-13.
Andrew Wenger had one of the best offensive seasons of his career wearing the No. 9 jersey in 2014 with six goals and four assists. He started the 2015 season wearing No. 9 but he and Le Toux swapped numbers early in the season. Charlie Davies also wore No. 9 but played sparingly (11 appearances) over his two seasons with the team in 2016-17.
The Union will be wearing a new primary jersey this season.