Union make 1st offseason signing ahead of 2020 season in defensive midfielder José Andrés Martínez


Merry early Christmas Union fans! On Monday morning the Union announced the signing José “el Brujo” Andrés Martínez from Venezuelan club Zulia FC. The 25-year-old defensive midfielder will take up an international player slot. Here’s a first look at the newest Union player.

Mandatory Credit: Zulia FC

José Andrés Martínez

José Andrés Martínez scored two goals and notched four assists over 65 matches over the last two years for Zulia FC. These stats don’t necessarily jump out at you, but the defensive midfielder looks to be more of a “glue guy” who will consistently win a ball and look to start a counter-attack.

Ernst Tanner had this to say on the new signing “We’re excited to welcome ‘el Brujo’ to the Philadelphia Union. He is an up-and-coming player whose tenacity and athleticism will bolster our midfield going forward. We look forward to welcoming him to the team and an exciting 2020 season.”

Tanner speaks of tenacity and athleticism, which will be welcome at the defensive midfield position.

Haris Medunjanin replacement?


After Philadelphia moved on from Haris Medunjanin, it was clear the club wanted a defensive midfielder who would be able to better cover the center backs. Martínez looks to be a player who will be able to do that.

Martínez shows he is good at sitting deep to help win a ball or make a recovery run to relieve some pressure. This makes his presence one that will be a different look from the last few seasons.

Medunjanin was an elite distributor, but he lacked the defensive tenacity to help cover his center backs at times over the last few seasons. When the Union decided to not include Medunajnin in their future plans they knew they wanted to look for a more well rounded defensive midfielder.

El Brujo’s attributes

El Brujo has all the attributes to be the starting defensive midfielder for the Union. Just looking at some of his highlights it is clear that what Ernst Tanner said of him is true.

  • Tenacious and athletic
  • Good distributer
  • Ball winner
  • Good in transition

Martínez looks to be as a good a ball winner as Warren Creavalle, but more tenacious in 50/50 situations. He is also good in transition and shows he can find the right pass, and distribute the ball around the field.

We’ll have to wait and see if El Brujo is going to be the penciled in starter at defensive midfield for the Union, but his addition to the midfielders the Union currently have makes for a more well-rounded group of midfielders who can play in the preferred 4-4-2 diamond formation.

Full Highlights

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Peace out Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: Zulia FC