The Philadelphia Union have just announced another contract extension, this time for 21-year-old Homegrown defender Nathan Harriel. The new contract is guaranteed through 2025, with options for 2026 and 2027. This move is in keeping with the team’s commitment to building around and providing opportunities for players who have come up through the Union Academy.
Nathan Harriel’s Background
Nathan Harriel joined the Union Academy in 2018 from Chargers Soccer Club in Clearwater, Florida. He ascended quickly, first to Union II in 2019 before joining the first team as a Homegrown player in 2021 (after signing the contract in July 2020).
In 2022, Harriel had 25 appearances (20 starts) for the Union, with 1 goal and 1 assist.
Ernst Tanner’s Thoughts
Union Sporting Directer Ernst Tanner spoke briefly about the contract extension, mentioning both Harriel’s positive qualities and the team’s philosophy around Homegrown players.
“Nathan’s commitment to developing his game has impressed us, and we are thrilled he will continue to grow and contribute here in Philadelphia. His quickness and relentlessness have always been evident, and his decision making has drastically improved. Homegrown players are a pillar of our success and Nathan will continue to exemplify that going forward.”-Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner
What This Extension Means
If Harriel can build on the solid contribution he provided the team last year, there is every chance he could come out on top of the back and forth battle he has found himself in with Olivier Mbaizo for starting time at right back. He has already shown himself capable of elite defending, and as he adds to the offensive side of his game, his impact on the team will only grow. This extension ensures he will have adequate time to do just that.
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