Just days after signing Markus Anderson, Ernst Tanner has made yet another move, turning a so-far quiet offseason into a little bit of a busy one. The Union is trying to finalize its roster for the upcoming season, as this are now two signings in the last three days for the club.
Union announces the signing of Oliver Semmle
It was announced earlier today (Wednesday, January 31st) that the Union has officially signed 25-year-old goalkeeper Oliver Semmle from Louisville City FC for a fee of $100,000 plus future incentives (according to Transfermarkt). Semmle is under contract with the club through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. In addition to the fee, the Union has also completed a trade with the Colorado Rapids. The Union will send a 2025 MLS SuperDraft second-round pick to Colorado in exchange for the college-protected rights of Semmle.
Semmlee began his youth career with German club Karlsruher, playing with the U17, U19, and second team for the team. The goalkeeper then made the move over to the United States to play college soccer, where he played for a couple of colleges.
His final three years in college were spent with the Marshall Thundering Herd, where he was able to win Conference USA Goalkeeper of the Year and the Conference USA Golden Glove Award. Semmle was also named to the First Team All-Conference USA, the 2021 United States Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region Third Team, and the 2021 Second Team All-Conference USA.
After his dominant years with Marshall, Semmle was selected 41st overall by the Colorado Rapids in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft, but he ended up going unsigned by the club. Oliver would end up signing for USL Championship side Louisville City FC, where he would absolutely dominate in his first year. He ended the season with 13 clean sheets in 34 matches, leading the league in the category.
What does Oliver Semmle bring to the Union?
Oliver Semmle is a signing that comes at a good time for the Philadelphia Union. He will slide right into the backup role that was occupied by Joe Bendik in the last couple of years, and he will be a top-tier backup for the club. He is an experienced goalkeeper who showed his talent in the USL last season, and he also will have the chance to develop behind the best goalie in the MLS.
An important aspect of the deal is something that sporting director Ernst Tanner talked about in his quote about Semmle. There is an increase in international matches this year, where the Union will be losing players, especially Andre Blake to Jamaica. With the experience of Oliver Semmle, he should be able to slot right in at goalie for Andre.
The full quote about Oliver Semmle by Ernst Tanner can be found below.
“Oliver had a standout campaign last year, solidifying himself as the best keeper in USL. At 25 years old, he brings crucial experience while being young enough to have time to develop and grow into our system. With the increase in international play this year that will require players to be away with their national teams, we believe Oliver will be able to step in and fill an important role during that time”
Ernst Tanner on new signing Oliver Semmle
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