The Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday the club has re-signed midfielder Brian Carroll ahead of the 2016 season. Carroll, 34, has been with the Union since 2011 and was a part of Major League Soccer’s inaugural free agency class this offseason before electing to re-sign with the Union. Per club and league policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Brian’s vast knowledge and experience in this game is an invaluable asset and we’re thrilled he’s decided to return to our club,” Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said. “As Brian has consistently shown throughout his career, his professional approach to the game is unmatched, a key factor for why he can still play at such a high level. We cannot think of a better leader to mentor some of our newer players, both on and off the field, for the upcoming season.”
Carroll joined the team on Nov. 22, 2010 via trade with Columbus Crew SC in exchange for a second round draft pick. Frequently wearing the captain’s armband since then, Carroll is the longest continuous member of the Union, with the upcoming 2016 season serving as his sixth consecutive year with the club. He has played and started in the third most games in franchise history with 139 and 133, respectively, and has helped the team keep 37 of its 46 clean sheets in MLS play since 2011. The savvy defensive midfielder has also scored four goals and added three assists in his five seasons with the club.
Overall in MLS, Carroll is only one of 11 players to have started at least 300 games, currently with 322. Only three players – Steve Ralston, Kyle Beckerman and Brad Davis – have more in MLS history, with Carroll 50 away from tying Ralston’s record. Carroll is also sixth on the league’s all-time games played list with 344. He only trails Beckerman, Ralston, Davis, Jeff Cunningham and Davy Arnaud in that category. Carroll is also the owner of MLS second-longest consecutive games played streak, which reached 90 in 2006.
Carroll played for D.C. United from 2003-06, including winning MLS Cup in 2004. He won MLS Cup again in 2008 with Columbus Crew SC where he played from 2008-10. Also with both clubs, Carroll won four consecutive Supports’ Shields from 2006-09. In his 13-year MLS career, he’s scored eight goals and added 17 assists.