Philadelphia Union Sign Defender Kai Wagner To New Contract


Philadelphia Union announced today that the club has signed defender Kai Wagner, the club’s second all-time assist leader, to a new contract ahead of the 2024 season. The three-year contract guarantees the 26-year-old left-back through 2026 with an option for 2027.

“Kai has proven himself year after year as one of the best left backs in the league, and an integral part of our team success,” said Union Sporting Director, Ernst Tanner. “With his consistent defending and aggressive attacking style of play, he has greatly contributed to the new milestones the team has achieved every year, and we have full confidence his continued dedication and passion for this club will continue help us reach new heights. We’re looking forward to having Kai in Philadelphia for years to come.”

“I’ve been here for almost five years now and continue to grow professionally and personally. I feel highly valued here and have a great bond with the club. My family and I also feel extremely at home here. Despite other exciting options in Europe, I decided to extend my contract with the Philadelphia Union because in the end my heart also played a part in my decision,” said Philadelphia Union defender, Kai Wagner.

“The MLS is an exciting league, and you can see that the development runs in the right direction, also with a view to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. I’m looking forward to continuing to be a part of the league in a great club and, as always, will give my very best for the team so that we can celebrate success together. The discussions with the people in charge here were and are characterized by a high level of mutual appreciation. In today’s fast-moving world, my long time spent here has been something special. Now our relationship will continue which makes me very happy. For me, there are definitely more good reasons to stay here than to leave. That is why I said yes again to my club with full conviction.”

Joining the Union for his sixth season, Wagner, 26, made 138 appearances (136 starts) since joining the club in 2019. In that time, he registered the second most assists in club history with 39 assists, 12 more than any defender in the league since making his debut. In his 2023 campaign, Wagner registered the second most assists on the team, as well as leading in multiple categories including: crosses (78), tackles (39), key passes (63), interceptions (46), duel percentage amongst players with at least 20 duels (61.6%), and corner kicks taken (131).

He became the first defender in club history to record 10 assists in a single MLS season against the New England Revolution on July 16, 2022, and on August 31, 2022, he registered his 30th career assist to surpass midfielder Haris Medunjanin for second most assists in club history. With a pair of assists on September 10, 2022, he became the first defender in league history to register 15 assists in a single season. Wagner also pulled off three-assist matches, first in a 7-0 win over D.C. United on July 8, 2022, and then on September 3, 2023, in a 4-1 win against the New York Red Bulls. Since joining from the Würzburger Kickers, Wagner has helped the team qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs in all five seasons, clinching their first trophy, the Supporters' Shield, in 2020, and making an MLS Cup final appearance in 2022. Additionally, Wagner received MLS All-Star nods in 2021 and 2022 and made the MLS Best XI in 2022.

Wagner started his professional career at SSV Ulm in 2015, before joining Schalke 04 II in 2016. After spending a season at Schalke, he joined Würzburger Kickers from 2017 to 2019 before signing with the Union.

TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union sign defender Kai Wagner to a three-year contract through 2026, with an option for 2027, on January 11, 2024.