Philadelphia Union started their 2018 season on the right foot last Saturday with a win against Eastern Conference foe New England Revolution at Talen Energy Stadium. In the 2-0 victory, the Union saw a huge contribution from their Homegrown defender Auston Trusty.
For Trusty, the performance was years in the making. The Media, Pennsylvania native has been in the Union system for years after being with the Union Academy. Trusty grew up watching Union players as a kid, so for him to see his path come full circle was a special moment.
“Making my MLS debut felt amazing and was very humbling. Especially growing up as a young kid in Philadelphia and being able to go out on this field, because I remember back in the day, I used to buy tickets to go see this team play and see some of the players like Ray Gaddis,” Trusty said. “He was one of my favorite players growing up for the Union. Having him as my teammate and dreaming about this opportunity and this day as a young kid, visualizing at the games that I could someday be here and playing on this field and starting – for it to happen is truly humbling and amazing.”
The culture the club has built with their belief in their Homegrown talents is also a reflection on the vision the club has with their veterans. Ray Gaddis has been with Philadelphia Union since the 2012 season.
Gaddis has made 144 appearances for the Union and has been a mainstay for the club and has used his veteran leadership to help with the younger guys. In a recent interview with Joe Tansey of Pro Soccer USA, Gaddis spoke about what Trusty’s words meant to him as a professional.
“It makes me happy that he was listening or he was watching to see what it takes to be a professional," Gaddis said. "I was more excited for him and [Anthony] Fontana, two homegrown players that debuted well for us and got us off to the right start that we needed this season. That made me happier that they were listening and Trusty saying that meant a lot.”
After years of watching his hometown team from the stands, the Homegrown earned a starting spot on a backline that earned a shutout last Saturday. In the contest Trusty himself found himself all alone in the 18 with New England’s Juan Agudelo, but was able to make a spectacular play to clear the threat.
For Trusty, the Path to the Pros has been crucial to his ability to perform at a high level in his MLS debut and after the match he gave his appreciation for everyone who helped him get to the First Team level.
“I am thankful from everyone from the academy, to the Steel, to the organization, to the Union. Just everybody, I’m so thankful.” Trusty said.