Philadelphia Union have signed defender Auston Trusty as a Homegrown Player, the club announced Wednesday. Trusty originally joined the Philadelphia Union as a member of the first group of Union Juniors in 2011. He then joined the Academy at its inception in 2013 and has continued on with Bethlehem Steel FC this season where he’s made 13 starts. Trusty is the second Union Homegrown signing in 2016 and the fifth in the club’s overall history.
“Auston has a really bright future ahead of him and it was important for us to keep him here, utilizing our professional pathway to the First Team,” Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said. “He has really benefitted from playing at the USL level this season, further showing just how valuable this process can be. He’s now proven himself at our Academy, at Bethlehem Steel FC and at various youth national teams throughout his young career. We believe he’s ready for the next step in his progression and couldn’t be happier to have him signed.”
Trusty, an athletic 17-year-old center back, graduated from YSC Academy in June along with 12 other student-athletes. While he’s the fifth-ever Homegrown signing for the Union, he becomes the first signee to have graduated from the Academy. He has been with Philadelphia Union Academy since 2013, helping multiple teams to varying degree of success. During the 2015-16 season, Trusty split time between the Academy and Bethlehem Steel, where he started 13 games and played all 1,170 minutes. In 2014-15, Trusty was a key member of the Union U16s, who finished the regular season ranked No. 2 nationally and wound up reaching the national semifinals held in California.
“Auston’s path through the Academy was anything but smooth. In his first season with the U16s, he barely played and struggled for consistency. However, in keeping with our philosophy, we were patient with Auston and we allowed him the time to flourish,” Union Academy Director Tommy Wilson said. “He grabbed this opportunity with both hands and never looked back. I’m particularly pleased for our Union Juniors staff led by Iain Munro, who nurtured him from a young age. Auston has matured both on and off the pitch and we are proud to have him sign as a homegrown.”
Born in Media, Pa., Trusty has spent the majority of his youth career on the international circuit for various U.S. Boys National Teams. This year, Trusty has been called-up three times to the U.S. U20s. He started all three games for the team that won NTC Invitational Tournament in California in July, defeating Japan 2-1 and keeping clean sheets over Costa Rica and Panama. He was also with the U20s for the 2016 Dallas Cup where they played youth teams from CF Monterrey, Fulham and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, splitting the three decisions, 1-1-1, including a win over Hoffenheim. Most recently, he competed in the 2016 COTIF Tournament, held in Spain with 10 youth international teams. There, the U.S. also split four decisions, going 2-2-0. In February, Trusty was with the U19s for the Copa de Athletico Tournament in the Canary Islands, competing against Spain, France and the hosts. Finally, he was also a member of the U.S. U17s for the 2015 FIFA World Cup and could have the opportunity to continue with the U20s at the 2017 FIFA World Cup, held next year in South Korea.
Homegrown Players can be signed by an MLS club, and thus not subjecting the player to the SuperDraft, if he has been a member of a club’s youth academy for at least one year and has met the necessary training and retention requirements.
Philadelphia Union return to MLS action on Saturday, Aug. 13 against New England Revolution. They return home to Talen Energy Stadium to face Toronto FC on Saturday, Aug. 20. Single game and group tickets are still available by visiting PhiladelphiaUnion.com/tickets or by calling 1-877-21-UNION.
Name: Auston Trusty
Dual Nationality: USA
Birth Date: August 12, 1998
Residence: Media, Pa.
Transaction: Signed as a Homegrown Player with Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.