Midfielder to return to Philadelphia following loan spell with Swedish side Jönköpings Södra IF
CHESTER, Pa. (Dec. 12, 2017) – Philadelphia Union today announced that they have exercised the 2018 contract option of midfielder Eric Ayuk. Ayuk, 20, returns to Philadelphia following a loan stint during the 2017 season with Jönköpings Södra IF in Sweden.
“Exercising Eric’s option is another important move for us as we continue to build a young core here in Philadelphia,” said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He performed well during his loan stint in Sweden, receiving valuable playing time at a high level. We look forward to helping him take the next step in his development here in Philadelphia.”
While on loan, Ayuk recorded 12 league appearances and one cup appearance in Sweden, scoring one goal. He tallied as part of a 2-2 draw against Hammarby on May 28.
Previously, for Philadelphia, Ayuk made 29 league appearances over the 2015 and 2016 campaigns. He is currently the youngest player in Union history to both play a complete game (18 years, 74 days on 5/2/15 vs. TOR) and record an assist (18 years, 53 days on 4/11/15 vs. NYC).
Internationally, he has appeared for Cameroon’s youth teams, including for their U-20s for the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. He scored a goal in the team's Group Stage opener at the tournament as part of a 3-1 loss against South Africa (February 27, 2017) and scored again in their second match, a 4-1 win over Sudan (March 2, 2017).
The MLS offseason continues with the MLS Waiver Draft, set for 3:30 p.m. ET tomorrow, December 13. Following that, the MLS Re-Entry Draft begins with Stage One on Friday, December 15 at 3 p.m. ET. Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft takes place on Thursday, December 21 at 2 p.m. ET.
TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union exercise the 2018 contract option of midfielder Eric Ayuk on December 12, 2017.
Name: Eric Ayuk
Born: February 17, 1997
Hometown: Yaounde, Cameroon
Acquired: Philadelphia Union acquired Eric Ayuk originally via loan as a Discovery Signing on March 3, 2015.