Philadelphia Union’s youth movement has been well documented over the course of the week. The club had two Homegrown players start in their first match of the season and three Homegrown players overall make an appearance on Saturday, resulting in a 2-0 shutout win over New England Revolution.
Anthony Fontana and Auston Trusty made their MLS debuts, but there was yet another Homegrown product who made his presence felt in the contest.
Midfielder Derrick Jones came off the bench in the 85th minute of the match for David Accam to close out the game and ensure the shutout for the club.
Jones was happy to appear in the contest and is excited for what the season can bring.
“It was great playing on Saturday and leaving with a win. I’m going to continue to work hard and earn minutes for the team as the season goes,” Jones said.
For Jones, he is the first player in club history to complete the “Path to the Pros” for Philadelphia, by competing for the Union Academy, earning minutes for Bethlehem Steel FC and playing with the First Team.
The midfielder turned the “Path to the Pros” vision into a reality when he started in the club’s first match of the 2017 season on the road in Vancouver against the Whitecaps where the Union earned a result.
Overall, Jones made 12 appearances in 2017 which included eight starts in his first full season with the First Team. Jones went on to earn valuable international experience in the summer of 2017 where he participated in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea, playing an active role for the USA.
Jones and his Homegrown teammates are living proof that Head Coach Jim Curtin has belief in their abilities to compete at the First Team level. Jones, Fontana and Trusty will get their next opportunity to add to the win column on March 17 when Philadelphia hosts Columbus Crew SC.