When the Union kick off the 2019 regular season campaign on March 2nd against Toronto FC, there will be seven homegrown players on their roster.
Signed in the offseason, Matt Freese and Brenden Aaronson join last season's Philly five as the club continues to take advantage of its homegrown talent fostered at the Philadelphia Union Academy.
Prior to joining the Union, Aaronson had a breakout season with Bethlehem Steel FC in 2018. The 18-year-old midfielder appeared in 18 matches with Steel FC and made 13 starts. Aaronson notched a goal against Atlanta United 2 while racking up five assists. Aaronson also gained valuable experience with Steel FC with appearances in both of their postseason appearances.
Goalkeeper Matt Freese had a different path to the Union compared to Aaronson but was still successful on his way to the first team.
The 20-year-old played in 16 matches over two seasons at Harvard University, totaling 77 saves. In his final season with the Crimson, Freese picked up Second-Team All-Ivy League accolades.
Prior to Harvard, Freese made six starts with the Union Academy U-1718s during the 2016-17 season.
The duo looks to make their mark in their rookie seasons and follow in the footsteps of homegrowns Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie, Derrick Jones, Matt Real and Anthony Fontana, as players who have completed the club's "Path to the Pros".