, the first player to sign with the Bethlehem Steel FC, became the first player to jump from the Philadelphia Union's academy to its USL second team and now its first team. He
became the first U.S.-based teenager to sign an Homegrown contract in 2016.
“Derrick’s progression through our system has been quicker than anticipated and it’s
evident that he is ready for the next step of his career,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart
said. “This is a testament to Derrick’s commitment to his trade, and it
should be considered a tremendous accomplishment to become the first player to come through our Academy, to Bethlehem Steel, and finally to the First Team."
Jones, 19, joined the
Union Academy, based at YSC Sports in Wayne, Pa., from local Philadelphia club Junior Lone Star in 2013 and signed a professional contract with Bethlehem Steel FC on Dec. 6, 2015.
20 USL games, Jones, a dual U.S. and Ghanaian citizen, led Bethlehem Steel in goals (4), assists (3) and was fourth in minutes played (1,478).