Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta
, 31, will leave the Philadelphia Union at the end of the 2016 season and return to FC St. Gallen, where he began his pro career. He had been weighing a
contract extension with the Union for which he has five goals and four assists in 26 games this season and helped get the Union into playoff contention.
He has appeared in 37 matches
since signing on with the Union 14 months ago.
“The entire soccer community here was so welcoming, and I’m so thankful to everyone at Philadelphia Union for making me
feel so appreciated.” Barnetta said. “Playing in front of my friends and family and making plans for life at the end of my career where I want to live is a force I can’t
Barnetta came from the German Bundesliga, where he played four seasons for Schalke 04.
“Tranquillo has been a key piece in what we’re
trying to build here in Philadelphia, but we appreciate his decision to return to Switzerland,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart
said. “We look forward to continuing to push
for the postseason.”