Philadelphia has signed a former teammate of Jozy Altidore to augment its back line.
Giliano Wijnaldum comes to MLS from Bundesliga 2 club Bochum after playing for several clubs in his home country, the Netherlands, including AZ Alkmaar, which counts among its former employees Altidore as well as sporting director Earnie Stewart. Wijnaldum, a former Dutch youth international, played with Altidore on the AZ team that won the 2012-13 Dutch Cup.
“We’re pleased to welcome Giliano to Philadelphia Union and are excited about the talent he adds to our defensive corps,” said Stewart in a team release. “As a young player who I have worked with before in the Netherlands, I know firsthand the potential he brings to our club. We are eager to integrate him within the squad and believe he has a bright future with the Union.”
Wijnaldum, 24, also played for FC Groningen and Go Ahead Eagles during his time in the Netherlands. The Union signed him as a Discovery Player. His brother Georginio Wijnaldum signed with Liverpool after playing for the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup and a half-brother, Rajiv van La Parra, also plays in England with Huddersfield Town in the League Championship (second division).