Each MLS club has its own Homegrown strategy, based on its player market, supporting structure and, of course, ambitions. The Philadelphia Union is using its USL team, Bethlehem Steel, to fast-track
academy players. Its newest first-team signing: 17-year-old midfielder Anthony Fontana
The 17-year-old midfielder from Newark, Delaware, joins the paths taken last year by U.S.
U-20s Derrick Jones
and Auston Trusty
, signing after making 13 appearances for Bethlehem Steel in the 2016 and 2017 USL seasons combined. He also appeared in the Union’s friendly
against Swansea City on Saturday, playing 14 minutes in a substitute’s role.
“Anthony joined our first team for our full preseason camp this year and was impressive in his
poise and ability for such a young player," Union sporting director Earnie Stewart
. "We believe strongly in his potential and look forward to integrating him further with Steel FC and our first
team as a professional.”
Fontana made two appearances in the 2017 Suncoast Invitational against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Montreal Impact.
Jones has made 11
appearances (seven starts) in his first full season with the Union. Trusty has yet to play for the first team. Trusty's only appearances -- 10 starts -- in 2017 have been for Bethlehem.