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Union sign Brian Holt

Photo: Earl Gardner

The Philadelphia Union announced on Monday the signing of trialist goalkeeper Brian Holt.

Head coach John Hackworth said in a press release from the club, “Brian is a tremendous competitor and we have seen a lot of his dedication, hard work and resolve while he trained with us last year. We’re really happy to have him as part of our team going into the season.”

Holt will be familiar to some from his time with Union affiliates Reading United and Harrisburg City Islanders. Holt played 16 games with Reading United in 2011 and was an All-Eastern Conference selection and PDL Rookie of the Year finalist.

In 2012, Holt began his professional career when he signed with USL PRO club Harrisburg City Islanders, making one appearance with the club.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Holt played at Creighton University from 2008-11. In his senior year, Holt was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist after setting a NCAA record .208 goals against average while leading the NCAA with 19 shutouts in 24 starts, allowing only five goals for a 92.3 save percentage.

Holt spent much of the 2013 season training with the Union.



  1. Methinks this is the final nail in the coffin for Zac Macmath.

    • It seems strange that we appear to be pushing an average MLS keeper who’s only 22 years old out the door. I think we should try to get the most out of Blake’s GA deal and use him as a backup to MacMath this season. Then, we could trade MacMath at the end of the year and Blake could start for us for free in 2015.
      Then again, if we can trade MacMath for a quality CB, we should jump at the opportunity.

    • i’m not trying to argue too much here, but why would that be? isn’t it pretty standard to have three gks on the roster?

      • Not in the MLS. Most team’s keep two. The MLS has a reserve pool of 2~3 GKs if you need one in an emergency. That’s what Konopka was prior to last year.

      • Yea Zac has a large contract and the Union have 2 starters in goal. So he is very expendable.

      • i dont think it is unusual for mls teams to have 3 keepers

      • Shane – I’m pretty sure the “emergency” pool goalies MLS has on contract are only available to a team if their roster includes 3 goalies and two of them are injured or otherwise unavailable.

    • I wouldn’t think so. This guy is 5’8″ and doesn’t have a lot of pro playing time under his belt.

      Anyone seen him play?

  2. Good for him. He’s been working with us for a year now, about time he was rewarded. I doubt he’ll ever play though.

  3. A lot of mls teams roster 3 keepers. If one gets injured you already have a backup getting paid league minimum that is already used to the team system. Making league minimum he wont even count against the cap. Also, competition is a good thing.

  4. My first reaction to this was that it would give the team flexibility to get Blake some extra playing time in Harrisburg this year, but I’m not sure the HCI would bench Nick Noble for Blake.

  5. MLS teams carry 3 goalkeepers on their roster. This is just a move to fill in the blanks. I do however think we should get what we can for MacMath. The team needs to gauge if Carlos Valdes is going to be back after the World Cup and if he is then we can trade Zac for a player and a chunk of allocation money. Most of that trade though will be getting his salary off the books to bring Valdes back. If Valdes doesn’t come back then we can look for maybe a clean 1:1 swap of a quality CB for Zac IMO.

  6. Nice to finally know this kid’s name. He was sitting behind my friend and I in Secton 103 for most of last season, also warming-up with the team pre-match. We were never able to figure out who he is…

  7. kingkowboys says:

    I agree with some of the thoughts that MacMath will now be shopped around. Most likely for CB help.

    I also think that we may carry 3 goalies and loan out either Holt or Blake to Harrisburg if a good deal for MacMath isn’t found.

  8. If MacMath is shopped, this guy is not the reason. We were likely going to sign a third stringer anyways, and Holt’s previous coaching experience may have sealed the deal to be behind two young goalies who would benefit from mentoring.

    I think MacMath starts the season as the #1 goalie. Not sure how long he stays there.

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