Union sign Ilsinho

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday the signing of Brazilian midfielder Ilsinho to a two-year deal using Targeted Allocation Money.

Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in a statement, “We’re extremely excited to land a player of Ilsinho’s caliber and that he chose Philadelphia over other options. For a player with experience at the highest level in this sport, he came into our preseason camp with a tremendous work rate and that speaks to the type of person he is and who we want at our club. His elite-level attacking ability speaks for itself and we’re confident he’ll have an immediate impact.”

Jim Curtin previously said of the Brazilian, “He’s a very creative player that can play in any of the front slots.”

Ilsinho, 30, has been impressive while on trial with the Union for much of the preseason, most recently with a two-assist performance in last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The midfielder last played for Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League, leaving that team at the end of his contract last June. His professional career began in Brazil with Palmeiras in 2006, moving that year to Sao Paulo where he remained until the end of the 2006-2007 season. In July of 2007, Ilsinho moved to Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk on a four-year deal valued at €10 million. While with Shakhtar, Ilsinho was converted from right back to right wing.

In 2010, Ilsinho returned to Sao Paulo, playing with the club for one season before moving to Internacional in September of 2011. In January of 2012, he returned to Shakhtar. In 176 appearances with the Ukrainian club Ilsinho scored 22 goals with 19 assists.

In addition to winning the UEFA Cup with Shakhtar Donetsk in 2009, Ilsinho has been on Shakhtar sides that have won the Ukrainian Premier League title five times, and both the Ukrainian Cup and Ukrainian Super Cup three times. While with Sao Paulo, Ilsinho won the Brazilian Serie A title in 2006.

Ilsinho earned one cap with the Brazilian national team in 2007. In 2008, he won the bronze medal with the Brazilian U-23 team at the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Earlier on Wednesday, Union press officer Chris Winkler tweeted that Vincent Nogueira had received a green card, thus freeing up the international roster spot necessary for the Ilsinho signing to happen. lists his current value at €4 million, or approximately $4,410,800.

With Ilsinho’s signing, the Union roster now stands at 26 players looks like this:

GK (3): Andre Blake (GA), John McCarthy, Matt Jones
DEF (8): Anderson Conceicao (INT’L), Fabinho, Raymon Gaddis, Richie Marquez, Keegan Rosenberry, Ken Tribbett, Taylor Washington, Joshua Yaro (GA/INT’L)
MID (13): Roland Alberg (INT’L), Eric Ayuk (INT’L), Tranquillo Barnetta (INT’L), Brian Carroll, Warren Creavalle, Maurice Edu (DP), Leo Fernandes, Ilsinho (INT’L), Sebastien Le Toux, Cole Missimo, Vincent Nogueira (INT’L), Chris Pontius, Walter Restrepo
FWD (2): Fabian Herbers (GA/INT’L), C.J. Sapong

INT’L ROSTER SPOTS FILLED (INT’L): 8 (Blake, Fabinho, Jones, Le Toux, and Nogueira have green cards)


  1. OK its done now there won’t be anymore posts of we need to sign him.

  2. We’re running out of things to complain about…
    So, um…about that DP Striker? (Is there something else I’m forgetting about?)
    Damn you, Earnie! We’re Philadelphians, for the love of God. Let us complain about something, please!!!!

  3. Good signing. It’s nice to have a deep roster for once with multiple options at each position as well as a good mix of young players and experienced vets.

    Remember when people were freaking out over the lack of signings? It wasn’t that long ago.

  4. el Pachyderm says:


  5. So whose your starting 11 now, and who officially goes to the bench? And where does ilsinho start?

    • CJ
      Fabinho-Marquez-Tribbet(or Anderson)-KR (or Gaddis)
      But while Mo is hurt, maybe move Alberg to the center (?) and Pontius on the wing, with Barnetta and Nogs lying back?
      Or Ilsinho moving to the middle with LeToux or Fernandes or Herbers (unlikely) starting? Can Pontius play on the right?
      I’m ok with almost any of these variations.

      • Yeah, these things seem to work themselves out with injuries, form, and the busy schedule (especially considering travel). Our subs and midweek lineups should be so much better this year.

      • I like your lineup however for the defense I go with who has been most solid thus far. If I’m remembering all the comments and what I have seen correctly that means you lineup with a backline of fabi, anderson, tribbet, rosenberry…….. with marquez and gaddis on the bench for backups right now, but this could all change before the season.

      • There’s no way that Pontius starts on the bench. He goes at left wing in place of Alberg (at least until we see how they both perform).

      • I think Pontius starts, too. Either way, I’m fine with it, as long as we see positive results.

      • I don’t think Alberg goes to the bench, either.

      • Adam C is going to actually have to think this year when supplying his projected lineup in the game previews.

      • Best comment of the thread!

  6. well. disregard previous comment.
    Lets hope these pieces fit.

  7. Ernie has done a pretty good job building a squad capable of attracting a quality player this summer, maybe that DP striker that will love getting service from Barnetta, Ilsinho, Alberg, LeToux, Pontius etc etc. Very excited and hopeful for what the rest of 2016 has in store.

  8. I’ll still complain about Jimmy “the Suit” Curtin until he proves me wrong!

  9. I see a squad that now has amazing depth at the attacking midfield slots (center and wing), but is very thin at center forward and is largely relying on rookies and unproven players in the back. I predict that we will be much more fun to watch this year, but will leak goals unless Blake has a truly magical year.

    • Even without a significant increase in the Win column, “fun to watch” would be a big step in the right direction for this club.

    • I’d prefer losing 4-3 over losing 1-0. Give me entertainment.
      (And preferably a bunch a wins!)

    • Agree. But a lot depends on Edu. When he returns and if — big IF — he can play the dominant #6 many seem to think he can, we may find ourselves contesting for a playoff spot. To me, that would be a nice turnaround from what was a really poor season last year.

  10. I will say, however, that it is wonderful to actually have enough depth at all the positions. This is the first time I can ever remember a Union squad that actually had 4 center backs and 4 outside backs on the roster.

    • Not just 4 outside backs, either. They have two at each spot – rather than just playing somebody there out of position.

  11. With that signing, NOW I will ask:
    OVER/UNDER………42 Pts

    • With a limited sample space here (tonight’s starting XI and result should help a little answer some questions) I think we have to assume over.

      Blake alone for an entire season season can earn us at least 3 points (with Jones as the backup and JM experience we could get a point or two more).

      GK plus seemingly exponentially more firepower up top (maybe out wide might be more accurate) we have to stretch into the mid-high 40s at least. Hopefully sneak in to the play-offs with 48.

    • I think the team record for wins in a season is 10 (insert laugh track), and I’ll be sorely disappointed if we don’t beat that. Even a measly 11 wins would be 33 points, with 10 draws it’s up to 43. Has to be over.

    • over, but only if we ever sign some players for the roster. we are not doing anything and destined for Oblivion – no way this team can take down the giant alien computer/clone generating thingee with such a thin squad.

      • So, I’m guessing two things:
        A) You’re not paying attention
        (There ARE 26 players signed)
        B) You’re saying “under”

    • I’m thinkin’ 45 is the number.
      That’s pretty optimistic progress IMO.

  12. So maybe we temper expectations a bit, as he gets tossed in the first half of his first official game.
    This is gonna be a fun year!

    • I think someone told him what “Philly Tough” means today whenever they were signing that contract.

      Regardless, we’re spoiled for choice in the midfield now. Did anyone else who watched the game think Leo Fernandes might need to be starting?

      • I can’t say yay or nay on starting, but Fernandes is making it pretty clear he wants a prominent role on this team. He looked good out there for sure. I don’t remember him being so big before, he just looks solid. What an ugly first half (aside from the fouling), Union got swamped.

      • Well it appears Ilsinho understands the rivalry with the energy drink. Glad it was the preseason. I just wish the picture was better so I could have seen how dirty he really was. It seems the rest of the team also got Curtain’s message about taking fouls. Ah man that was great.
        I thought Leo played really well, especially a man down.

  13. I really was planning on watching this but Mother Nature threw me a red card for letting my phone die. Then she took away the power… So missed it. Thanks for the write up and comments… Painted a good picture. Hope everyone made it through the storm safety!

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