Signing News

Union sign Auston Trusty to Homegrown contract

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday the signing of 17-year-old Union Academy and Bethlehem Steel center back Auston Trusty to a Homegrown Contract.

Sporting director Earnie Stewart said in a statement, “Auston has a really bright future ahead of him and it was important for us to keep him here, utilizing our professional pathway to the First Team. He has really benefitted from playing at the USL level this season, further showing just how valuable this process can be. He’s now proven himself at our Academy, at Bethlehem Steel FC, and at various youth national teams throughout his young career. We believe he’s ready for the next step in his progression and couldn’t be happier to have him signed.”

A native of Media, Pa., Trusty was a member of the first group of Union Juniors in 2011. He joined the Union Academy in 2013, and graduated from the YSC Academy in June. The defender has 13 starts with Union USL-side Bethlehem Steel in 2016.

Trusty also has extensive experience as a US Youth International, most recently appearing for the US U-19 MNT at the COTIF Tournament in Spain. He was also called up three times by the US U-20 MNT in 2016.

Trusty, who was to join the University of North Carolina soccer team this fall, is the Union’s sixth Homegrown signing, and arrives following the recent signing of Derrick Jones in July.

46 Comments

  1. Yea. Union doesn’t care about the draft any more.

  2. Ryan Stockton says:

    Awesome. To be honest, I have no idea about these young guys. I’ve never seen them play a single minute. But I’m learning to trust Earnie and Curtin and I’m pumped to start getting our young guys in there and having a pipeline for more talent development and more players. So cool.

    • He’s sick. Watched him play at bsfc, was shocked when I found out he was only 17 and was so confident on the back line. Does work on defense and is already a monster being so young

      • Jim Presti says:

        Wait until he starts hitting the weight room between 18-22. See John Anthony Brooks for a growth comparison.

  3. The Realist Brian says:

    Called it.

  4. Interesting. I’m excited for the kid and his potential, no doubt, but I’m not sure how I feel about “stashing” two future players since there is a limited number of roster spots allowed.
    .
    I wonder if signing for BSFC was ever in the discussion?

    • If I remember the rules correctly, it is much easier for us to send players down to BSFC than it is to call them up. So having him sign for the big club gives us greater flexibility and allows him the opportunity to get minutes at both places.
      .
      But I have been wrong before…I’ll defer to the BSFC experts around here.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Nobody’s an expert, Pragmatist, trust me. Tough to be an expert on wheel-making when you are observing the guy in ancient India who first invented the thing. The organization has been inventing the Steel as it has gone along all season.
        .
        With all that said, I have been trying to follow them.
        .
        I have wondered for several weeks why they have not done this before. I know nothing of Trusty’s family, as I most appropriately should not and do not want to know. I have thought that if Trusty were academically able and clear college material, his family might want him to get his education in the present. A recent published comment from Trusty himself suggests that this is what he himself wants.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        being a pro soccer player, sorry, sloppy demonstrative pronouns.

      • I’m still not sure of how loans to the Steel from the Union work.
        .
        Would he come off the roster? Mostly they have done short term loans so the player being loaned still counted against the roster numbers. The only possible player who may have been a longer loan that I know of is Ayuk and he is still listed on the roster.

      • pragmatist says:

        (Bear with my rough memory and understanding of the always-changing rules)
        The Union typically have multiple open roster spots. They can carry something like 25 (I know that’s not right, but can’t remember the exact number) on the Active roster. Those players can go down to BSFC and be part of their roster, like Mo either this week or next week, according to JC. But to come from BSFC to the Union requires a loan agreement. The Jones and Richter loans for the Crystal Palace game were 4-day loans, and I think you have a limited amount of them.
        .
        So, for developmental purposes, you sign the guys to the big club, and then let them go down and play so they get minutes. But if needed, they are easily brought back up without any paperwork.
        .
        But if on the big club’s roster and playing at BSC, they are still occupying a roster spot on the big club.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Two categories of loan possibilities, from the observed data it is highly, highly likely that the Union have used only one – unless Auston Trusty himself is the very first example of the other.

        the USL media Guide version of the roster rules, as best I remember, says you can makes a loan from the first team side which is recallable in the short term provided the precisely congruent roster slot remains available on the parent team’s roster. You can also make an unrecallable loan. To date, the Union have recalled everybody at one [point or another whose contract is with MLS.
        .
        Were Auston Trusty an unrecallable loan to BSFC, he probably would not count on the Union’s roster, which would explain how they can sign him as their 29th player without cutting someone else.
        [Unless BC is so badly hurt that he has a season-ending injury and they know it already.]

      • Knowing that a scientist wants direct incontrovertible evidence, here is the relevant section from the Rules I copied from the MLS website earlier this year.
        .
        Loan of a Player by MLS to USL Affiliate
        • All loans from MLS clubs to USL affiliates must be free (i.e. no loan fees paid by USL affiliate clubs).
        • In the event that an MLS player is loaned to a USL affiliate club, such player may not be paid in excess of the player’s MLS budget charge without that compensation being captured on the MLS club’s Salary Budget (including, but not limited to, performance bonus compensation).
        • An MLS club can receive roster relief and budget relief for a maximum of one player loaned to its USL affiliate; provided, however, that:
        o The player is under the age of 25 (i.e., he does not turn 25 prior to the end of the calendar year);
        o The player’s total compensation is less than or equal to the MLS Senior Minimum Salary (including any loan fees, transfer fees, agent fees, housing, car, etc.); and
        o The loan of the player to the USL affiliate must last for the duration an entire USL season; provided, however, that in the event that such loaned player is a goalkeeper, he may be recalled to his parent MLS club only in the case of Extreme Hardship.

        Right of Recall
        If a player is loaned from a MLS Club to a USL affiliate with a Right of Recall incorporated into the agreement, then that player may be recalled by the parent MLS Club at any point during the MLS regular season subject to MLS roster compliance guidelines (e.g. available international slots, roster space). There are no restrictions on the amount of time such player may be recalled.

      • Thank you Tim.

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    These kids that sign HG contracts need to be properly compensated, my hopes is they are otherwise kids will choose college which is totally counterproductive.
    .
    Pay them, incentivize them. Begin changing the seeds of the game… plenty of low A ball and double AA ball baseball kids making a good living as we wait to see if they pan out.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    In this league of half a billion dollar buy in and 3.6 million dollar payroll.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I just finished working on the state of the salary cap. Total spent on salary, knowing nothing of TRusty, guessing on Jones and Bedoya in a fashion I hope is educated, and using MLS Players Association data, is a snort under $5,600,000, according to me.
      .
      We should check to see whether today is Auston Trusty’s birthday. If it is not, today is within two weeks of it.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        It is not his birthday, according to the USL website version of the BSFC roster. His birthday is listed as 8/12. He is today 17 years and 363 days old.
        .
        Okay, whose a lawyer? How does a legal minor sign a contract? Has to include a blood parent’s permission does it not? Did for underage enlistment in the Marines in WW2, I think I know from my wife’s family history.

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        August 12, 1998 is his birthday. Maybe the contract is dated forward and they just announced today?

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      El P, look at the DAve ZEitlin retweet from Jim Curtin’s presser, in re, Edu and the Steel.
      .
      You said you want to watch if Mo and Jonesy are on the pitch together.

    • While I hope we are paying these young men well, it is completely false to say that low A or really any minor league ball players are paid well. Other than the top bonus guys they are paid like complete crap.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      In looking for other stuff, found out that an HG player may not make more that the Senior Roster minimum ($62,500 in 2016) plus $125K, or the Reserve Roster minimum ($51,500 in 2016) plus $125K. The ages of both Trusty and Jones qualify for the reserve roster.
      .
      On the other hand, at Curtin’s press conference he emphasized there had been meaningful foreign interest in Trusty.
      .
      We should know for each when the MLS Players Association publishes salary data in September as they have in the past.
      .
      These are the new FO’s first HGs, so there is no valid track record to guess from.

  6. Jim Presti says:

    Does anyone know if the league is going to move forward with expansion drafts for Atlanta, LAFC, & Minnesota. If I remember from the last draft, homegrown players are automatically protected, and maybe only a handful of USL players.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Well done, Jim. That’s the next long-term question before the Union front office, as I see it, too.
      .
      Some TV commentator in the last several days was wondering whether there were going to be such a draft or not.
      .
      The MLS Transaction Tracker lists activity by Atlanta, but I do not remember any references to activity by LAFC.

      On of the not-prominent menu choices at the top of the MLS home page may say “Expansion” unless I am confusing MLS with USL in my memory banks, which is possible.

      • Jim Presti says:

        LAFC may not be until 2018, but I believe Atlanta and Minnesota are coming in next season. There are complaints from the coaches and TDs regarding the Expansion Drafts. so it may be nixed or possibly altered.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I would further say that I think I know the Union can somehow “protect” 3 of the USL-contracted players on the Steel, and that if they wish to protect more of them, they must list them on the Union’s discovery list.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Ok so if I remember correctly then, the team is allotted a specific number of players to protect [11 maybe?] and then all Generation Adidas & Homegrowns are automatically protected, and now an additional 3 USL players.
        .
        So there may be additional benefits aside from roster movement up and down the pipeline or transfer fee compensation in the event of a sale abroad.

    • HG’s and GA’s are exempted. So we have Jones, Trusty, Blake, Yaro, Fabian are all automatically protected.
      .
      The internationals always have weird rules. Mo is probably safe if you leave him exposed.
      .
      I think Sapong, Marquez, Kegan, Bedoya, Ayuk, Alberg are all safe.
      .
      I think if we lose anybody it would be a Leo or Restrepo type.

      • Jim Presti says:

        The rule for internationals was that you must leave 2 or 3 exposed. DPs are not automatically protected, I remember that much.
        .
        “I think Sapong, Marquez, Kegan, Bedoya, Ayuk, Alberg are all safe.” Do you mean they would be protected or that if left exposed a team would not grab them? I’m thinking the former, correct?

      • Correct the former, those would be the guys you would used your 11 protections on.

    • There was a lot of news that the league was going to stop doing expansion drafts. Apparently it was discussed at the rules committee or board level. ty

      I hope they do get rid of it. A lot of MLS teams have pretty shallow rosters and the league doesn’t need a thinner talent pool.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Yeah I remember hearing that too a while back but that doesn’t mean they may just do a “modified” version of it. Especially considering Atlanta is coming into the league as an entirely new team. Minnesota at least as the benefit of having a current roster.

      • Dont feel too bad for ATL Jim, the guy that owns them owns home depot. I am sure they will be able to buy their team just fine…

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        He paid $100 million to get in. He’s gonna want something in return for his money I would think.

      • Home Depot is a publically traded company. I don’t believe he is the largest shareowner.
        .
        That said it’s tough to build a decent roster from scratch unless other teams offer pieces. A better idea would be to give ATL a fat stack of GAM & TAM and let them negotiate with teams for players.

  7. John P O'Donnell says:

    I also thought the expansion draft was gone to be a thing of the past. Remember seeing that’s why Minnesota was signing player now to bring with them for next season. I thought that’s why Atlanta was already signing players now before the season was over. If there still is with twenty teams in the league they could make it so you only lose one player.

  8. Old Soccer Coach says:

    And, if memory serves, the drafting team may take no more than 10 or 11.

  9. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Final comment.

    Roster lists Derrick Jones as 6’3″ and 165. Wait till he puts on some muscle, as well as Trusty.

  10. Can I just say how much fun it is to read this article and then all this great information in the comments section! A tip of my hat to you all! Also to the Union for keeping the youth in house!

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