Roster News

Union make first signing of the offseason in center back Stuart Findlay

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union ended a long stretch of offseason silence on Thursday morning, completing the transfer of Scottish center back Stuart Findlay from Kilmarnock FC.

Union sporting director Ernst Tanner described Findlay as “a valuable asset to our defense and club” in a press release announcing the signing, highlighting Findlay’s left-footed ability and his capacity to contribute to a “fast-paced style of play.”

Findlay, 25, made 144 appearances for the Scottish Premiership side before joining the Union, notching 11 goals and three assists.

Transfermarkt reports that the Union paid a fee of $300,000 to acquire Findlay, a little less than half of his listed value.

The Union’s central defensive depth chart has a big hole to fill at the top, with Best XI defender Mark McKenzie sold to Belgian side KRC Genk earlier this winter.  Findlay will compete with two returning players with similar age profiles — 26-year-old Jakob Glesnes and 25-year-old Jack Elliott  — for a spot in the starting lineup.

Findlay will wear number 4, McKenzie’s old number, for the Union.

Tanner and Findlay will speak to the media tomorrow morning. The club is expected to begin preseason training within the next two weeks. Competition in 2021 kicks off when the Union play Saprissa in the Concacaf Champions League in early April.


  1. Well guess I was wrong by half a month…Glad he’s here though and at a discounted rate. Another shrewd bit of business by Tanner.

  2. Now they just need to fill the Brenden-Aaronson-sized hole in midfield. I’m curious what Ernst has in mind for the rest of the $12 million they got from selling McKenzie & Aaronson.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      I don’t think that hole is as big as they were paid, considering Aaronson was maybe the 5th name written in on the team sheet every week. Fontana is in “now or never” mode, and I imagine it’s his job to lose.

      • I think that would be a disservice to Anthony and the Union. He is much more of a withdrawn striker than a #10.
        Really think they need to dump some money on a DP #10 and let Paxson understudy.
        That said, would love to see Anthony get some starts with Santos. Santos could open up the field with deep runs and Anthony can drift into the space behind and poach.

      • Agree that Fontana isn’t a similar player to Aaronson and we shouldn’t be looking to him to fill Aaronson’s shoes, despite what every MLS article is trying to hype up. Feels like they just didn’t really research what each player does and just saw another young academy player that made headlines and it was easy to go with the storyline that Fontana is the next Aaronson

      • Chris Gibbons says:

        My read is they’re not going to splash money on anyone ever, unless they’ve already proven themselves in the league for a year and can be had at a discount after that (Monteiro). Otherwise, what’s the difference between a mediocre signing that costs money and a mediocre academy player that doesn’t?

    • Unless they think they have qualified kids in the system, they not only need a replacement for Aaronson, but quality relief for Bedoya, not to mention other backup options. Can’t see how much longer you’re going to expect Bedoya to just play every minute of every game.

      • Scotch Guard says:

        Tanner said the goal of the offseason was to replace Aaronson. Called it the #1 priority.

        You can’t diamond press with Fontana at the head. Pax isn’t ready. We were told Anthony was going to get a shot up top.

        They doubled down on Bedoya when they chose to bring Ilsinho back.

    • Until fans are allowed to fill the stadium again, I don’t see how they can spend that $12M.

    • I’d say the $12 million is already mostly spent. Lost revenue with no fans in the stadium last season and years of expense running the academy. We are probably lucky they were able to sell those players to stabilize the team finances. I don’t expect them to spend it all on players.

  3. So transfer window only matters for the buying team ? (We don’t have to wait until July for him to arrive ? )

    • Remember the mundane qualifiers about P1 Visas and international transfer certificates. They cannot occur officially until the MLS winter window opens March 10th.
      But Findlay can be here practicing on a different type of visa, and then may have to go home and come back to satisfy the paperwork gods. Glesnes went through something like that last season, if my ancient memory still has any reliability.

  4. Good news. He was rated as the #25 player in the Scottish Premier League, and I like the left foot. To Stuart Findlay himself, “lang may yer lum reek”. Gur math a thaid leat.

  5. I think some people may be focusing a bit too much on a like for like replacement for Aaronson when they argue that Fontana can’t replace him. In my opinion, that’s only true as long as Curtin/Tanner aren’t willing to tweak their playstyle slightly to the players they have. In Monteiro and Bedoya, the Union start two incredibly dynamic and versatile players as midfield shuttlers, and depending on the players in front of them they could easily take on more offensive or defensive roles. In signing Findlay, Tanner has ensured that the Union have a very strong defensive backbone. Assuming Findlay pans out, the Union have three above average to top tier center back options on the roster, along side the solid Ray Gaddis and the incredible solid Kai Wagner. Martinez is incredibly reliable as a defensive midfielder and is a better progressive passer than he gets credit for. With the defense this solid, Monteiro and Bedoya have a bit more license to play more creatively in the final third, which allows them to pull the strings for potentially three goal scorers in Fontana and two forwards. The end result would look a bit more like Manchester City than Red Bull Leipzig, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      This is solid

    • This is very smart thinking, Coolguy. I agree.

      People also seem to forget that Brendan himself did not really play as a #10. He did not get on the ball nearly enough to truly run the offense, which role was often taken by Monteiro. Not dissing Brendan, mind you; he’s a wonderful young player. But he’s a winger, not a CAM.

      Now that still doesn’t make Fontana a like-for-like replacement in any way, and when you change the personnel, there’s always the question of whether the chemistry works, and how quickly. But you make a strong case that our chemistry should be very good on the defensive end, which should allow us to concentrate on making the offense tick.

    • HopkinsMD says:

      “In Monteiro and Bedoya, the Union start two incredibly dynamic and versatile players as midfield shuttlers.”
      I’ll give you versatile, but “incredibly dynamic”?

  6. I love this depth move. IMO, Glesnes was one the best CB’s in all of MLS over the second half of the season (post-Orlando). Admittedly, took a little bit of time to adjust. Strong in the air; very special in ability to distribute, particularly pinging some long passes; tireless motor. Add in that “Hammer of Thor” goal…. Findlay will complement that.
    I also agree that Brendan was not a typical #10. Much more of an attacking player than a control-the-ball-distributor. He was still a tremendous talent on and off the ball (great runs off the ball), and I still think they need to add a player to fill that talent void.

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