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Union sign Homegrown left back Anton Sorenson

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Union

As has been expected since last summer, the Philadelphia Union announced the signing of 19-year-old Union Academy left back Anton Sorenson as a Homegrown player today. The announcement is being made on Sorenson’s birthday. The Michigan resident was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 2003.

Ernst Tanner’s comments emphasize his aggressive offensive instincts, his pace, and that he is a left back. He is the Union’s third and least experienced behind Kai Wagner and Matt Real. Good ones are scarce and valuable.

The Union’s 18th Homegrown player is from Ann Arbor, MI. He had some experience with the USYNT U-16 side before he joined the Union’s Academy in 2019. He is small for an Ernst Tanner pro prospect at 5′ 6″ and 126 lbs. That he has nonetheless convinced the sporting director to sign him is to his credit.

2021 statistical data is sparse. In 2020 he played 12 of Union II’s 16 USLC matches while scoring one goal, and he played in many but not all the subsequent postseason friendlies. Sorenson also signed an “emergency hardship” contract with the Union prior to the Eastern Conference Final in December when COVID-19 decimated the squad, appearing as an unused substitute on the day.

Except for nearly-23-year-old Matt Freese in the net itself, Jim Curtin has seemed more cautious about playing youngsters the closer to the goal they play. Nate Harriel was more than competent at the USLC level as a right back, but it has been only since last July that he supplanted Aurelien Collin on the first team’s game-day bench. We may expect similar caution with Sorenson.

He could easily spend the 2022 season with Philadelphia Union II in MLS NEXT Pro as their left back while practicing daily with the first team as he has been doing since the summer of 2021.

That Sorenson is now wearing squad number 24 further suggests that its former holder, Matej Oravec, will not be returning once his loan expires.


  1. Union website says it’s a two and half year contract (with options for more). How does that work? Does that mean that if the club doesn’t pick up the option he’s a free agent after 17 games in 2024?

    • Its means his contract expires in July 2024 (on some specified date) unless the option is picked up.

    • Apologies for being late to respond, gentlemen.
      All the picayune, telltale details suggest that he actually signed his pre-contract in the middle of last summer. Having followed Beth;ehem and Union II as carefully as I could since June of 2016, the pattern has been highly consistent.
      An Academy player does not begin wearing a first-team number until he has been promoted and is practicing daily with the first team.
      Sorenson started wearing 24 mid-summer 2021.
      I am assuming that the 2 1/2 years counts the summer and fall of ’21 as the half year, since the MLSPA salary guide last September lists him as getting paid the minimum reserve player’s salary, $63,547

  2. Peanut Gallery says:

    Congrats to Anton!

  3. Curtin on Anton: “At this club, we believe in young players. There is no such thing as too young or too old. It’s only ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and Anton’s a good player. In our system, everyone attacks and everyone defends. He is a good two-way player… Anton is a good blend of [skills needed for] the modern outside left back.”
    Tanner: “He’s a promising player. He always could recover because of his speed. He needs to get into a situation where speed is not the only criteria he could rely on and that is what we can provide very well in the first team environment.”

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