Breaking News / Union

Union sign attacker Markus Anderson

Photo copied from X(formerly Twitter)

Monday morning the Philadelphia Union announced the signing of attacker Markus Anderson from Spanish third division side Rayo Majadahonda. Anderson has been playing in Spanish lower division soccer since 2021.

Here is a clip from X (formerly Twitter) of him scoring for Rayo Majadahonda last October.


This compilation from YouTube provides more footage, support ing Ernst Tanner’s descriptors “physical” and “quick.”

Transfermarkt gives his 23-24 Rayo Majadahonda performance data as starting 67% of the time. Through January 13 he had received minutes in every match, totaling 1,254. He was not in the squad on January 21 and January 28 when presumably the deal with Philadelphia was getting serious. He had only one appearance the previous season for 17 minutes.

At 20.1 years old the Brooklyn, NY native is three months older than striker and Union II professional Venezuelan Jose Riasco whom Ernst Tanner mentioned as a probable first-team addition in early December last year. Anderson’s announced contract, three years guaranteed with two more as club options suggests the Sporting Director expects them to be teammates as well as competitors within the squad. Anderson began playing professionally when he was 17, Tanner’s favored age for turning pro.

Anderson should need no further paperwork to join the Union’s active roster once he is physically present. As presumed competent in Spanish, he should help teammates who need to improve their English.

Anderson joins Mikael Uhre (29.3), Julian Carranza (23.7), Daniel Gazdag (27.9), Tai Baribo (26.0), Chris Donovan (23.5), Joaquin Torres (27.0), Jeremy Rafanello (23.8), and presumably Riasco (20.0) and David Vazquez (17.9) as the Union attacking corps. His presence makes absorbing any future departure or departures easier.

Late Addition (31-Jan-24)

@UnionRumors has found a report in the Spanish press that Anderson’s selling club is required to reduce its operating deficit. It has sold a youth goalkeeper to Real Madrid, and Anderson to the Union. In US dollars,Anderson’s transfer fee is $163,000 in 2024 and $108,000 in 2025.






  1. Gruncle Bob says:

    This feels like yet another depth piece. I hope I’m wrong. It would be nice to get another diamond like Wagner, but at the moment this is underwhelming.

  2. Do we really need more striker depth? Tai Baribo (should) be a great backup. Joaquin Torres, Chris Donovan, and Quinn Sullivan all play in the position often and David Vasquez looks like a good future player. Feel free to tell me if this is wrong but this seems like a pretty useless signing.

  3. This move seems a little bit of asset shopping as well. Young kid who could see his value go up playing in MLS if he can get steady minutes with the first team. If we do manage to sell Carranza — I’ll believe it when I see it — then Markus here might prove to be a nice acquisition. We’ll see.

  4. Apropos of striker depth, Jose Riasco has been named to the starting lineup for Venezuela’s U23s vs Colombia tonight in the 2024 CONMEBOL PreOlympic qualification tournament.
    As I read the group standings, Venezuela are in 3rd place of five with 2 points, behind Ecuador with 7 and Brazil with 6. Ecuador and Brazil play tonight also.
    For Venezuela to advance to the tournament’s final round (of four), they must beat winless, already-eliminated Colombia tonight, and then beat Brazil Thursday, February 1st. (They already tied Ecuador.)
    If they fail to make the final round, Riasco might well join the team for the second preason leg in Florida.

  5. This doesn’t have anything to do with this signing, but don’t know where else I can ask it here: does anyone know the status of the construction project (indoor training building, various practice fields, etc.) in and around Subaru Park? I don’t live in the area anymore so can’t see for myself. I thought that project was scheduled to be completed by now, but really haven’t heard any word about it. If completed does it look impressive? Has it greatly changed the look of the stadium campus?

    • If you go on the Union web site under the WSFS Sportsplex tab you can see a drone video of the fields in use. It looks like it was taken recently or in the late fall. They are also advertising Spring sports events.

    • I watched the end of a Union II practice Tuesday morning January 30th on the turf field closest to the Head House office building.
      No obvious construction activity was visible where the new buildings are supposed to be.
      The answer to the question whether building footers had been poured successfully before the ground had frozen was not as far as anyone had noticed.
      And I was told that Union II’sleague has been told that all home matches would be played at Subaru Park in 2024.
      Those three points taken together suggest that Phase Two is unlikely to be completed by June.

  6. paulcontinuim22 says:

    Rayo Majadahonda?
    A club that spent the last 10(?) years in Spain’s third tier? If this isn’t a statement of cheap intent, what is?

  7. “Anderson has been playing in Spanish lower division soccer since 2021.”

    3 years playing in League One (equivalent US league)… so what are we missing here… diamond in the rough, only Herr Tanner knew…. or trading ‘bulk up’ to spin off non-productive assets?

    Where is our back up goalie? If Joe Bendik shows up again, well, why?

  8. I fully admit that I cannot pronounce the name of his former team.
    That said, I see bunches of raw talent in the sizzle reel. He is quick, good instincts, clever with a shot, and — maybe most important — tenacious attitude. He goes after the ball with hunger.
    Inquirer article suggests we snagged him out from under Real Madrid who were also paying attention (as a high-upside potential, not a straight starter).
    To me, and my totally unscientific method, the 3 yr deal says Tanner thinks this kid can be great.

  9. Welcome to Philly.
    Pulling for you.
    In other news…

    • Come on, Pachy. It’s a bright new season. The cliff of union despair can stay out of sight until results come in, yeah? I know it’s preseason but it was a decent outing against a powerhouse, and a nice trouncing of NYC which I will forever enjoy.

      • Yes-Yes. I stipulate.
        My concern is they try to win each competition, play a shit ton of games, fatigue the first team aren’t good enough to win any of them— then are cooked by playoffs.
        Until I’m given a reason to assume they an handle to coursework over the full length of the season I am circumspect and like someone says above… just win enough to keep people interested.

  10. When Tanner stole Carranza away from Miami, on the basis of the evidence available to the public at the time, he was bringing a jungle machete to an automatic weapons shootout
    Today the evidence said he managed to find an Uzi.
    That he gave the kid three years guaranteed suggests he values the kid at least somewhat, and that the kid has a good agent.
    That he grew up in Brooklyn mitigates against serious cultural adjustment problems.
    Tanner liked him enough to go out on a limb. I’m the first to admit Tanner has one or two big misses on his balance sheet with the Union. But I’m intrigued by the level of commitment.
    If it turns out to be a mistake, it’s not going to be one of the small ones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *