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Julian Carranza transfer to Feyenoord finalized

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

This post has been updated after publication.

Philadelphia Union announced the transfer of striker Julian Carranza to Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie on Sunday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Jonathan Tannenwald of the Inquirer reported that the Union would receive a “small transfer fee” and “a piece of a future transfer fee.” Carranza’s former clubs — Inter Miami and Club Atletico Banfield — are also entitled to sell-on clauses.

“Julian has accomplished a great amount in his time with the Union,” Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a press release. “We initially brought him in after seeing his potential to fit our aggressive style of play and were pleased at how quickly he developed and adapted. He has been an integral part of our success, and we are grateful for all he has contributed both on and off the field, but this is the right move for the player as he continues his development and the best move for the club as we look to make adjustments heading towards the summer transfer window.”

Carranza, whose MLS contract was set to expire at the end of the year, departs after making 74 appearances (67 starts) for the Union across two and a half seasons in MLS competition. He notched 14 goals and nine assists in his debut campaign, including two hat tricks. He added another 14 goals and six assists in 2023, becoming the second player in club history to score double-digit goals in back-to-back seasons. Carranza added six goals this season, leaving the club as the Union’s third all-time goal scorer in all competitions, behind only Daniel Gazdag and Sebastien Le Toux. Carranza and Gazdag hold the MLS record for most games in which the same pair of teammates scored a goal (16).

Carranza also scored a key goal in the 2022 Eastern Conference Final, a 65th minute equalizer that sparked the Union to an eventual 3-1 win and the club’s first-ever appearance in MLS Cup.

Carranza also added six goals in the Concacaf Champions League / Cup, including a tie-winning brace against Atlas in 2023 and a key hat trick against Saprissa in 2024.

The Union initially acquired Carranza on loan from Miami in 2021, where he occupied a Young Designated Player spot, in exchange for a second round pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, before being permanently acquired in July 2022. Prior to joining the Union, Carranza signed with Inter Miami CF in July 2019 from Club Atletico Banfield in the top Argentine league, Primera Division.

Carranza will join Feyenoord, who concluded the 2024 season in second place in the Eredivisie, the top tier of Dutch football. One of the most successful football clubs in the Netherlands, Feyenoord has secured a total of 16 Eredivisie titles, with their most recent in the 2022-23 season. They have also claimed the KNVB Cup 14 times and won the Johan Cruyff Shield four times. On the continental stage, the club won the UEFA Champions League in 1969-70 and the UEFA Europa League twice.

Feyenoord will play in the 2024-25 UEFA Champions League.

While Carranza’s departure was long-expected — his last appearance with the Union was on May 25, a 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew — it is nonetheless a blow for a reeling Philadelphia side. Club management will be disappointed to have not received a larger fee for Carranza, with (per the Inquirer) the club rejecting a $7.5 million offer for him last summer (from Olimpiakos) and the player rejecting approaches this offseason (from the likes of Werder Bremen, Mainz, and Ipswich Town).

Philadelphia are also mired in a woeful run of form, having not won since Carranza left the lineup and notching just one win in their last 14 league matches. With Carranza gone, the slack at forward will have to be picked up by his former strike partner Mikael Uhre, Israeli international Tai Baribo, and longtime reserve Chris Donovan. Other attacking options on the roster include Homegrown Quinn Sullivan (used mostly as a midfielder) and youngster Markus Anderson.


  1. Deez Nuggs says:

    Sad to see him leave. A favorite. But good for him.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Was asked this afternoon by my wife “How would you describe Carranza?” Turns out that one of her former exchange students is a fan of Feyenoord. I said the positives were that he is a consistent scorer with a lot of hustle. Negatives are that he is prone to yellow cards and injuries.

    • Unlike most prima donna strikers, he came back to midfield to play defense. His injuries were partly the result of his being the target persistent fouling which was mostly allowed, leading him to complain and get yellow cards for dissent. He was the most prolific scorer (i.e. goals per game) in Union history.

  3. Henry Scobie says:

    Julian Carranza was one of the franchise’s most prolific scorers, and our organization cannot even be bothered to spell his last name correctly on the graphic with the accompanying article on the Philadelphia Union website. Folks – what are we doing here?

  4. Will miss this guy. Given our poor history with strikers, he was a rare one: consistent, likable and a hard worker.

  5. Wonder what the transfer fee was? Too bad he didn’t get a sendoff.

    • All I’ve seen — as updated in the post above — is that the fee is described as “small.” The Union lost their leverage when they couldn’t find a buyer this offseason and chose to keep him last summer. I think it’s fair to be critical of Tanner for not getting more for Carranza, who was the club’s most valuable asset. The hope is that he does well in the Netherlands and the Union get a piece of a future move.

  6. paulcontinuum22 says:

    ESPN’s rank: 22nd: “The Union gave up a goal in the 89th minute and another three minutes later to lose in Montréal, 4-2. They’ve now lost 4 in a row and haven’t won since May 18. They are closer to last place in the East than they are a playoff place. It’s all bad in Philadelphia and, while it’s entirely reasonable to believe Jim Curtin and the rest of the club will get things straightened out eventually, it’s impossible to ignore what is right in front of us. This is a bad team right now.”

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