Union

Union sign Dutch left back Giliano Wijnaldum as Discovery Signing

The Union made their first roster splash of 2017 on Thursday by signing 24-year-old Dutch left back Giliano Wijnaldum as a Discovery Signing, according to the team.

“We’re pleased to welcome Giliano to the Philadelphia Union and are excited about the talent he adds to our defensive corps,” said Union sporting director Earnie Stewart. 

Wijnaldum will occupy an international roster spot. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wijnaldum, who has a history with Stewart at AZ Alkmaar, joins the Union as a free agent, but most recently played at VfL Bochum in Germany’s second division, where he played just seven matches. The brother of current Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, Giliano also spent time with FC Groningen and Go Ahead Eagles, amassing 65 Eredivisie appearances. 

“As a young player who I have worked with before in the Netherlands, I know firsthand the potential he brings to our club,” Stewart said. “We are eager to integrate him within the squad and believe he has a bright future with the Union.”

Wijnaldum will compete with four-year Union player Fabinho, who is coming off a strong 2016 campaign. The Union protected Fabinho in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft. The young newcomer will join a young back line that features Richie Marquez, Josh Yaro and Keegan Rosenberry.