The Union signed forward Cory Burke Thursday.
Burke, who is a mainstay on the Jamaican national team, spent the last two seasons with the Union's United Soccer League affiliate, the Bethlehem Steel. Burke, 25, ranked second on the team with 9 goals last season. The forward will occupy an international roster slot.
“We are pleased to sign Cory to our First Team and reward his excellent performance with Bethlehem Steel FC,” said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “Cory’s success is a testament to the importance of Bethlehem in developing players within our organization. Under Brendan Burke and his staff, Cory has been playing in our system for two years now. We anticipate a successful transition to the Union, and we are looking forward to see Cory take the next step in his career.”
Burke will likely start the season behind CJ Sapong and Jay Simpson on the forward depth chart. Burke will assume the hole that Charlie Davies' departure left on the roster.
The Union announced Wednesday that they have traded defender and Harrisburg, PA, native Keegan Rosenberry to the Colorado Rapids.
According to a press release from the team, the Union will receive up to $400,000 in Allocation Money from the Rapids in exchange for the 25-year-old Rosenberry. The team in 2019 will receive $150,000 in General Allocation Money and $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, along with $100,000 in General Allocation Money in 2020. If Rosenberry meets certain performance metrics next season, the team will receive an additional $100,000 in General Allocation Money in 2020.
Rosenberry, the No. 3 selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, played three seasons for the Union. He was voted into the MLS All-Star Game in 2016 and finished second for Rookie of the Year that season.
Sporting director Ernst Tanner told reporters that he feels the right back position is covered with the 21-year-old Olivier Mbaizo and the 28-year-old Ray Gaddis.
Rosenberry thanked the organization and its fans for their support.
Ryan Bright contributed to this story.
Sporting director Ernst Tanner and the Union made their first big splash of the offseason on Friday by signing 24-year-old Brazilian forward Sergio Santos.
Santos was acquired for a $500,000 transfer fee from Chilean Primera Division club Audax Italiano and was signed using Targeted Allocation Money. The length of the deal was not disclosed.
“Sergio is a young forward with potential and we are pleased to complete his signing,” Tanner said in the team’s official release. “When we met with him in Chile, it became apparent that he is a good fit for our club both as a player and as a person.”
The move is intriguing for multiple reasons. The 6-foot center forward is the first impact addition from new sporting director Ernst Tanner, whose goal for the offseason was to make the Union a more offensive-oriented team with a potential two-forward setup.
Secondly, Santos, who had nine goals in 16 matches for Audex last season, joins a busy Union attack corps that features Cory Burke, C.J. Sapong, David Accam and Fafa Picault. If only two of those five can play at any given time in Tanner’s formation, the team could look to ship someone out.
Attacking pieces Jay Simpson, Fabian Herber and Marcus Epps were not retained for the 2019 season.
“We have observed rapid improvement and development at Audax,” Tanner said, “and believe he is ready for this next step. We next look forward to integrating him as quickly as possible with the team at the start of preseason.”