Transfer Tracker

Philadelphia Union loan defender Brandan Craig to Austin FC

Brandan Craig ATX-PHI - 7.5.23


  • ATX receive: Brandan Craig
  • PHI receive: SuperDraft pick, $125k GAM 

Austin FC have acquired US youth international defender Brandan Craig on loan from the Philadelphia Union, the clubs announced Wednesday.

Craig, a homegrown player in Philadelphia, joins Austin through the end of the 2023 MLS season. In exchange, the Union receive Austin’s natural third-round pick in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft and may also receive up to $125,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM) depending on performance-based incentives.

The 19-year-old could receive much-needed playing time after enjoying a key role at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. He's logged just three substitute minutes in MLS while stuck down the Union’s depth chart.

"Brandan is a young center back who possesses good instincts and quality on the ball,” Austin sporting director Rodolfo Borrell said in a release. "We’re excited to welcome him to Austin."

Austin’s center back group has been in flux for months, starting with Ruben Gabrielsen’s unexpected offseason return to his native Norway and long-term injuries to starters Julio Cascante (adductor) and Leo Väisänen (knee). Cascante has returned from injury, though short-term loanee Aleksandar Radovanović recently departed to his Belgian parent club and Austin have often played midfielder Alex Ring in central defense out of necessity.

In Philadelphia, Craig found minutes hard to come by while behind veterans Jakob Glesnes, Jack Elliott and Damion Lowe. He’s played 15 times for the US U-20s and extensively for Philadelphia Union II in MLS NEXT Pro.

The MLS Secondary Transfer Window opened July 5 and lasts until Aug. 2, allowing teams to add players in pursuit of Audi MLS Cup Playoffs dreams.