Transfer Tracker

Philadelphia Union sign homegrown forward Nelson Pierre

Philadelphia Union logo generic


The Philadelphia Union promoted their latest academy product to the first team Tuesday, inking forward Nelson Pierre to a homegrown contract through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027.

The 17-year-old becomes the 20th homegrown signing for the club – renowned as one of the league's best producers of young talent. There are several former Union homegrowns currently playing in Europe, including Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Auston Trusty (Birmingham, on loan from Arsenal), and Jack de Vries (KTP, on loan from Venezia).

Additionally, first-team members Quinn Sullivan and Jack McGlynn are key contributors to the MLS Cup 2022 runners-up and are expected to take on an even bigger role during the 2023 season.

"We have watched Nelson grow from a stand-out in our academy into an active, productive, high-ceiling striker on our Philadelphia Union II squad," sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a press release.

"He has always been an intelligent and mobile attacker, and we believe he has all the attributes needed to grow into a player capable of contributing goals at the MLS level."

After eight years in the club's academy, Pierre had a standout 2022 season in MLS NEXT Pro, tallying five goals in 20 appearances (seven starts) for Philadelphia Union II. His performances also caught the eye of USMNT scouts, who invited him to a United States Youth National Team Regional Identification Center Camp held in Philadelphia last year.

Pierre is likely to play a depth role for the Union's attacking core consisting of Designated Players Dániel Gazdag, Julián Carranza and Mikael Uhre. The Eastern Conference champions also brought in versatile attacker Joaquín Torres in a trade with CF Montréal this winter.

Philadelphia kick off their 2023 campaign on Feb. 25 against the Columbus Crew (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).