Transfer Tracker

Philadelphia Union sign free agent defender Alvas Powell

Alvas Powell – dribbling – cropped in


The Philadelphia Union have signed outside back Alvas Powell as a free agent to a one-year minimum senior contract, the club announced Thursday.

The Jamaican international defender arrives with 138 games of MLS experience across past stints with the Portland Timbers, FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami CF. The 26-year-old last played at Sudanese club Al-Hilal and holds a green card, meaning he won’t occupy an international spot.

Before signing with Philadelphia, Powell trained with the defending Supporters' Shield champions.

“We are excited to add Alvas to our defensive unit. He brings almost eight years of MLS experience to the club as well as the mentality and work ethic it takes to win a cup,” sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a release. “He has the physicality required to contribute to all phases of play and adds important depth to our backline.”

Powell, who mainly plays on the right, gives Philadelphia another option beyond emerging starter Olivier Mbaizo. The Cameroon international has become entrenched in the starting XI after Raymon Gaddis retired during the offseason, while homegrown Nathan Harriel presents another option at the position.

During his previous MLS stops, Powell supplied six goals and 10 assists. He also helped Portland win MLS Cup in 2015, joining the Pacific Northwest club after spending time at Portmore United FC.

While representing the Reggae Boyz, he’s earned 49 caps and scored two goals. Powell has often played alongside two now-Union teammates: goalkeeper Andre Blake and forward Cory Burke.

Philadelphia are MLS’ last representative in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League and await a semifinal series with Liga MX side Club America. Coming off the FIFA international break, they’ll return to action June 20 at Atlanta United (2 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes).