The Philadelphia Union picked up a third goalkeeper on Tuesday, when the club announced that they have acquired 29-year-old Matt Jones on a season-long loan from Portuguese first division club Belenenses.
Jones was born in England but holds a US green card and will not take up one of the Union’s international slots. He’ll be the elder statesman among Philadelphia’s goalkeepers, joining 25-year-old starter Andre Blake and 23-year-old backup John McCarthy on the Union roster.
“Matt’s experience and ability in big games will be a key asset to this goalkeeping group,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said in a statement released by the club. “We will count on him to become an immediate contributor, both in terms of his mentoring ability for our younger ‘keepers, but also for his pure shot-stopping abilities.”
Jones was sent on loan by Belenenses to fellow Portuguese Primeira Liga club CD Tondela ahead of the 2015-16 season. He made 10 league appearances for Tondela this season.
He’s been with Belenenses since 2012, helping the then-second divison club win promotion to the top flight during the 2012-13 season. In total, he appeared in 85 games in three seasons with Belenenses, starting 15 games as the club finished in sixth-place and qualified for the UEFA Europa League in the 2014-15 season.
Prior to turning pro with Portuguese club Santa Clara in 2009, Jones played four years at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.