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Who Are the Best Philadelphia Union Soccer Players of All Time?

Top 10 Best Philadelphia Union Players of All Time

The Philadelphia Union is one of the strongest teams in Major League Soccer. Historically, they have had success in league play, advancing well into the playoffs on some occasions. This is due to the contributions of some of their most talented players, who will be discussed here.

Top 10 Best Philadelphia Union Players of All Time

  1. Sebastien Le Toux
  2. Kacper Przybylko
  3. C.J. Sapong
  4. Daniel Gazdag
  5. Jack McInerney
  6. Alejandro Bedoya
  7. Cory Burke
  8. Serio Santos
  9. Ilsinho
  10. Conor Casey

1. Sébastien Le Toux

  • Leading goal scorer for Philadelphia Union (50)
  • 2010 MLS All-Star
  • Philadelphia Union’s Ring of Honor Award winner

Sébastien Le Toux is a French soccer player born in Rennes. Despite his nationality, he spent his entire playing career in the ranks of various MLS teams. Though he spent a year away from the Union, with the Vancouver Whitecaps and the New York Red Bulls, he spent most of his professional career with the Union. He was a key contributor to their success early on, scoring a hat trick in his first game with the team.

The fans loved Le Toux for his consistency and contributions, and he was awarded by the team following his playing career with them. He remains the leading scorer for the Union, as well as boasting one of the longest tenures on the side’s roster. Le Toux is the best player in Union history due to his time with the team, recognition at the league level, and long-standing goal record.

2. Kacper Przybylko

  • Second all-time leading goal scorer for the Union (40 goals)
  • 2021 CONCACAF Champions League Golden Boot
  • 2020 Supporter’s Shield winner

Kacper Przybyłko was born in 1993 in Bielefeld, Germany. However, he is of Polish descent and represents the Polish side in international competitions. As an international player, he is certainly among the best Union players of all time. In addition to these boasts, he is the second-leading goalscorer of all time for the team. He is exceeded only by Le Toux, who had a much longer tenure with the team.

Furthermore, these accomplishments were not without adversity, as Przyybylko was sent down to the Union’s USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel, to recover from a foot injury. He came back from this injury and remained a weapon, however. Despite being traded away to the Chicago Fire for the 2022 season, Pryzbylko certainly left enough of a mark on the Union’s record books to be among the top players of all time.

3. C.J. Sapong

  • Second most single-season goals in franchise history (15)
  • 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year
  • 2018 US Open Cup runner-up

C.J. Sapong is an American player who was born in Virginia and played college soccer at James Madison University.  He was key to the earlier development of the Union’s reputation. Having a young player of this caliber helped the team to gain more notoriety and to attract better talent.

In his final season with the Union, Sapong helped them reach the U.S. Open Cup final and set the team record for the highest point total and most win records for a single season. Sapong is one of the highest all-time goal scorers for the Union and broke Sebastien Le Toux’s single-season scoring record of 14 goals with his own 16 goals in the 2017 season.

Sapong has also competed on the international level for the United States, where he notched an assist against Portugal and contributed to a win over Venezuela.

4. Daniel Gazdag

  • Most single-season goals in franchise history (22)
  • 2022 MLS Cup runner-up
  • 2022 MLS Best XI

Daniel Gazdag is notable among the Union’s top players of all time since he is one of the leading scorers in the team’s record book. Gazdag was born in Hungary in 1996 and played in their domestic first league before joining the Union. He contributed to the 2022 season, in which the Union reached their first MLS Cup final and had the best record in club history, finishing atop the Eastern Conference.

Though he has been with the team only since 2021, Gazdag has certainly cemented his position as one of the greatest Union players of all time due to his scoring record and the heights to which he helped propel the team. As with some of the other top ten players, Gazdag plays internationally as well. He represents his native Hungary, as he has done since 2012. He helped his team qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring in some of the qualification matches.

5. Jack McInerney

  • Sixth highest goal scorer for the Union (28 goals)
  • 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup winner

John “Jack” McInerney is an American player who was born in Tennessee. He did not attend university but instead opted to turn professional right out of high school. He was drafted straight away by the Union but was sent to the USL affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders to develop before being brought up to the Union’s first team in 2011.

McInerney quickly emerged as a young star, scoring 28 goals, the first of these coming shortly after his debut with the team. This record was extended over four total seasons with the team, meaning his rate of goal production solidified him as a reliable contributor to the team. For this reason, as well as his young stardom, McInerney is one of the Union’s most notable players of all time. He has represented the United States internationally, although he scored no goals for the team.

6. Alejandro Bedoya

  • 2020 Supporters’ Shield winner
  • 2022 MLS Cup runner-up
  • 2022 MLS Humanitarian of the Year

Hailing from nearby Englewood, New Jersey, Alejandro Bedoya is a fan-favorite for the Union. Bedoya is known for overcoming adversity. He bounced around a few European clubs without gaining much real traction before coming to the Union. There, he began to thrive, quickly climbing up the leaderboard of all-time goals. Bedoya has helped the Union reach the semi-finals of the post-COVID MLS is Back tournament. He also helped the team win the Supporters’ Shield in 2020. He has also won MLS Player of the Week.

Bedoya has also worked his way up the United States National Team ranks. He was cut from the 2010 World Cup team but later was selected to represent the country in a friendly competition against Brazil. Later, he helped the United States reach the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011. In 2013, he helped the United States win its first Gold Cup in six years.

7. Andre Blake

  • Four-time MLS All-Star
  • Three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
  • 2020 Supporters’ Shield winner
  • 2022 MLS Cup runner-up

Normally, goal scoring is prioritized when considering the greatest players of all time. However, Andre Blake occupies the opposite end of the field as the Union’s star goalkeeper.

He was born in 1990 in Jamaica but spent his youth and college years in the United States. He played for the University of Connecticut Huskies and was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year before being drafted by the Union.

Blake quickly impressed coaches and moved into the starting role. He has helped the team to reach historical heights, such as in the 2022 season discussed above as well as the Supporters’ Shield victory and the U.S. Open Cup final. With a 56.92% career save percentage, Blake has been recognized four times as an MLS All-Star as well as being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year three times. His force in the backfield and continued legacy with the team make him deserving of a top spot.

8. Cory Burke

  • Burke led the Union in scoring in the 2018 season
  • 2020 Supporters’ Shield winner
  • 2022 MLS Cup runner-up

Cory Burke is a Jamaican player born in 1991. He has represented his country internationally since 2016. The Union discovered Burke’s talent while he was on loan to Bethlehem Steel FC, one of the Union’s USL affiliates.

Burke was quickly signed and contributed early on, sharing the 2018 season goal leadership. He was a dominant forward presence, at 6’4”. This helped him get into position regularly, scoring 25 goals for the Union before being loaned out to a variety of European sides due to visa problems. Following the resolution of his visa issues, Burke also helped the Union win the Eastern Conference final in their best-yet 2022 season. Nevertheless, during his time at the Union, Burke contributed greatly, scoring the winning goal in the final match of the Union’s first-ever capture of the Supporters’ Shield trophy.

9. Ilsinho

  • 2008 Olympic bronze medalist
  • 2020 Supporters’ Shield winner

Ilsinho was Born in Brazil in 1985. He played for a variety of teams in Brazil and abroad before coming to the Union in 2016. He remained with the team until 2021 when he announced his retirement from soccer. Ilsinho was a dynamic player, often coming off of the bench when the Union’s offense needed a shakeup. Despite serving as a substitute player often, his effect was measurable. The Union had a +24 goal differential with Ilsinho on the field versus only a +7 goal differential while he was on the team’s bench.

Additionally, despite largely serving as a substitute player, Ilsinho scored 21 goals in his time with the Union, enough to put him in the top ten scorers of all time for the team. This record is all the more impressive given his reduced field time. He earned the nickname “The Cheat Code” due to his ability to come off of the bench and notch an assist or a goal so consistently. Ilsinho appeared for the Brazilian national team in 2007.

10. Conor Casey

  • 2009 MLS Best XI
  • 2010 MLS Cup champion
  • 2010 MLS Cup MVP

Conor Casey was born in 1981 in New Hampshire. He played for the University of Portland, where he was named NCAA Player of the Year after leading the NCAA in scoring.

Casey was only with the Union from 2013-2015 but scored 21 goals between the two. Despite his short time with the Union, Casey is certainly one of the best players to wear their jersey due to his overall accomplishments.

He represented the United States internationally 19 times, scoring two goals. He represented the country at the 2000 Olympic Games and subsequently played for top European club Borussia Dortmund. Finally, Casey was assistant and interim coach of the Colorado Rapids, another Major League Soccer franchise. He also coached the Charleston Battery in the 2022 season.

Honorable Mentions

  • Roland Alberg
  • Julian Carranza
  • Jack Elliott
  • Zac Macmath
  • Fafa Picault
  • Chris Pontius
  • Sergio Santos
  • Michael Uhre
  • Kai Wagner
  • Sheanon Williams