Former Haverford star White won't be coming home
Jeremiah White looked forward to returning to his roots. Many - including White, a Haverford School product who played for the power youth club FC Delco - assumed that a return to Philadelphia meant a place on the Union roster.
Jeremiah White looked forward to returning to his roots.
Many - including White, a Haverford School product who played for the power youth club FC Delco - assumed that a return to Philadelphia meant a place on the Union roster.
White said the Union showed interest in him during its inaugural Major League Soccer season, but he already was committed to Al Ettifaq, becoming the second American to play in the Saudi Premier League.
However, his aspirations apparently won't be realized; White, who was on a trial basis last week when the Union opened camp last week at YSC Sports in Wayne, was not invited to join the team this week as it leaves Orlando, Fla., today for the second phase of preseason training.
"They basically called me 2 days before we were supposed to leave and said they don't have any more roster spots," said White, 29. "My agent [Ryan Alexander] told me earlier in the week that this was a team still interested in signing me. So I must say I am a little confused, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. I wish the team the best of luck going forward."
MLS rules allow a team to carry 32 players on its roster, with 18 dressing on game days. The Union had 33 players in camp, including five trialists.
As per MLS rules, the Union did not comment on the decision.
White reportedly had issues over salary last July, when he was briefly on trial with the Chicago Fire. ChicagoNow.com reported then that White's salary demands, through his agent, were "not realistic" and he was let go by the Fire and later signed with Al Ettifaq.
White was most recently under contract with Polish first-division club GKS Belchatow. However, according to the team's website, White and the club agreed to an early termination of the contract. White, who appeared in only three matches in all competitions, told a reporter of his desire not to return to Poland.
White's soccer resumé is impressive - and extensive. Drafted in the third round (23rd overall) of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft out of Wake Forest University, White, instead, chose to test the European soccer markets and played in Serbia, Greece, France and Denmark. White made one appearance on Bob Bradley's U.S. national team in 2008 before a friendly against Sweden. In 2004, he made international headlines as a victim of racial violence during his time with Serbia's OEK Beograd.
"We have a lot of ties to this area, so I looked forward to coming home and having a chance to play in front of family and friends," White said. "It's unfortunate that's not going to become a reality, but, like I said before, I wish the Union all the best going forward." *