The Union announced Tuesday evening that Jack de Vries, a 17-year-old Dutch-American striker in the club’s academy, signed a pre-contract to join the senior team in 2020.
A holder of American and Dutch passports through family ties, De Vries already stands six feet tall, and has made three appearances for Bethlehem Steel this year (though none since mid-April). He has also earned multiple call-ups to the U.S. under-17 national team, including for Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying tournament earlier this year. The U.S. qualified, and will head to Brazil for the event in late October and early November.
De Vries had committed to the University of Virginia for the fall of 2020, but withdrew the commitment to turn pro. Because of his dual citizenship, de Vries had some foreign suitors. And he could have moved without restrictions, as Hershey’s Christian Pulisic did when he used access to a Croatian passport to join Borussia Dortmund at age 15.
“He is an exciting attacking prospect,” Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a statement. “He is a very versatile player, capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or as a forward. He is ready for the leap to the professional game and we are pleased to have him officially join our first team next season.”
Jack’s father, Raimo de Vries, played professionally in the 1990s - including for the Colorado Rapids in 1996, Major League Soccer’s inaugural season. After hanging up his cleats, Raimo went into banking, and his work in the field took him to a variety of places. Jack was born in Dayton, Ohio in March of 2002, and later lived in Brussels, Belgium. While there, Jack spent some time in the academy of Anderlecht, the nation’s biggest club.