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Philadelphia Union II’s offseason preparations continued Tuesday with the signing of one of their promising prospects.
Union academy midfielder Christopher Olney signed an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract and will be added to Union II’s active roster immediately, the club announced. A student at YSC Academy, Olney joined the Philadelphia Union academy in August 2021.
“We’re excited to officially welcome CJ to the club as he takes this next step in his career,” said Philadelphia Union II Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc. “At just 16 years old he has proven to be a a leader and a vital piece of this team after a standout season where he led the team in assists. CJ has a promising future, and we look forward to his continued development with us.”
The 16-year-old Olney becomes the club’s fifth academy player to sign an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract. He is coming off a strong campaign with Union II in 2023, where he scored four goals and led the team with eight assists in 23 starts (appearances).
Olney’s 39 key passes also ranked as the highest among Union II players this season.
His standout performance against Atlanta United 2 this season earned him MLS NEXT Pro Rising Star honors from the league, as he scored the lone goal in Union II’s 1-0 victory.
Prior to his MLS NEXT Pro involvement, Olney played a key role in the Philadelphia Union Under-17’s Generation adidas Cup triumph against Dallas. He also won the Golden Ball at the 2021 MLS NEXT Cup with the U-17’s of Player Development Academy.
Olney is eligible to represent the United States and Italy on the international level. He has previously earned a USMNT U-17 call-up.