Big move for the Union! –

14 years writing about soccer on and off, and this is my first time hearing of “Rayo Majadahonda.” They are currently 17th in Group 1 of the “Primera Federacion,” which is the Spanish 3rd level. So not La Liga, with Barcelona and Real Madrid, and not the Segunda Division, with Eibar and Leganes, but the third division, with a bunch of teams that nobody knows anything about.

The Union press release notes that Anderson has American citizenship, so that’s why the team went after him. Apparently he’s a Brooklyn native:

“Markus, who holds US citizenship, is a very physical and quick striker,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director, Ernst Tanner. “After initially playing in the fifth division in Spain, he was able to quickly progress to the third division where he has been performing well at a very young age. He is another great example of how adept our scouting department is at identifying talent and we look forward to integrating him as quickly as possible with the team.”

It’s funny, because the running joke is that LAFC and Miami and all of these big teams are signing these big players, while the Union go dumpster diving for moneyball signings who then end up becoming All Stars. Kai Wagner came from the German third division and turned into the equivalent of an NFL All Pro.

Do the Union need to bring in Lionel Messi if they can find Joe Schmoe from bumblefuck FC in the bumblefuck third division, and turn him into a starter? You laugh, but that question has been asked a hundred times at the Philadelphia ownership level.

American citizenship or not, there’s little info on Markus Anderson out there. The one YouTube clip I found claims he was on Real Madrid’s radar. As is typical with Union signings, they either never sniff the field, or they become a cornerstone for many years of sustained success. There never seems to be a middle ground.