A second player from the Philadelphia Union is reportedly heading to Italy.
Anthony Fontana, who is out of contract with the Union but received a “bonafide” offer from the team to extend his time with his hometown club, is set to join Ascoli Calcio 1898 FC in Serie B, according to a report from local sportswriter and radio producer Owen Boyle.
Former Philadelphia Union midfielder Anthony Fontana will be signing with Ascoli Calcio 1898 FC in Serie B, a source close to the situation has told me.
— Owen Boyle (@Owenboyle17) January 2, 2022
The 22-year-old from Newark, Del. has an Italian passport and flirted with going to Italy before signing a homegrown contract with the Union in 2017.
Since his contract has expired with the Union, his move to Italy would be a free transfer. There was reported interest from teams within MLS that could’ve fetched the Union some allocation money.
Fontana’s time with the Union wasn’t without its high-water moments, beginning with his goal in his MLS debut at 18 and his six-goal season in 2020, but minutes were always hard to come by for the midfielder. He logged just over 1,400 minutes in his four seasons in all competitions. He scored 8 goals in MLS, two in the U.S Open Cup and two in the Concacaf Champions League.
He missed a couple months of the 2021 season in concussion protocol and was used sparingly toward the end of the season, presumably after it became apparent to the team he would not be returning.
The Union loaned homegrown midfielder/forward Jack de Vries — who was also in concussion protocol for a lengthy period of time — to Italy over the summer. He’s made one appearance in a cup game for Serie A club Venezia and has done well playing for their U19 team. His one-year loan expires in July.
Venezia was reportedly tracking Fontana’s progress after his standout performances in the 2020 season and also has U.S. players Gianluco Busio and Taylor Tessman on the team.