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CHESTER, Pa. (Dec. 12, 2017) – Philadelphia Union today announced that they have exercised the 2018 contract option of midfielder Eric Ayuk. Ayuk, 20, returns to Philadelphia following a loan stint during the 2017 season with Jönköpings Södra IF in Sweden.

“Exercising Eric’s option is another important move for us as we continue to build a young core here in Philadelphia,” said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He performed well during his loan stint in Sweden, receiving valuable playing time at a high level. We look forward to helping him take the next step in his development here in Philadelphia.”

While on loan, Ayuk recorded 12 league appearances and one cup appearance in Sweden, scoring one goal. He tallied as part of a 2-2 draw against Hammarby on May 28.

Previously, for Philadelphia, Ayuk made 29 league appearances over the 2015 and 2016 campaigns. He is currently the youngest player in Union history to both play a complete game (18 years, 74 days on 5/2/15 vs. TOR) and record an assist (18 years, 53 days on 4/11/15 vs. NYC).

Internationally, he has appeared for Cameroon’s youth teams, including for their U-20s for the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. He scored a goal in the team’s Group Stage opener at the tournament as part of a 3-1 loss against South Africa (February 27, 2017) and scored again in their second match, a 4-1 win over Sudan (March 2, 2017).

The MLS offseason continues with the MLS Waiver Draft, set for 3:30 p.m. ET tomorrow, December 13. Following that, the MLS Re-Entry Draft begins with Stage One on Friday, December 15 at 3 p.m. ET. Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft takes place on Thursday, December 21 at 2 p.m. ET.

TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union exercise the 2018 contract option of midfielder Eric Ayuk on December 12, 2017.

Name: Eric Ayuk
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 167
Born: February 17, 1997
Hometown: Yaounde, Cameroon
Citizenship: Cameroon
Acquired: Philadelphia Union acquired Eric Ayuk originally via loan as a Discovery Signing on March 3, 2015.

Philadelphia was awarded the 16th Major League Soccer franchise on Feb. 28, 2008 and the Union were officially named on May 11, 2009. Owned and operated by Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, the group launched the Philadelphia Union’s inaugural season on March 25, 2010 and opened Talen Energy Stadium on June 27. Throughout the club’s history, the Union have reached the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in 2014 and 2015, and have also reached the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2011 and 2016. In 2018, Philadelphia Union will celebrate nine years of top-flight action at Talen Energy Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium that has hosted internationally known clubs Celtic, Chivas de Guadalajara, Everton, Schalke 04, Aston Villa, Pumas UNAM, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth and Swansea City AFC. For more information about Philadelphia Union, visit

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