On Tuesday, Philadelphia Union announced the signing of defender Ken Tribbett from Bethlehem Steel FC. By signing with the Union, Tribett’s contract with Bethlehem Steel was terminated.
Tribett was originally brought into the organization as a Bethlehem Steel FC signing, but the Philadelphia technical staff must have felt the 23-year-old had a role to play with the first team. On trial with Philadelphia during this preseason, Tribbett has impressed many with hustle and defensive play. In one of the key moments of the early preseason, Tribbett cleared near-certain goal off the line in a game against Chicago Fire.
“We have always valued Ken’s ability and potential, which was a prime reason we were so adamant to keep him within our organization,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in a press release. “However, once camp started, Ken displayed a next level in his game and it became evident he needed to be a permanent fixture with our first team. We’re delighted with his progress and we believe in his ability to make an impact for our club this year.”
In 2015, Tribbett played for former Union affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders, where he started 28 games and scored three goals. Before his stint with Harrisburg, Tribbett played for the PDL’s Michigan Bucks.
The Colorado native is no stranger to playing soccer in the city of Philadelphia. Tribbett was a four-year starter at Drexel University, where he earned second team All-South Atlantic region as well as first team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors.
With the addition of Tribbett, Philadelphia add solid depth to a defense that was among the worst in Major League Soccer last season. The four-year Drexel University starter could even challenge for a starting centerback role for opening day only two weeks away based upon his solid play during this preseason.