The Philadelphia Union announced on Monday morning that Sporting Director Ernst Tanner had signed a multi-year contract extension.
Tanner has made a huge impact since joining the Union, with the team taking giant strides in his two full seasons.
The Union's Sporting Director has led the team to its two greatest seasons in both his years. The first season saw the Union break their record for points, wins, goals and assists, and his second year saw the team win its first-ever piece of silverware as they won the MLS Supporters Shield. The trophy awarded to the team with the most points in the entirety of the MLS.
Despite those record-breaking seasons, Tanner is on the brink of history again, with Philadelphia in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League. They will play Club America in August to decide who will play in the final.
Tanner's incredible work does not end on the field, and his recruitment and fantastic development of the Union's academy system has also played a huge part in this success.
He has managed to improve the efficiency in which youth talent move up the squad ladder, and that is evident in the incredible success of Brendan Aaronson and Mark McKenzie. After stunning development over the last few years, the two homegrown talents are now plying their trade in Europe, the first two Union players to ever do it.
The success of the Union academy does not end there, as there have been several homegrown players brought into the first team this year. Jack McGlynn and Quinn Sullivan have both made an impact as teenagers with bright futures. Brendan's younger brother Paxton is also working with the first-team squad this year,
Tanner's recruitment in the transfer market has also been crucial. His ability to find unearthed gems from Europe like Kai Wagner, Jakob Glesnes, Jamiro Monteiro and Kacper Przybylko has played a huge part in the team's success. Tanner's ability to find South American players such as Sergio Santos and Jose Martinez has also been important.
With the Union's successful system still in place for the foreseeable future, it is hard to see the team not continue to grow in the way in which they are. Tanner has done a fantastic job, and it will prove to be the best signing the Union make in 2021.