Ian Harkes played a vital role for Dundee United last season helping them earn promotion back to the Scottish Premiership. Tuesday saw the young midfielder rewarded with a new multi-year contract by the club.
“I’m delighted to continue my time with the Club,” Harkes said. “I feel like I’ve progressed as a player since arriving in Scotland. Coming across from the States I wanted to get games and a run of form which the team has helped me to do.”
“Hopefully I can keep that going to the next level. It’s going to be a challenge, but we have a great team and everyone is going to be fighting for a place which will only make us better. I’ve made more than 50 appearances for United so with this extension I want to hit another 50.”
The Tangerines rolled to an 18-5-5 record in Scotland’s second-tier, earning 59 points from 28 matches. They sat 14 points clear of second place Inverness CT with eight matches remaining when the season was put on hold and eventually ended by a league vote.
A former D.C. United Homegrown player and son of former U.S. Men’s National Team captain John Harkes, Ian was released by the Black and Red before signing in Scotland in Jan. 2019. Since joining Dundee United, Harkes has totaled 59 appearances and scored three goals.
The 25-year-old midfielder scored two goals and registered two assists in 31 combined appearances this season, playing a major role in Dundee United’s grasp of first place in the Championship. Harkes also got to play with another American in fellow midfielder Dillon Powers after the veteran joined in January.
“Ian was an integral part of the team that won promotion to the Scottish Premiership and I am delighted we have managed to extend his contract,” Dundee United Sporting Director Tony Asghar said. “He has shown great determination since joining to adapt to our environment, and we believe that he will continue to be a key part of our future successes.”
Harkes’ strong season abroad also earned him individual recognition, being named to the SPFL Championship Team of the Year last week. He will see a new manager at the helm of the new Premiership side though following Robbie Neilson’s departure for recently relegated side, Hearts FC.
A recent January camp inclusion for the USMNT back in 2018, Harkes has yet to make his senior debut for the National Team. He is also eligible to represent Scotland and is keeping that opportunity on his mind heading into the future.
“Also an international call-up is an ultimate goal of mine,” Harkes said. “I’ve not been capped for the U.S. yet, but I’m not ruling out my Scottish heritage. It’s nice to be on the radar but the next stage I have to perform and give myself that platform.”
Dundee United will reportedly kick off the Premiership season in August, aiming for a strong return to the top-flight.