Jack DeVries became the latest American player to debut for a European club this week and after not playing frequently for the Philadelphia Union in 2021, the young midfielder will be staying in Europe for the time being.
DeVries, who joined Serie A club Venezia on loan in August from the Union, isn’t expected to return to his parent club during the MLS offseason, Union head coach Jim Curtin and sporting director Ernst Tanner confirmed to reporters on Thursday. DeVries made only four senior appearances for the Union during the MLS season while also deadling with concussions during the summer months before earning himself an opportunity abroad.
Since then, DeVries has excelled for Venezia’s Under-19 team, scoring seven goals in nine matches before making his senior debut for Paolo Zanetti’s side in Tuesday’s 3-1 Coppa Italia win over Ternana. DeVries surprisingly did not stay in the Union’s plans this season with fellow Homegrown players Paxten Aaronson, Quinn Sullivan, Nathan Harriel and Jack McGlynn all seeing playing time during parts of the campaign.
With the Eastern Conference Finalists now heading into the two-and-a-half month offseason, the plan from the Union’s front office is for DeVries to stay in Italy.
“The Venezia coaches are telling me that they are happy with him,” Tanner said in a conference call. He has made the most of his situation there and you saw that this week in the Coppa Italia which is a competitive tournament. I talked to him after his debut and he seemed very happy. We are encouraged by his performances there.”
“It’s great to see for Jack because he’s worked hard and made the most of his time there,” Curtin said. “It’s special for our club too because this is a Homegrown player who got to make his debut in a cup competition in a top league in Europe. We’re happy for him. There has been constant talks between Ernst and the folks at Venezia over Jack over how pleased they are with him.”
DeVries struggled for minutes with the Union this year, but now has a golden opportunity to continue developing overseas ahead of the 2022 MLS season. The young forward has two final opportunities with Venezia this calendar year to make his Serie A debut in matches against Sampdoria and Lazio before the club enters a two-week winter break.
The Union could recall him back prior to the start of preseason in February, but for now DeVries will stay in Italy with a chance to earn a possible transfer abroad, if the Union do want to sell him.