Jamaican Alvas Powell Signs with Philadelphia Union

International defender Alvas Powell has signed on with the first team of the Philadelphia Union. In making the announcement, the Union said Powell is on a senior contract for at least one year. The team’s Sporting Director, Ernst Tanner, said they are excited to welcome Powell as their newest addition as he brings nearly eight years of Major League Soccer (MLS) experience and has the mentality and work ethic required to “win a cup.” Tanner added that Powell also possesses the physicality needed to contribute to all phases of play and adds “important depth” to the team’s backline.

Powell, 26, has played for several MLS clubs over the past seven years, most recently representing Al-Hilal in Sudan between January and April of 2021, although he only played in one match for the club during that time.

He first entered MLS on loan from Jamaica’s Portmore United to the Portland Timbers in 2013. Once the loan expired, the Timbers signed him under contract for three years. He won an MLS Cup in 2015 with the Timbers and then was hired by Cincinnati in 2018, receiving $250,000 in the deal. In 2019, he was drafted by Inter Miami FC, where he remained until leaving for Al-Hilal in Sudan.

Powell’s international experience includes playing for Jamaica’s national team, the Reggae Boyz, along with his new Union teammates Andre Blake and Corey Burke. Powell recorded 49 appearances with the Reggae Boyz, achieving two goals. Prior to making his debut appearance with the senior Jamaican team in 2012, he had also represented the country in the U-17 and U-20 teams, playing 11 matches combined and scoring one goal.

It is expected that Powell will sit behind Olivier Mbaizo on the backline of the Union, but he could have some playing time if Mbaizo plays some serious international minutes with Cameroon.

Alvas Elvis Powell was born in 1994 in Danvers Pen, St. Thomas. He attended Paul Bogle High School and first came to the attention of fans at the Da Costa Cup. Powell also played at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup and helped the Reggae Boyz achieve the 2014 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) men’s title by defeating Trinidad and Tobago in penalties. He received a green card from the United States in 2015, which means he is qualified to be a domestic player for MLS roster purposes.

Photo courtesy Alvas Powell