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Langley signs with major-league soccer team

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Morgan Langley in a 2010 match against Dickinson. (Olivia Natan/The Phoenix)
Morgan Langley in a 2010 match against Dickinson. (Olivia Natan/The Phoenix)

Last week, the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer announced that it had signed midfielder and Swarthmore alum Morgan Langley ’11 from the club’s USL-affiliate, the Harrisburg City Islanders. Langley, 22, trialed with the Union before officially signing with the club on September 15, according to the Union website.

Langley was among the most decorated athletes in Swarthmore history, first all-time in points (with 95) and assists (with 27). In his senior season, Langley led the Garnet to the 2010 Centennial Conference championship while enjoying one of the most impressive individual campaigns in the history of the Swarthmore soccer program. That year, the Honolulu native scored 14 goals and recorded 14 assists for a program-record 42 points.

For his accomplishments, Langley was named Centennial Conference Player of the Year with top-10 national finishes in assists, assists per game, and points per game. He was also an NCAA Division III Third Team All-American, an NSCAA All-Region First Team selection, a D3Soccer.com First Team All-American, and was selected to the ECAC Division III South Region team.

Through 28 games played this season, the Union have compiled a record of 9-7-12, good for 39 total points and third place in the Eastern Conference, behind the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City.

Head coach Eric Wagner, who coached Langley during his time at Swarthmore, gave a statement to The Phoenix in which he wished Langley nothing but the best.

“We are extremely proud of what Morgan has done to earn himself such a unique and exciting opportunity,” the statement reads. “Not only is Morgan the first Centennial Conference player to play at the highest level in pro sports, but he is also the first Swarthmore College athlete of any kind to play in the major leagues since Dick Hall ‘52 retired after the 1971 season with the Baltimore Orioles.

“Morgan has made dramatic physical, emotional, and mental improvements in his game over the past four years. We are thrilled that he has taken many of the lessons he learned playing at Swarthmore and leading the Garnet to three consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament – and applied them at the highest level. He certainly has a shot at a healthy career in the game if he keeps working hard, learning, and becoming a solid, dependable professional.

“On a personal level, watching Morgan get his MLS debut last Saturday night at PPL Park in front of over 18,000 people was one of the highlights of my career as a coach. The Union got a much-needed and well-deserved win over the first-place Columbus Crew, so it was an important spot he played, and he acquitted himself admirably. We wish Morgan a long and successful career, and hope that the ball continues to bounce his way.”

In his rookie season with the Islanders, Langley appeared in 20 games at midfield, scoring two goals. He will continue to play midfielder for the Union.

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