The Philadelphia Union crossed what is probably their last big offseason to-do item off their list on Wednesday, announcing that defender Sheanon Williams had been given a new contract. The 21-year-old right back emerged as one of the top fullbacks in the league during a 2011 season in which he started 32 of 34 matches.
"Sheanon has become an important member of our club and we're very pleased to reward him with a new contract that reflects his value," Union coach Peter Nowak said in a team release.
Williams broke into the starting lineup late in his rookie season of 2009 and has started all 40 matches in which he's appeared since then. Last year, the Union were one of the top defenses in the league, allowing 1.06 goals per game and just 3.05 shots per game, which was the lowest mark in MLS history.
Williams' play has helped earn him serious consideration for the United States U-23 soccer team that will be competing in this summer's Olympics.
For more on Williams' signing, be sure to check out Union blog Brotherly Game.