Originally published by AFC
Manila: Philippines side United City FC have strengthened their squad by signing former Svay Rieng FC defender Jonathan Campbell ahead of their 2021 AFC Champions League group stage debut.
United City’s decision to sign 19-year-old Campbell comes after his impressive display during the club's 4-0 win over Cambodia's Svay Rieng in the 2020 AFC Cup.
With the 2021 AFC Champions League expanded to 40 teams, United City FC will appear in the group stage for the first time with the Philippines champions having Japan's Kawasaki Frontale, Beijing FC of China PR and a playoff winner for company in Group I.
“In 2020, Jonny impressed in his matches against Ceres-Negros in the AFC Cup, which leads to our interest in bringing him to our Club,” read United City FC’s posting on Facebook.
“Extremely happy to announce that I’ve signed with United City football club in the Philippines,” said Campbell.
“Looking forward to meeting my new football family and the many exciting challenges ahead, AFC Champions League and the Philippines Football League. A massive thank you to United City and everyone who supports me.”
Campbell, who is originally from Johnson City, Tennessee, started his playing career with FC Alliance in the Tennessee Soccer Federation. He later played NCAA-I college soccer for East Tennessee State University.
Campbell’s professional career began in 2014 after he signed a deal with Philadelphia Fury, a club that competes in both the National Independent Soccer Association and American Soccer League. In the United States, he also had stints with Charlotte Independence and FC Miami City.
Campbell brought his football skills to Asia, first with Chachoengsao Hi-Tek FC in the Thai League 3 and later with Phnom Penh Crown FC in the Cambodian League (2018).
He joined PKR Svay Rieng FC in 2019. Campbell was a key member of the championship-winning team that year.
In 2019, PKR Svay Rieng FC went on a 25-game winning streak on their way to winning the C-League crown. It was the longest unbeaten run ever recorded in Cambodia’s top football league. The club won the runners-up honours last year.
Joining Campbell at United City are Swedish-born brothers Omid and Amin Nazari, who started their careers at Malmö FF.