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Chester, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday that the club has signed defender Sheanon Williams to a new contract.

The 21-year-old joined the club from Harrisburg City Islanders in August 2010 and has gone on to become one of the top right backs in the league, helping to dramatically improve the Philadelphia backline.

"Sheanon has become an important member of our club and we're very pleased to reward him with a new contract that better reflects his value," said Philadelphia manager Peter Nowak. "He took full advantage of his opportunity with us after coming over from Harrisburg in 2010 and he continued to improve last season. Keeping Sheanon in Philadelphia is an important investment in our defense, both for the present and future."

Williams took over the starting role at right back in September 2010 and has started 40 matches for the team, scoring one goal and assisting on three more.

"The past 18 months has been an amazing experience and I'm very excited to remain in Philadelphia," said Williams. "I would like to thank the organization for their confidence in me and the fans for their incredible support. We made a lot of progress last season but have a lot more work to do to achieve our goals in 2012 and beyond."