For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Union will be drafting in front of their fans with the MLS SuperDraft taking place in Philadelphia. The draft will be a part of the NSCAA convention being held part of this week and throughout the weekend.
The first two rounds are held on January 15th while the last two rounds are held via teleconference on January 20th. The Philadelphia Union currently holds the 31st overall pick as well as the 41st overall pick (acquired via the Zac MacMath loan deal). They traded away the 10th overall pick to acquire CJ Sapong from Sporting Kansas City.
It is no secret among Union fans about how well they have drafted. On the team right now, Raymon Gaddis is really the only draft pick contributing. So when the SuperDraft comes around, Union fans generally do not have very high expectations, especially after last year’s fiasco by selecting a goalkeeper and confusing a lot of people.
That combined with the Union having no first round picks going into the draft, do not expect any out of the gate starter to be selected. That does not mean the Union can find some much needed help in the draft though. There are plenty of MLS quality players ready to be selected.
Last year the Philadelphia Union suffered from a lack of depth. Look at a lot of the late leads given up. Look at the US Open Cup Final. The Union simply did not have a quality enough bench to come in late in games and still compete. The draft can be a great place to look for depth, and this year it is arguably their biggest need.
The biggest area of need for the Union position wise just so happens to be the hardest position to draft for, left back. There just so happen to be two very promising left backs in this year’s draft, Otis Earle and Andy Thoma. Philly Soccer Page has a detailed look at both of these players.
Now, Earle and Thoma will not be available at pick 31. I can confidently say that. In a conference call with the media on Monday however (full transcript HERE), Jim Curtin mentioned that he would move up in the draft for one of two players. Obviously that depends on asking price and such, but do not rule out the Union moving back to the 1st round.
Left back is their biggest need that way Gaddis can finally play at is preferred right back position. There are still other needs though. They could use some forward depth, preferably higher quality than Hoppenot/Wheeler.
The Union most likely won’t find a starting caliber player at picks 31 or 41. They could possibly trade into the first round, but it is hard to speculate without knowing who those two players are on Curtin’s radar so finding depth will be the big thing this draft.
What would you like to see the Philadelphia Union do in this year’s draft? Let us know below!
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