There may not be many certainties in the MLS offseason, but one definite is drafts, drafts and more drafts. Today was the continuation of the Superdraft which started last Thursday with rounds 3 and 4 being completed via a teleconference.
The Philadelphia Union held the 9th pick in the 3rd round (51st overall) and the 9th pick in the 4th round (71st overall) today. Most of these late round selections are either depth options or players that never actually make the team. With that said, plenty of players have been successful coming out of these late rounds, Chris Wondolowski and Sean Johnson just to name a few.
The Philadelphia Union selected UCLA defender, Aaron Simmons, with their first pick today. Simmons played a lot of his time as a central defender, but he also has quite a bit of experience playing in the defensive midfielder role. Sound familiar? That’s because Amobi Okugo came from UCLA and also played as a defender and a defensive midfielder.
While Simmons is not coming out of college as highly touted as Okugo was, look for Simmons to provide depth for the Union, especially as a defensive midfielder where they are a bit thinner. Simmons had a solid combine so the Union grabbing him at this stage is a decent pick up.
With their second and final pick today, the Philadelphia Union selected Raymond Lee who has played a little bit of everything throughout his career. He was selected with the thought of having a left footed left back though which should bring some hope to Union fans.
The Union has one player on their roster that is a left back with a natural left foot in Fabinho, but he is not exactly starting quality in MLS. I am sure the Union is hoping that Lee could become starting quality one day. I know as a fan that is exactly what I am hoping for.
Right now, the Union’s best option at left back is Raymon Gaddis who is naturally a right back and actually has a pretty weak left foot. He is their best option though. Hopefully Lee can come in and surprise and maybe compete for the left back spot and let Gaddis control the right side.
This draft for the Philadelphia Union was a very good one. They found some decent options and players that have a real chance at making the team. Hopefully we will see more of these two along with Catic and Bird from rounds 1 and 2 with the Union in 2015.