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Philadelphia Union steals the show at their first MLS SuperDraft


Janaury 14th marked the Philadelphia Union’s  first ever MLS SuperDraft, which was coincidentally held in Philadelphia. Before the day even began,MLS SuperDraft 2010 logo. Photo: www.bleacherreport.com the Union made two strong moves. Moves that will in all likelihood allow them to be competitive not just for this year, but for many more to come.

The first move was a trade with D.C. United for the Union’s number one position in the allocation order (a list of who gets to put a claim in on returning US players from overseas). In return, the Union got the United’s Brazilian midfielder "Fred" (DC's seventh overall pick) and allocation money. Not satisfied with having two first round picks, the Union then traded some of the allocation money to Dallas for the sixth pick overall in the draft.

As the Sons of Ben met at McGillin’s Olde Ale House  early in the morning, the fans were not only excited for the first draft ever for the Union in the teams home city, but also that they had three picks in the first round of the MLS Draft.

Well over 200 members of Sons of Ben took over the draft hall and made their presence known the entire time. Rival fans from DC United and the New York Red Bulls boarded charter buses to attend the draft. The DC fans had nothing to do until the fourth round of the draft as they had traded every other pick they had. And before they even got to see that pick, the bus they had chartered had to leave and the fans left seeing nothing. The New York fans made sure to show that they are as classless as any other group of fans from New York when they booed a player that had been associated with a New York developmental team.

The Sons of Ben then got ready to cheer for two more picks in back to back order. With the first pick, the Union selected striker Danny Mwanga Philadelphia Union number one pick Danny Mwanga.from Oregon State. Mwanga had 14 goals and 2 assists in 18 games. He has tremendous potential, was by far the best player available, and he filled a need the team had. With the 6th pick the Union selected midfielder Amobi Okugo from UCLA. Okugo was named PAC-10 freshman of the year and has also played on the US Mens U-20 (under twenty) national soccer team.

With the next pick, Jack McInerney  was selected from the Cobb Soccer Club. At 17, he is more or less viewed as a project who won’t be expected to make any major contributions at this time.

The Union had the first pick in each of the four rounds of the draft. In the second round, they selected midfielder Toni Stahl  from the University of Connecticut. Midfielder/forward Kyle Nakazawa from UCLA followed in the third round. Nakazawa, who is a member of the US Mens U-20 Team, also played on the under 17 team in the World Cup. He was an offensive talent leading the PAC-10 in points at 31 and ranked second with 12 goals scored. With the fourth round pick, keeper Brian Perk  was selected from UCLA. Perk was the starting keeper last year in the U-20 World Cup.

With the draft over and the fans heading home, the Philadelphia Union has assembled by far the best draft class. And with the addition of these players along with those picked up earlier, this team is poised to come out of the gates strong, and should be able to compete with any team in the league.


Danny Mwanga photo:  http://thenewschronicle.com/danny-mwanga-leads-mls-superdraft-2010/011502521/

Thumbnail: http://image3.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID21135/images/draft_welcome_sign.jpg