MLS SuperDraft 2010: Philadelphia cleans up (updated)

Posted on 14 January 2010 by ASN Staff

Well before the draft started, Peter Nowak and Co. sent notice they were going to make this event about the Philadelphia Union. The newest MLS franchise acquired the first round selections from DC United and FC Dallas for, well, what exactly? Allocation cash in FC Dallas’ case. The rights to Troy Perkins in DC United’s. Oh yeah, DCU also sent Philly Brazilian winger Fred for its troubles.

Danny Mwanga (center) ©Terry McLaughlin/ASN

The result was three of the first seven overall picks in the draft, a tally that allowed the team to take a relative gamble on the likes of Jack McInerney with its third pick (seventh overall). If you want to call Parade Magazine’s national boys’ soccer Player of the Year a gamble. Its first pick, Danny Mwanga, was the closest thing to a shoe-in number one you’re going to get in an MLS draft. The Cameroon-born 18-year old should be able to contribute right away. Amobi Okugo, picked sixth overall, should at the very least add depth to the Union midfield. All three are Generation Adidas players, which means they won’t count against the salary cap–another bonus. Then Nowak grabbed UConn’s Big East midfielder of the year Toni Stahl in the second round and UCLA midfielder/forward Kyle Nakazawa in the third.

The Union were already set at goalkeeper and defense coming into the draft and had one perfectly serviceable striker in Alejandro Moreno. They have now added a young nucleus in midfield as well as two attacking players who could become the face of the franchise for many years to come. And Nowak still wasn’t done. For the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the ice cream on top of the cake, he added Nakazawa’s UCLA teammate and starting U-20 goalkeeper Brian Perk in the fourth round. Perk gives the Union three starter caliber goalkeepers, which is three more than the New England Revolution will have on opening day.

It has been said that it won’t be easy for Philadelphia to match the Seattle Sounders’ success from last year. That will indeed be a formidable challenge. But if today was any indication, the Union won’t just match it but perhaps even exceed it. Hats off to the Zolo.

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  1. Touching base with Andrew Wiedeman | American Soccer News Says:

    […] of California forward Andrew Wiedeman with the No. 21 overall pick last Thursday, Jan. 14, at the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft in Philadelphia. The San Ramon, Calif., native should have no problem fitting into his new head coach’s […]

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