Home > Philadelphia Union > MLS Superdraft 2010–Projected Philadelphia Union picks [Updated!]

MLS Superdraft 2010–Projected Philadelphia Union picks [Updated!]

Update: The Union have made a major trade with DC for 7th overall pick. I don’t think getting the 7th overall pick will mean major changes to the later rounds. See below.

The MLS 2010 combine is over and the coaching staff for all 16 MLS teams are no doubt all now in Philadelphia, scheming and machinating to outmaneuver one another and strike gold in the draft. The Philadelphia Union, as an expansion side, are in an enviable position, with the first pick in every round. By chasing hard for Danny Mwanga, the Union has taken some of the fun out of the first round, and put its fans are in an unenviable position: trying to figure out who the hell the team will select in the later rounds. What follows is my hapless attempt to predict who these players will be.


I’ve already analyzed the Union’s current roster and their draft needs, so my picks will be based on this analysis. However, I should first apologize because, like a moron, I’ve kept Nick Zimmerman on my draft needs page as a striker for over a month. Not sure why. I remember when I saw him listed as such on the Union’s official site I was a little confused but figured the team’s staff knew more about the kid than I did. But on second thought (or third or fourth . . .) I think it’s pretty obvious they, and I, made a mistake. He’s a midfielder, damn it!

The conclusions I reached in the draft needs page are still relevant, however –the team remains weak in the midfield, and is strongest at defense, so expect the draft selections to reflect this. With Mwanga going first, the team’s offense is deeper by far–but it wouldn’t hurt to sign another striker who could add another dimension off the bench.

Of course, a lot of the later round signings are not likely to be first-team players in their first year, so whether or not they fill a current need on the team is almost irrelevant. In that sense, only the first and second round picks will be dependent on the team’s draft needs. The other picks will be more about trying to find a diamond in the rough–an unexpected player who ends up capable of contributing from the bench.

There has been a wealth of excellent coverage of the combine, from Soccer By Ives to the MLS Insider Blog to Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy, but by far the best site for truly in-depth player rankings and analysis is Joe Mauceri’s Pro Player Pipeline. My selection of the top 16 picks are based on all of the above sites’ first-hand reporting.

So, let’s first take a look at the likely first round picks. Outside of Mwanga, these players are only significant in the fact that they are likely not options for the Union in the later rounds.

Likely first round picks (no particular order)

  1. Corben Bone (MF – Wake Forest)
  2. Teal Bunbury (FW – Akron)
  3. Dilly Duka (MF – Rutgers)
  4. Blair Gavin (MF – Akron)
  5. Zac Herold (DF – US U-17s)
  6. Jack McInerney (MF/FW – US U-17s)
  7. Danny Mwanga (FW – Oregon State):
  8. Amobi Okugo (MF – UCLA)
  9. Ike Opara (DF – Wake Forest)
  10. Tony Tchani (MF – Virginia)
  11. Andrew Wiedemann (FW – Cal)
  12. Austin da Luz (FW – Wake Forest)
  13. Andre Akpan (FW – Harvard)
  14. Brian Perk (GK – UCLA)
  15. Zach Loyd (DF – UNC)
  16. Toni Stahl (MF – UConn)

After this, here are the top prospects for the remaining rounds (again, in no particular order):

  1. Michael Stephens (MF – UCLA)
  2. Zack Schilawski (FW – Wake Forest)
  3. Sean Johnson (GK – Central Florida)
  4. Kwame Watson-Siriboe (DF – UCONN)
  5. Andrew Hoxie (FW – William and Mary)
  6. Irving Garcia (FW – UC Irvine)
  7. Eric Alexander (MF – Indiana)
  8. Justin Morrow (DF – Notre Dame)
  9. Kwaku Nyameke (DF – Harvard)
  10. Mike Seamon (FW – Villanova)
  11. Jovan Bubonja (GK – Illinois-Chicago)
  12. Collen Warner (MF – Portland)
  13. Drew Yates (MF/DF – Maryland)
  14. Chris Schuler (DF – Creighton)
  15. Conor O’Brien (MF/DF – Bucknell)
  16. Two-Boys Gumede
  17. Ofori Sarkodie (DF – Indiana)
  18. Kyle Nakazawa (MF – UCLA)
  19. Samuel Appiah (MF – Boston University)
  20. Othaiel Yanez (MF – Louisville)
  21. J.T. Noone (MF – Temple)
  22. Martin Hedevag (DF – UCSB)
  23. Zack Schilawski (FW – Wake Forest)
  24. Conor Chinn (FW – San Francisco)
  25. Tim Ream (DF – Saint Louis)
  26. Phil Edgington (DF – Louisville)
  27. Brooks Haggerty (GK – UNC)
  28. Michael Thomas (MF – Notre Dame)

It goes without saying that choosing players based on other people’s first-hand accounts is difficult and frustrating. Regardless, I’ll give it a shot, as follows:

1st round:

#1 Danny Mwanga

#7 Dilly Duka. I’m a little tired so I’m just going to cut and paste this from my other post:

Looking at most mock drafts (thanks to ASN’s handy draft aggregator), it looks like the decision is likely between Amobi Okugo and Dilly Duka. There is a chance that Zach Loyd falls this low and, if he does, the Union should nab and shore up its defensive flanks.

If Loyd isn’t overlooked (and to be honest, I doubt he will be), then Duka is the obvious choice. First of all, screw you Red Bulls–thanks for your developmental player.

Second of all, Duka is much closer to being MLS game ready than Okugo, and for an expansion side that lacks depth this is huge. The Union wants to come roaring out of the gates like Seattle did, and the best way to do this iss to add game-ready players, not 18-year-olds in need of another year or two (or three of development).

2nd round: Michael Stephens–A solid midfielder throughout his career at UCLA and ended the combine with a strong performance on the last day. Before the combine he was projected early as the first pick in the second round, and I see nothing from the past few days that should change this. Could have been a Generation Adidas signing last year and should add depth right away in the middle of the field for the Union.

3rd round: Samuel Appiah–Another midfielder. Pro Player Pipeline was impressed by his speed but worried about his defensive capabilities. Lively in each game he played at the combine. Could function as a late game, offensive sub, who can stretch the field.

4th round: JT Noone. Once you get to the fourth round (and the third round, really), it’s almost impossible to predict who a team will choose. So I’m going with Noone here solely because of the local angle–Noone was a star striker at Temple. He played OK at the combine but didn’t produce anything spectacular.

Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts. I’m very open to other people’s opinions on this, and may very well change my selections before Thursday.

  1. January 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    You going to submit those picks into our contest?! They look like winners.

    Well laid out.

    • K.M. Morris
      January 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

      Yep! Just sent you an email.

    • K.M. Morris
      January 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      Also, sorry man, you got the worst randomly generated gravatar I’ve ever seen on here.

  1. January 14, 2010 at 1:07 am
  2. January 14, 2010 at 5:53 am

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