Home > Philadelphia Union > Some quick thoughts on the Union’s draft selections

Some quick thoughts on the Union’s draft selections

Danny Mwanga, Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney

Danny Mwanga, Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney

I don’t have much time for another long post today thanks to real-world commitments (damn you, real world!), but I did want to jot down a few observations about the draft picks.

Danny Mwanga: Not much to say here. I hadn’t heard much about him until shortly before the combine. Regardless, if all the stories that paint Mwanga as a very, very special talent, are true, then I’m willing to say the Union made an excellent decision here. Nowak has already called him a potential franchise player, and others have called him a man-among-boys in this year’s draft class (and 14 goals in 18 games ain’t shabby at all).

Amobi Okugo (and Toni Stahl): Pro Player Pipeline, which gave the Union only a C- for their overall draft choices, sees the selection of two these DMs as a major mistake by the team. I don’t agree.

Okugo is yet another highly ranked youth prospect.  It will likely take a year or two for him to truly develop, which is exactly why the choice of Toni Stahl was smart: Stahl will be able to contribute from day one, but likely doesn’t have the star potential that Okugo has. The team can use Stahl for a year or two. If Okugo develops into a starter, Stahl will work as a great sub late in the games, or even better as significant trade bait.

Jack McInerney. My new internet friends at 3four3 are not alone in their skepticism about McInerney, and even those who see believe in him don’t see him contributing in MLS for another year or two.

But as for me, I’m absolutely thrilled with this choice, and never included Baby Mac (sorry, can’t help myself) as a draft pick only because of what all the other analysts were saying. Now, he’s in good hands with Hackworth and Nowak. Call me crazy, but I see him developing into one of the best pure finishers in MLS in two to three seasons, and a possible super-sub in season one.

Kyle Nakazawa: The UCLA product has had a dip in form of late and only managed a mediocre performance at the combine, which is why he fell all the way to the third round. But Nakazawa should easily compete for a roster spot and should put some pressure on the rest of the midfield.

Brian Perk: By far the best player left in the fourth round. Some are a little surprised that the team should go with Perk when they already have two very good keepers. But I like this pick. He’ll put pressure on Chris Seitz and Brad Knighton from day one. Later, if the Union wants to open up a roster spot they can use Perk (or Knighton) as trade bait.

Full MLS-wide report cards on the 2010 Superdraft can be found at: WVHooligan, Pro Player Pipeline, and ESPN Soccernet (Ives Galarcep).

Finally, congrats go to Union rivals NY Red Bulls for their excellent draft. Watching Austin da Luz and Tony Tchani don Red Bulls jerseys does not make this Union fan happy at all.

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