Home > MLS Superdraft 2010, Philadelphia Union > “Union draft strategy: Get ’em young” at Match Fit USA

“Union draft strategy: Get ’em young” at Match Fit USA

Danny Mwanga, Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney

Danny Mwanga, Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney

For all you Union fans still suffering from Superdraft hangover (we got to see our players! on TV! and with real jerseys!), Jason Davis at Match Fit USA has put up a belated but much appreciated post on the Union’s draft choices:

I’m willing to bet that Nowak was unconvinced any player in this year’s draft could significantly contribute immediately to his squad, and that bringing in a highly-touted 22 year-old with little beyond a nice college résumé would ultimately be an inefficient use of his early picks.

. . . .

Danny Mwanga, 18 years old, two seasons of college soccer. Amobi Okugo, 18 years old, one season of college soccer. Jack McInerney, 17 years old, zero seasons of college soccer.

Three raw players, each with big potential and zero to few “wasted years” in college soccer, ready to become pros under the tutelage of Piotr Nowak and the Philadelphia Union staff. Add it all up, and it appears that Philly had a clear draft strategy and executed it to perfection.

Mr. Davis is more or less spot-on with his analysis. These players are all projects, and as such we should expect to see some veteran signings coming to Unionland very soon.

But I do think Okugo and McInerney will make late-game appearances as substitutes in their first season–and as far as Danny Mwanga, I would venture to say that Nowak does believe the 18-year-old striker can contribute from day one.

In related Union youngster news, Nowak recently revealed to Soccer America that he believes Jack McInerney has enough soccer IQ to succeed at the next level–while at the same time making it very clear that he does essentially see him as the above-noted “project.” From the article:

“The challenge is up to him,” says Nowak. “I will give him my knowledge. I will give him my passion, and everything I have learned in the past. He has enough soccer brain to develop fast.”

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  1. Arkose
    January 20, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I would argue that the top 3 picks should be able to start right away. You are not picked that high becuase of potential, but what you already posses. The Union though, find themselves in a nice position where they “need” Mwanga. I have a feeling thought that Mwanga will fight Zimmerman for the second striker position. The other strikers, IMO, don’t fit well with Moreno’s style. I am of course basing my thoughts on at least two forwards starting.

    Training camp will be great.

  2. K.M. Morris
    January 20, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Yeah, certainly the hope is the that the top three picks can start right away–but it’s not always worked out that way in MLS, and any first round pick is ultimately a gamble. ASN had a really good round up of past MLS drafts a few weeks ago: http://union.american-soccer-news.com/?p=570

  3. Arkose
    January 20, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I would say most 1st round picks have worked out well, and have worked out better over time. I do think that it is easier for a younger player to start at the wings (using their speed) and defensive wings. A Young forward usually has problems in the MLS due to the physicality. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see Mwanga play some wing.

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