Posts Tagged ‘Ike Opara’

Danny Califf signs with the Philadelphia Union (and what it means for the 2010 Superdraft)

December 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Okay, this is old news, I know. But let me first say: great move. This brings a veteran, former MLS Best XI player to a team in great need of both quality and experience. Although Califf has had a bit of a dip in form recently, he’s stated publicly that competing for a world cup spot is a big part of this move. And, lest we forget, just two years ago he captained AaB to win the Danish Superliga. So we know the guy’s got the talent. And now he’s got the motivation. Things could very well come together for him next year in Philadelphia.

But Califf’s addition is important for another reason: it shakes up Philadelphia’s draft plan. I was pretty much certain that we were going to see Ike Opara in beautiful Philadelphia Blue next year, but now this seems unlikely. With Shavar Thomas and Danny Califf, the Union will now have two solid, veteran central defenders. If Opara declares for the draft–and it’s widely expected he will–the Union will be put in a tricky situation. Draft Opara, have him fight for playing time, and trade/sell him or another defender a little farther down the line? Or trade the first draft pick to another team? Or ignore Opara (allowing another team to snatch him up) and take someone else, someone to fill a gap elsewhere in the lineup?

Of these, I think trading the #1 pick makes the most sense. Let another team take Opara–a player the union don’t need–first, and in exchange take a veteran and a later pick. Some very successful players have come out of lower first round draft choices–and a number of 1st round choices have been flops. If Nowak plays it smart the Union could come out of the draft in a very strong position.