Coming into the draft the Philadelphia Union had zero first round picks and two second round picks (26th and 28th overall picks) in the Major League Soccer Superdraft on Jan. 17. They traded its first round pick away when they acquired Bakary Soumare. During the time before the 28th pick, the Union traded its 28th overall pick of the draft to Real Salt Lake for the 31st overall pick. The Union also receives the 12th and 17th pick in the MLS Supplemental Draft. The Supplemental Draft will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The Union selected forward Don Anding from Northeastern University with the seventh pick in the second round (26th pick overall). Union fans were surprised when this pick was announced, but he might end up fitting into the Union’s game plan.
Anding is best up top at forward, but could end up playing either on the wings or in the midfield for the Union. Many scouts are saying that Anding is a lighting fast player and one of the fastest at the 2013 MLS Combine. In the past, he has played left back, but his best spot is up top. Maybe the Union will work on developing into a left back or defensive mid during camp.
Steven Okai from University of Mobile was taken with the 31st pick overall. Okai is a Reading United AC alumnus and played under current Reading coach Brendan Burke. For those who don’t know, Reading is the Union’s PDL league partner. Last year Reading’s Ray Gaddis was taken by the Union in the second round.
Okai was named NAIA Player of the Year and All-American in 2012. He had 29 points with 10 goals and 9 assists on the season. Reading’s General Manager Arthur Auchenbach tweeted about the pickup of Okai saying “He was excited and that it was a steal [to take Okai] at that spot.”
While the Union did not select a left back, it looks like the feel their left back prospects will fall to the supplemental draft. Let’s also not forget that Union “Supersub” and star Antoine Hoppenot was selected in the Supplemental Draft. The Supplemental Draft is also referred to many as the third round of the draft. The draft wasn’t what most fans and analysts expected from the Union, but both of these players show promise.