Tuesday brought the start of what is sure to be a very busy week in MLS news culminating with the Superdraft on Thursday from the Philadelphia Convention Center as the Philadelphia Union and DC United completed a trade that is wonderful for both clubs.
D.C. United trades 1st slot in allocation & Ethan White to PHL for 6th position in allocation & Jeff Parke. Philly angling for Maurice Edu
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 14, 2014
Looking at the trade from a DC United standpoint, they have now acquired that second veteran center back that has been on their radar. Jeff Parke will find that role perfectly bringing over ten years and 237 matches of MLS experience to the revamped DC United back-line. DC had already addressed their defensive issues by picking up veterans Sean Franklin from Los Angeles Galaxy and Bobby Boswell from Houston Dynamo during the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft.
DC United also holds the first pick in the upcoming Superdraft with two ready to play defenders sitting at the top of the list in Steve Birnbaum and Christian Dean from the University of California. It’s almost a given that one of these two will be selected No. 1 overall and will add some key depth to a position where depth has been lacking for United. Given that DC will be participating in the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League this increased depth will be key for them to do well in that competition as well as compete for a playoff spot.
Philadelphia Union pick up another young defender in Ethan White to complement the likes of Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams, but the Union will be happier about the swap in the allocation order. As stated in the Steven Goff tweet above, Philadelphia is working out a deal with Stoke City for midfielder Maurice Edu as Edu looks for more playing time before the FIFA World Cup.
The addition of Edu will be enhanced by the fact that Philadelphia owns the second and sixth picks in Thursday’s Superdraft. With the second pick they will likely add either Birnbaum or Dean, whomever is not selected by DC.
It is very likely that the Union will target midfielder Steve Neumann of Georgetown University with the sixth pick. Neumann spent last summer playing with Reading United AC which is affiliated with the Union in the USL Premier Development League, so the staff will already have some familiarity with him.