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Don’t expect any Keegan Rosenberry’s in this year’s MLS Draft for Philadelphia Union


Wide Midfielder Napo Matsoso – Kentucky

Tomorrow 1/13 at 3:00pm EST the Philadelphia Union will hold the 33rd and 42nd picks in the MLS Superdraft. The Union have had muddled success in recent years. Even though their first pick in history did end up as a historic flop, their most recent pick in 2016 of Keegan Rosenberry turned out to be one of the best draft picks of any team in the history of the league.

So where does it leave us for what to expect tomorrow? Don’t expect any more Keegan Rosenberry’s. First there are probably no players that are showing close to the league readiness that Keegan had in abundance. Second it would be unrealistic to anticipate a player like every year. Players that have such an impact on a team in their rookie year are difficult enough to find in every sport. One of the intricacies of the American soccer landscape is that if you are good enough for MLS at 21, you are probably already playing in Europe and not in College.

The Union have the 33rd and 42nd picks. Don’t get your hopes up for any bombshells. The stalwart GM Earnie Stewart is unlikely to stray from the straight and narrow of the slow game. He is what you would consider a ‘Moneyball’ mover. You can then take that information and assume the Union will try to get their best bang for their buck. However, the Union are strong in central defense and goalkeeper. Most likely the players chosen will be in the front seven.

Here are the best value picks that may be available at that position in the draft:

Wide Midfielder Napo Matsoso – Kentucky

Absolute speed in a small package. 20 Assists in four years is nothing to sneeze at but probably not the production you will see from a first rounder. Matsoso could drop to the 33rd pick and the Union might have to take the chance at a speeding bullet.

Player most like him: Dane Richards

Central Midfielder Tanner Thompson – Indiana

You know the family name so don’t let the alliterations fool you. Tanner is San Jose Quake’s Tommy Thompson’s brother. Tanner is the alter ego of Tommy if you will. In stark contrast to his brother, Tanner is constant, durable, and safe. He’s in a very crowded portion of the draft in his position. Look for the depth pick here to reinforce a somewhat trodden midfield.

Player most like him: Eric Alexander

Forward David Goldsmith – Butler

Goldsmith is the perennial sleeper pick in this draft. With the Union recently reinforcing their attacking corps through the transfer market with the acquisition of the ‘very former’ Arsenal player Jay Simpson – they are now at least five players deep in the position. If the Union are looking to get leaner at the position or offload someone for a cheaper option Goldsmith might be the go-to. He is quite literally a bulldog in the box.

Player most like him: Connor Casey and Luke Rodgers had a baby

We will be bringing you the post draft highlights from a conference call with Coach Jim Curtin and Sporting Director Earnie Stewart at 6pm EST.

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