PHILADELPHIA -- Heading into Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, most mock drafts had D.C. United taking a defender or forward with its number one overall pick. With Bill Hamid already on board, UCONN goalkeeper Andre Blake wouldn't be on United's radar.
It turned out that Blake wasn't on United's radar, but for several other teams, he was the number one target.
Among those teams were the Philadelphia Union, who, despite the presence of young goalkeeper Zac MacMath, swapped their second overall pick with DCU and took Blake first overall, making him the first goalkeeper in MLS history to be taken with the first pick.
"I was very surprised, I didn't see that coming," Blake told reporters. "I was thinking maybe number two, maybe number three, but I really didn't see number one coming."
Blake wasn't alone. Although he endured some rough patches in his two seasons as starter, MacMath is still just 22 and with several holes on the roster, the Union didn't appear to need a goalkeeper.
There won't be a guaranteed starting berth waiting for Blake but after the Union won a "bidding war" for the number one pick according to D.C. United GM Dave Kasper, it's clear that MacMath's days as the starter are numbered.
"Everyone wants to be in that starting XI, so for me I'm just going to go in and take it one step at a time," Blake said. "I'm going to go in, earn my respect, and just work hard on the pitch and let the coach see as well."