Goal.com's Allen Ramsey gives his take on who Union fans can hope to see make an impact in 2010.
It was a spectacular day for Philadelphia soccer fans that ended up without the spectacular results that some would've hoped for. The Union passed on two of the top players the 'City of Brotherly Love' ever produced (Chris Albright and Bobby Convey) and stuck with safer, less injury prone options.
But Union fans should take heart. Much like the Sounders before them, the Union brass is off to a great start. Five of the ten players picked should be contributors, if not regular starters, in Philadelphia's inaugural season.
There are still plenty of holes to fill, but with plenty of time to fill them Union fans should feel comfortable with these five players as the initial base of their franchise.
Brad Knighton- It always starts at the back, and Knighton was a great selection. Josh Wicks would've been the more popular pick for most fans, but Knighton can be just as dynamic, and probably comes at a substantial discount.
Last year in New England Knighton proved to be a talented shot stopper when starter Matt Reis was sidelined with injuries. Though not of the quality of a Kasey Keller, he will give Philly a reliable net-minder with the talent to come up with some amazing saves from time to time.
The city of Philadelphia always has and always
will love athletes with the workman qualities that Moreno brings to the
soccer pitch. Add in the fact that the Venezuelan is a proven winner in
Major League Soccer and Union fans should fall in love with him
Philly fans have also been known to turn on athletes who don't produce (and even those who do from time to time), so Union fans should watch how Moreno works and not worry too much about his goal totals which can be unimpressive.
Jordan Harvey- Harvey is one of the most underrated defenders in MLS and he should be a nice player for the Union. He could be asked to play a number of positions across the Union back line and gives head coach Peter Nowak a versatile player to stick in front of Knighton.
Shavar Thomas- Sticking with the defensive mentality, Nowak chose Jamaican international Shavar Thomas to be the centerpiece of the back line, giving the team a ball winning center back to build around.
While Seattle took some chances on their defense in the expansion draft last season, Nowak and his staff clearly went with some reliable options. Like most of the Union draft, the players are unspectacular, but should form a solid core to build a strong defensive unit around.
Sebastian Le Toux-
Le Toux was left unprotected by Seattle, and
rightly so. The former USL star was not a huge part of the Sounders'
setup in 2009, but he clearly has some ability as an attacking option.
The Union brass will almost certainly bring in some bigger names to
spark the attack, but Le Toux has the versatility to play a number of positions and will probably be a major contributor in Philly's first season.
Allen Ramsey is an associate editor of Goal.com. The Short List runs every Wednesday on Goal.com USA.
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