On Thursday, the Union begin their rebuild. Under the guidance of newly acquired Sporting Director, Earnie Stewart, the Union have a crucial day ahead of them at the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
The Union own both the third and sixth pick in the draft. For a team that finished 10-17-7 in 2015, there’s a lot of work ahead of Stewart to make this team competitive again in 2016.
“With the third and the sixth pick, there is a real opportunity for us to see players that will not only come in, but come in and contribute,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “We will identify those guys, Earnie has been very good at clarifying the roles that we want and that we want a Philadelphia team to look like and to be a part of what the city is and to meet all those traits.”
The Union ranked second-last in goal differential last season, with a putrid minus-13. On both sides of the ball, the Union struggled mightily. They were the only team in the league with both less than 43 goals (15th) and more than 54 goals allowed (17th).
Both draftutopia.com and SBNation.com have the Union selecting defender Brandon Vincent from Stanford with the third pick who played both left back and center back in college.
They differ in their selection for the sixth pick.
Draftutopia.com has forward Fabian Herbers of Creighton coming to the team, who netted 15 goals, 17 assists and 47 points in 2015. SBNation.com has the Union taking forward Omar Holness of North Carolina, who impressed teams greatly at the MLS Combine due to his versatility.
Whatever combination the Union decide to go with, it seems clear that they’ll likely address both offense and defense with their top two selections. They also own the 23rd pick in the second round.
“Our goal is to get starters and to make sure our roster is as strong as possible because we all believe at Philadelphia that if we can get two good players in every single position they are going to drive each other to bigger and better,” Stewart said. “So that’s our goal and obviously going into this you have to make sure that you identify those players and there are a couple of players here that will directly have impact here as starters.”
The SuperDraft takes place in Baltimore Thursday at 1 p.m. All coverage will air on ESPN.