Union take Blake first overall in MLS SuperDraft

 

The Sports Network

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Andre Blake became the first-ever goalkeeper drafted first overall as the University of Connecticut standout was taken by the Philadelphia Union with the No. 1 pick in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft.

The Union entered the SuperDraft with the second overall pick but managed to move up one spot following a late trade with D.C. United, which also saw Ben Olsen's club receive an undisclosed amount of allocation money in return.

It proved to be a crucial move as John Hackworth's side used the top selection to get the coveted 'keeper.

Blake, a Jamaican youth international, joins the Union from the University of Connecticut. He secured Big East Goalkeeper of the Year honors last season and received a third consecutive nod to the NSCAA All-American team, allowing just 15 goals in 20 matches while leading the team to the Elite 8 for the third straight year.

The 6-foot-4 Blake was also named this year's Generation adidas class, meaning his salary will not count against Philadelphia's cap until he graduates from the program.

D.C. United used the second pick of the SuperDraft to select Steve Birnbaum, a defender from the University of California.

Another California defender was taken next as Christian Dean was selected third overall by Vancouver Whitecaps FC while Steve Neumann, a striker from Georgetown University, was picked fourth overall by the New England Revolution.

New England added another striker in the first round by selecting Maryland's Patrick Mullins with the 11th overall pick, and then bolstered its midfield by taking Alec Sundly from California with its lone selection of the second round.

Red Bull New York, winners of the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2013, made two selections in the second round of Thursday's SuperDraft, opting to add depth in defense with Wake Forest's Chris Duvall and a bit of technical ability in midfield with Akron's Eric Stevenson.

And Sporting Kansas City, reigning MLS Cup champions, made just one selection in Thursday's SuperDraft, taking Adnan Gabeljic from St. Louis with the final pick of the second round.

The MLS SuperDraft will resume Tuesday with rounds three and four.

FIRST ROUND: 1. Andre Blake - Philadelphia Union (GK, Connecticut) 2. Steve Birnbaum - D.C. United (D, California) 3. Christian Dean- Vancouver Whitecaps FC (D, California) 4. Steve Neumann - New England Revolution (F, Georgetown) 5. Eric Miller - Montreal Impact (D, Creighton) 6. Tesho Akindele - FC Dallas (F, Colorado School of Mines) 7. Andre Lewis - Vancouver Whitecaps FC (M, Portmore United) 8. Damion Lowe - Seattle Sounders FC (D, Hartford) 9. J.J. Koval - San Jose Earthquakes (M, Stanford) 10. Nick Hagglund - Toronto FC (D, Xavier) 11. Patrick Mullins - New England Revolution (F, Maryland) 12. Marlon Hairston - Colorado Rapids (M, Louisville) 13. Marco Franco - Chicago Fire (D, UC-Irvine) 14. Ben Sweat - Columbus Crew (D, South Florida) 15. Pedro Ribeiro - Philadelphia Union (M, Coastal Carolina) 16. A.J. Cochrane - Houston Dynamo (D, Wisconsin) 17. Schillo Tshuma - Portland Timbers (F, Maryland) 18. Ryan Neil - Real Salt Lake (D, California) 19. Grant Van De Casteele - Colorado Rapids (D, Notre Dame)

SECOND ROUND: 1. Thomas McNamara - Chivas USA (M, Clemson) 2. Jimmy Ockford - Seattle Sounders FC (D, Louisville) 3. Chris Duvall - Red Bull New York (D, Wake Forest) 4. Kyle Vetner - Los Angeles Galaxy (D, New Mexico) 5. Daniel Lovitz - Toronto FC (M, Elon) 6. Kevin Cope - Philadelphia Union (M, Michigan State) 7. Taylor Peay - Portland Timbers (D, Washington) 8. Robbie Derschang - Philadelphia Union (D, Akron) 9. Joe Sofia - San Jose Earthquakes (D, UCLA) 10. Victor Munoz - D.C. United (M, UCLA) 11. Mamadou Diouf - Vancouver Whitecaps FC (F, Connecticut) 12. Alec Sundly - New England Revolution (M, California) 13. Mark Sherrod - Houston Dynamo (F, Memphis) 14. Jared Watts - Colorado Rapids (M, Wake Forest) 15. Eric Stevenson - Red Bull New York (M, Akron) 16. John Berner - Colorado Rapids (GK, SIU-Edwardsville) 17. Aaron Long - Portland Timbers (M, UC-Riverside) 18. George Malki - Montreal Impact (M, Cal Poly) 19. Adnan Gabeljic - Sporting Kansas City (F, St. Louis)

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