Jordan embarks on pro career with Union under tutelage of childhood idol

Defensive midfielder excited for "great challenge" in Philadelphia

The whole day was surreal.

There was Greg Jordan, talking to Union team manager Peter Nowak on the telephone Thursday, shortly after being selected with the No. 32 overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

For Jordan, it was not only a thrill to be drafted. The added bonus was talking to Nowak.

“It was amazing because I grew up near Chicago and I was a huge Fire fan,” Jordan said in a telephone interview Thursday. “I watched the Fire play all the time and one of my favorite players was Peter Nowak. They won the MLS Cup in 1998 and I was a big Fire fan from the beginning. To be picked by the Union, really to be picked at all, was amazing.

“I was talking to Peter Nowak on the other end of the telephone and it was an amazing feeling. It was just a very exciting day for me.”

Jordan was eight years old when the Fire won MLS Cup in 1998.

Fast forward to 2012 and he’s en route to the Union, who also took Generation adidas forward Chandler Hoffman with the 13th overall pick and defender Raymon Gaddis with the 35th overall pick.

A defensive midfielder, Jordan named to the NSCAA All-American Second Team in 2011 as a senior at Creighton. He helped Creighton earn 19 shutouts in 2011 while contributing three goals and three assists. In his four-year college career, Jordan scored seven goals and had eight assists.

Jordan started 60 of 62 career matches, including the final 44.

He’ll be joining an already strong core in the midfield with the Union, and he’s stoked for the opportunity.

“It’s so exciting because it was a goal of mine to be drafted in MLS ever since I was younger,” Jordan said. “I think you have to be excited about a chance to come to such a strong club with all that depth. I think it’ll be a great experience for me to come in and do whatever I can to help the club. They have a lot of veteran players with a lot of experience and it will be a great challenge for me.”

Jordan wasn’t sure how draft day would play out. He heard varying reports and wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was a nerve-wracking experience.

His family flipped from ESPN2, where the first round was aired, to ESPN3.com. He kept hitting the refresh button and then – there it was – his name in big letters. A thrill indeed.

“We kept refreshing the screen and then I saw my name and I was so excited,” Jordan said. “Then the Union called. It was just an amazing thing to see my name. You don’t know if you’re going to be taken. I felt like this was a major goal of mine accomplished, to be drafted. Now, it’s on to the next goal and that starts when I join up with the club.”

Suddenly, one of the players he enjoyed watching as a young kid will be his manager.

“It’s really cool,” Jordan said. “I’m looking forward to playing for Peter and doing everything I can for the Union.”

WATCH: Jordan in action at MLS Combine