Union SuperDraft pick Don Anding out to prove he was worth the wait at No. 26

SuperDraft selection Don Anding hoping hard work nets a spot

 

The waiting was the hardest part.

But in the end, the waiting was more than worth it.

Northeastern forward Don Anding made the trek to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis for the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. He was sure hoping to hear his name called, especially when the first round concluded.

Then the picks landed in the 20s. That’s when the waiting became tougher and tougher.

Finally, Anding’s dream was realized when the Philadelphia Union selected him at No. 26.

The wait was over.

“It was a little bit nerve-wracking,” Anding told philadelphiaunion.com on the eve of the Union’s open training session Monday at YSC Sports that is open to the public. “My parents were sitting there with me and then you hit pick 20 and you begin wondering. The rumors start going around. Is it New York? Or the Revs (Revolution)? When the Union took me, I was really happy, really excited.”

The 21-year-old Anding was a 2012 MAC Herrmann Trophy College Player of the Year semifinalist and an NSCAA third team All-American. A native of Amity Harbor, N.Y., Anding was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year in his junior season in 2011 and was also the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2009.

Anding became the first Northeastern NSCAA All-American in program history and the first College Soccer News All-American since 2002.

Need more proof of his ability?

Read: Union nab Anding, Okai in MLS SuperDraft

Anding led the CAA in points and goals, was tied for first in game-winning goals, and was second in assists. He ranked 11th in the nation in both points per game (1.67) and total points (35) and was 13th in the country in total goals (14). In addition, he was the first Northeastern player since ‘94 to record 30 points in a season (Bjorn Hansen, 32), and was the first NU player since 1999 to have at least 14 goals in a season (Petter Starnas, 16).

“Athletically, he is very gifted but it was his character that won us over,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “When you are looking for a guy to work in a couple of different positions, his personality and the fact that he’ll work hard along with the natural tools and gifts that he has he was a guy that we wanted and we feel fortunate to grab him.”

Anding will be joining a club with a bevy of talent at forward. It’s possible he could compete for a spot at left back since he played at that spot at Northeastern.

Regardless of where he winds up, it’s just a matter of coming in and competing. Just like he always has at every level.

“It can be a little bit intimidating coming in with some of the veteran players they have,” Anding said. “I’m sure I’ll be a little bit nervous. I’ve always been good at kind of blocking things out and coming with my hard work. I’ve always thought that with hard work and character, everything else will take care of itself.

“I’m going to come in, work hard, do my thing and see where it takes me.”

Anding can’t wait to get started and hopefully play in front of the rabid fans and Sons of Ben supporters at PPL Park.

The first step was being selected in the SuperDraft. The next step begins at YSC Sports.

“After the Union picked me, I met with a couple of the Sons of Ben and I could tell they were very passionate in talking to them,” Anding said. “They were excited to meet a couple of future Union players and see what we were all about. I’ve heard the fans are very passionate and the atmosphere is great at their stadium. I’m just going to start here with giving it my all and using the hard work that got me to this point.”

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com