The MLS SuperDraft 2021 presented by adidas has come and gone with all 27 teams making moves ahead of the upcoming season. With the conclusion of the draft, MLSSoccer.com's Travis Clark handed out his SuperDraft grades with Philadelphia Union receiving the highest mark.
In Clark's grade he came five teams (Atlanta United, Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, CF Montreal and Sporting Kansas City) an A rating but the Union earned an A+. You might be curious how a team that made zero selections in the draft earned the highest mark but the Union certainly had an impact on the draft.
While the Union selected zero players they were busy with the SuperDraft. The club's No. 19 overall selection was used to acquire homegrown outside back Nathan Harriel with the pick going to Orlando City SC. The Union's second and third round picks (as well as the 2022 first round pick) were shipped to Nashville SC for up to $225,000 in General Allocation Money. From just the club's three picks they filled needs with outside back depth and additional funds to be used for next season's Supporters' Shield defense.
With such a strong Academy, the Union promoted from within with five new faces on the roster in 2021. In addition to Harriel, the club signed homegrown contracts with Paxten Aaronson, Jack McGlynn, Brandan Craig and Quinn Sullivan. With-in the league, the Academy’s strength is down as the Union got an additional $100,000 in GAM in deals with LAFC and FC Dallas over the past week, with the Union sending the homegrown rights of Tomas Romero to California and midfielder Kalil ElMedkhar to the Lone Star State. Additionally three graduations of the Union Academy were selected in the MLS SuperDraft this season with Justin McMaster (Minnesota United), Lamine Conte (New York Red Bulls) and Dawson McCartney (Portland Timbers).