Philadelphia Union 2012 MLS Draft Targets: Left Midfielder/Winger

The 2012 MLS SuperDraft will start at 12 pm EST today on ESPN2.

The 2012 SuperDraft has been criticized as being a weak draft, but the positions that the Brotherly Game feels the Philadelphia Union should target have plenty of options from which to choose. Left midfielder or left winger is one of the few positions that this SuperDraft has enough depth to wait until the second round to take a player, but it also has a few intriguing first round prospects.

  1. Tony Cascio: The University of Connecticut player is considered the best pure winger in the draft. A good sign of things for Cascio is that Simon Borg doesn't even have him being drafted.
  2. Nick DeLeon: The midfielder declared today that he intends to play on the left side of the midfield with whatever MLS team that drafts him. The problem with DeLeon for the Union is that even when they push midfielders up high towards becoming wingers, the tactics require them to drop back defensively a lot and he appears to be a mostly offensive player. Still, the Union could use depth at the position and if DeLeon is available for when Philadelphia selects, he'll be of good value.
  3. Ethan Finlay: A hat trick during one of his combine games boosted his draft stock greatly, but at least one expert the Brotherly Game talked to felt that Finlay won't be a star, just a solid starter in MLS. His ability to play wide as a scoring winger would play greatly into head coach Piotr Nowak's tactical style. Expect Finlay to be off of the board by the time that the Union pick at 13 because of his combine showing.
  4. Jason Banton: The former Arsenal and Liverpool youth and reserve player is an interesting player, but an incomplete one. Banton has fantastic speed and he displayed that versus his opponents in the combine. However, he is a high risk type of prospect due to his soccer intelligence problems. The former English youth international has a tough time distinguishing what to do in the final third, which makes him a problem after he drives past the opposing defenders. Since Banton will take up an international slot for any team that takes him, the Union aren't likely to think about drafting him given their already more than full international roster slots situation.
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