Breaking News reports Carlos Valdes will return to the Philadelphia Union "next week"

MLS Mock Draft: Union select Jared Watts with No. 25 pick

Andy Mead/Wake Forest athletics

Brian Carroll isn't getting younger and the team should be grooming his replacement. Watts could be that player if groomed correctly .

Jared Watts is not the name on every self referential mediaist's lips when they talk about the 2014 MLS Super Draft. He's not really anything anyone wants to talk about. At just over 6 feet tall, he is not what you would call tall. Weighing in at only 155 lbs he isn't exactly going to stop much more than a stiff breeze. He occupies the least sexy spot on the field, from the least desirable six yard box to the center circle.

The problem is that you can't ignore him. Jared turned down the draft last year to stay at Wake Forrest and finish his degree in Communications. He captained the U-17 USMYNT and very successfully split his time between defense and midfield over the 73 matches he played for the Demon Deacons. He is effective and versatile and everything that the first rounders are not, and possibly exactly what the Union need.

What the Union see in him: Watts is a solid defensive midfielder who excels at defending. He fits the mold of a John Hackworth player, no nonsense, effective and a US U-17 captain. The Wake Forrest grad comes from the same program that produced current Union midfielders Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud and Corben Bone. He is exactly the kind of player that can be of use to the Union in 2014, either as defensive cover or as a big hard tackling midfield destroyer late in games to accumulate some minutes. At 6'1", he would add some height to the defensive unit in either position.

Who the experts think the Union will pick: Pedro Ribero - The deep lying play maker would ideally be Brian Carroll 2.0

Why we are probably wrong: The Union have enough destructive midfielders at the moment unless the off season sees more departures. Hackworth seemed to think he had enough defensive depth in 2013, even if he had to put Sebastien LeToux at right back. Watts would likely be fourth in line for minutes in the center of midfield and at least that deep on the defensive list. If the Union drafted Watts he would most likely bypass Chester and go directly to the Union's USL PRO affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders. It's unlikely he would agree to join a third division side after being touted as such a hot prospect.

Why we are smarter then the experts: Watts checks every box for what you would call a "Hackworth Guy".  Although it's unlikely he would displace Carroll, Lahoud or even Daniel in the holding role, there are rumors of at least one (if not more) of those players leaving. If the following video of Jared post match is any indication, the amount of time he says "fought hard" will have Hackworth recalculating his hustle stats, and looking for a place to fit him in.

Full Mock Draft results (click on player names to see the profiles)

First Round

Team Blog Pick
1. D.C. United Black and Red United Patrick Mullins
2. Philadelphia Union Brotherly Game Steve Neumann
3. Vancouver Whitecaps 86 Forever Andre Blake
4. Columbus Crew Massive Report Steve Birnbaum
5. FC Dallas Big D Soccer Christian Dean
6. Union Brotherly Game Marlon Hairston
7. Whitecaps 86 Forever Damion Lowe
8. Chicago Fire Hot Time In Old Town Grant Van De Casteele
9. San Jose Earthquakes Quake, Rattle and Goal Eric Miller
10. Montreal Impact Mount Royal Soccer A.J Corrado
11. Colorado Rapids Burgundy Wave Schillo Tshuma
12. New England Revolution The Bent Musket JJ Koval
13. Seattle Sounders Sounder at Heart Aodhan Quinn
14. LA Galaxy LAG Confidential Fifi Baiden
15. Toronto FC Waking the Red AJ Cochran
16. Houston Dynamo Dynamo Theory Mamadou Diouf
17. Portland Timbers Stumptown Footy Reinaldo Brenes
18. Real Salt Lake RSL Soapbox Ben Sweat
19. Revolution The Bent Musket Marco Franco

Second Round

Team Blog Pick
20. Chivas USA The Goat Parade Enrique Cardenas
21. Sounders Sounder at Heart Taylor Peay
22. New York Red Bulls Once a Metro Pete Caringi
23. Crew Massive Report Pedro Ribeiro
24. Toronto FC Waking the Red Joey Dillon
25. Union Brotherly Game Jared Watts
26. Timbers Stumptown Footy Kevin Cope
27. Union Brotherly Game Kyle Venter
28. Earthquakes Quake, Rattle and Goal Mackenzie Pridham
29. Impact Mout Royal Soccer Jimmy Ockford
30. Whitecaps 86 Forever Nikita Kotlov
31. Revolution The Bent Musket Victor Chavez
32. Dynamo Dynamo Theory Kristopher Tyrpak
33. Rapids Burgundy Wave Rafael Diaz
34. Red bulls Once a Metro Alex Martinez
35. Rapids Burgundy Wave Zach Bolden
36. Timbers Stumptown Footy Mark Sherrod
37. Impact Mout Royal Soccer Michael Calderon
38. Sporting Kansas City The Daily Wiz

Romena Bowie
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