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Philadelphia Union 2012 MLS Draft Targets: Left Back

The 2012 MLS SuperDraft will start at 12 pm EST today on ESPN2 (Courtesy of MLS).
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft will start at 12 pm EST today on ESPN2 (Courtesy of MLS).

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 back 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. Chris Estridge: Estridge was the best fullback heading into the combine and left it with some question marks, but his discouraging play during the three showcase games shouldn't change people's opinions on him. The 22-year-old is able to play at both left back and right back, the kind of versatility that always intrigues Union head coach Piotr Nowak. Estridge spent time at both Wake Forest ('08-''09) and Indiana ('10-'11) and was highly regarded at both. At 5'10" he has above average height for a fullback, but nothing has been made of his heading abilities, not to say that he doesn't have any. Mock drafts mostly have him off of the board by the tenth overall pick.
  2. Tyler Polak: After talking to draft illuminares such as Travis M. Clark, Polak appears to be the left back with the most potential in the draft, but the one least suited to playing within the next couple of years. That information makes Polak a more than viable candidate for selection by the Union given their current left back situation. The signing of Costa Rican Porfirio Lopez, coupled with last year's half year starter Gabriel Farfan, would provide Polak with a buffer and give him time to prepare for MLS life. Still, like Estridge, Polak is thought to be a top ten draft pick.
  3. Hunter Jumper: The man who probably has the best name in this year's SuperDraft is projected anywhere from mid-first round talent to a late second round selection. Jumper was my left back choice in the mock draft done by SB Nation after he fell to the 35th pick, one of the second rounders that the Union received from Sporting Kansas City in the Shavar Thomas trade.
  4. Gienir Garcia: The Cruz Azul B team left back decided to forgo pursuing a career in the Mexican Primera to have a chance at a life in America within MLS. Garcia has stated that he believes MLS is set to pass Mexico as the top league in North America and seems to be ambitious about progressing in his career. He picked up an injury recently and wasn't able to fully show off his talents in the combine, but he is certainly an intriguing prospect in the second round of the SuperDraft, or in the Supplemental Draft.