After adding a pair of attacking players (Dzenan Catic and Eric Bird) in the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft last Thursday, the Union shifted focus to defensive needs in selecting UCLA center back/defensive midfielder Aaron Simmons with the 51st pick in the third round and added St. Louis midfielder Raymond Lee with their final pick (71st) via conference call on Tuesday.
The 6-foot, 166-pound Simmons was an honorable mention All-PAC 12 selection for the Bruins in 2014, appearing in all 24 matches and starting 16 times. He scored two goals while logging 1,327 minutes at defensive midfield and center back. He played 10 minutes off the bench in the National Championship Game for the Bruins, who lost on penalty kicks to Virginia.
A native of Mansfield, Texas, Simmons was the 2011 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year and was a member of the United States Under-18 player pool. He scored eight goals and had two assists in 84 games for the Bruins during his four-year career in Westwood and earned an invite to the MLS Combine.
Lee is a 5-11, 175-pound midfielder from Kansas City, who played for the Sporting Kansas City Academy. He scored 14 goals - including three game-winners - and added 6 assists in 74 games during his four-year career at St. Louis, but could project as a left-sided defender or provide depth in defensive midfield if he makes the squad.
Lee was not invited to the MLS Combine, so his name was a bit off the radar entering the draft and his availability means he was passed over for a Homegrown Player contract by his hometown club. Lee earned Missouri Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2010 while leading his high school with 12 goals and 26 assists.
Simmons was one of three UCLA Bruins drafted this year along with Leo Stolz (Number 18 by New York Red Bulls) and Earl Edwards (Number 43 by Orlando City SC). Lee was one of four Billikens taken in the draft along with Kingsley Bryce (Number 28 by the Chicago Fire), Anthony Manning (Number 52 by Portland Timbers) and Robert Kristo (Number 55 by Columbus Crew SC).