A year after getting to pick twice in the first round in the SB Nation mock draft, we had to wait out 32 picks to join the party this year in Sunday’s online draft.
But making the playoffs and jumping the allocation order to acquire Alejandro Bedoya seem like a small price to pay for the Philadelphia Union picking later when considering there were still a pair of talented college forwards still left to select with the 33rd and 42nd picks in the two-round mock draft.
With the first pick, we went local and selected Temple star forward Jorge Gomez Sanchez, who found the back of the net 27 times in two seasons for the Owls. While he played primarily as a No. 9 for the Owls, he can also play attacking midfield and was used out wide in his first MLS Combine game on Sunday (he scored a goal late in the match).
Scoring goals at the rate he has over his college career - even at a smaller program like Temple - makes the Spaniard who made an appearance for Osasuna’s first team in La Liga before coming to the U.S. an intriguing prospect.
As his head coach for the past two years David MacWilliams notes, after scoring 13 goals his first season “he was a marked man” and only went out and scored another 14 goals, half of those game-winners. “He had that pressure on him and he still came through,” MacWilliams said.
In addition to his ability to score on either foot, Gomez Sanchez is clever and confident on the ball and a fierce competitor who the Union staff is familiar with having had him in to train on a couple occasions.
While his international status could give the Union pause - the addition of English forward Jay Simpson has all seven international slots currently filled on the first team roster - he seemed like a bargain at 33, even with Union Academy forward and Penn State star Connor Maloney still left (he was chosen one pick later).
With the 43rd pick, we settled on North Carolina forward Tucker Hume even though it was tempting to throw international spot and age caution to the wind and select 24-year-old D2 star Nathan Regis (he with 85 goals in 87 games for his career at Pfeiffer) instead.
Hume’s size - 6-foot-5, 204 pounds - would bring immediate comparisons to former Union target and unfortunate center back experiment Aaron Wheeler, but his 18 goals in 41 games after transferring to Chapel Hill from Division II Rollins College might give him a slight edge coming out of the college ranks.
The Texan was a super sub for the Tar Heels, starting just 17 of the 41 games he played at the top ACC program but proved deadly in the role on a team with 10 different goal scorers in 2016 and 12 different scorers in 2015.
While identical twin brother Walker Hume, a central defender, is considered the better pro prospect, the Union would have nothing to lose taking Tucker late in the second round, especially since he would have time to prove himself with the Bethlehem Steel and would at the very least give defenses fits on set pieces late in matches.
Like any late second rounder, Hume will have a lot of questions to answer if he does find an MLS home and he’ll be turning 24 in August but if he ends up becoming the American Peter Crouch it would be nice if he did so wearing blue and gold.