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Union Academy alum Connor Maloney drafted by Columbus Crew

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Maloney was the fifth pick in the third round and the 49th overall

Matt Ralph

Philadelphia Union Academy alum Connor Maloney was drafted on Tuesday by the Columbus Crew SC with the fifth pick in the third round and the 49th overall selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

Maloney, who will turn 22 in May, was on the Union team that won the 2012 Generation adidas Cup but did not qualify to sign a homegrown contract despite spending time at Reading United and training with the first team as recently as last summer.

The Harrisburg native scored 26 goals and had 17 assists over four seasons with the Nittany Lions, playing primarily as an attacking midfielder or forward. He’s listed on the draft tracker on MLSSoccer.com as a defender.

If he’s able to break into the Crew team, he’ll rejoin former Union teammate Zack Steffen, who returned from Germany to sign with the club over the summer.

Maloney was the third player with ties to the Union Academy taken in the draft with Colton Storm (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Brian Nana-Sinkam (Lititz, Pa.) going in the first round, Storm to Sporting Kansas City with the 14th overall pick and Nana-Sinkam the final pick of the first round to Seattle Sounders.

Two other Union Academy alums on the list of eligible players were not selected: Indiana defender Billy McConnell (Richboro, Pa.) and Georgetown forward Brett Campbell (Wallingford, Pa.).

Two players with ties to Temple University were taken on Tuesday with forward Jorge Gomez Sanchez going seventh in the third round and Penn State center back Robbie Sagel, who spent his first two seasons at Temple, going fourth in the fourth round.

Two University of Delaware players were taken in the second round on Friday in Guillermo Delgado (No. 27 overall to Chicago Fire) and Thomas de Villardi (No. 42 overall to Minnesota United) and Syracuse defender Liam Callahan, who spent his first year at Villanova, was drafted 24th overall by the Colorado Rapids.