Five Philadelphia Union Academy alums and several others with local ties are on a list of 176 players eligible for next week’s MLS SuperDraft.
Justin McMaster, Lamine Conte, Josue Monge, Dawson McCartney and Jahmali Waite, who all spent time with Bethlehem Steel FC prior to college and graduated high school from YSC Academy, are all listed.
McMaster, a winger/forward for Wake Forest is considered the best prospect of the group (No. 15 in SBI’s Big Board) and McCartney recently transferred to Notre Dame so he’d likely put a pro career on hold if he is drafted.
Since the NCAA Tournament has been moved to the spring, players drafted will have the option to return to campus similar to the NWSL Draft that was conducted last night.
Other local players include AJ Marcucci (No. 25 on SBI’s Big Board), a two-time first-team All-American for Division III Connecticut College who was a high school teammate of Matt Freese at Episcopal Academy, Notre Dame midfielder Aiden McFadden and Georgetown defender Sean O’Hearn, a Lancaster County native who has already signed a pro contract with New England Revolution II.
Marcucci, McFadden and Conte all played in a friendly over the weekend for West Chester United against Christos FC. Marcucci and McFadden were also teammates at Penn Fusion Academy.
Conte, who played for Philadelphia Lone Star as a youth prior to joining the Union Academy, has starred for Reading United in between college seasons at University of Mobile and the University of Louisville. Other Reading United alums on the draft eligible list include Monge, Waite, Theo Quartey, Jake Gelnovatch and Brandon Hackenberg.
Quartey and Villanova teammate Elan Koenig, who transferred from Wisconsin over the summer, are joined by local college players Pierre Cayet (Temple) and Alex Touche (Penn), who signed a pro contract earlier this week with New Mexico United but could still have his MLS rights drafted. Lehigh University forward Josh Luchini, who was invited to the college combine Sporting Kansas City hosted in November, is not listed.