In an unsurprising move to most, the Philadelphia Union selected Conor Casey with their first round choice in the Second Stage of the 2012 Major League Soccer Re-Entry Draft.
The target striker will fulfill a two year long need for the Union at his preferred role up front. Philadelphia has not had a target striker since allowing Alejandro Moreno to leave during the 2010 Expansion Draft.
Casey left the Colorado Rapids in a mutual decision that terminated his five season long relationship with the club. Two years ago, Casey suffered a ruptured his left Achilles tendon while playing against the Seattle Sounders at Century Link Field in Washington state.
An injured plagued 2011 gave birth to a 2012 in which he couldn't fully regain his 2009 or 2010 form, but still was able to play at a high enough level to collect the Rapid's Comeback Player of the Year award.
Rapids leadership pointed to Casey's salary and injury as reasons for his possible departure from his hometown.
"In this league, when you have limitations in the budget, in the roster [so] the top guys when they're missing, they're affecting the team," said Colorado head coach Oscar Pareja to MLSsoccer.com. "It was a difficult year for him for sure."
The 31-year-old scored 50 goals in 119 appearances, 102 of them starts, for the Rapids.
Casey's best season came in 2009, when he netted 16 goals, only one less than MLS Golden Boot winner Jeff Cunningham, and an assist. He followed up that career year with 13 goals and six assists in 2010.