Draft News

Philadelphia Union draft small strikers, big defender in second phase of SuperDraft

After selecting a winger and a right back in rounds one and two of the 2017 SuperDraft, Philadelphia Union added more depth to their (and Bethlehem Steel FC’s) front line by selecting Syracuse attacker Chris Nanco and Pfeiffer University striker Santi Moar in the third and fourth rounds Tuesday afternoon.

The Union also drafted 6’5″ defender Jack Elliot from Raymon Gaddis’ alma mater, West Virginia.

Nanco, drafted 55th overall, didn’t miss a match during his four years with the Orangemen. Listed at 5’6″, the senior notched eight goals and seven assists in 2016, leading Syracuse to the third round of the NCAA tournament. Nanco was an All-ACC first team selection.

Elliot was a crucial piece of a strong Mountaineers back four that posted an impressive 758 minute shutout streak during the 2016 season. He also chipped in two goals and an assist and was named to the All-MAC second team.

Santi Moar was a dominant force on a sensational Pfeiffer University squad that went 25-0 to win the 2015 D-II championship. In 2016, Pfeiffer scored 100 goals as a team with Moar popping 14 to go with his 19 assists. At 5’8″, the Spaniard is another mobile attacker that can work to reach the next level under Brendan Burke in Bethlehem.


  1. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    Watched the YouTube highlights of Chris Nanco and he played mostly on the left and seems to have a lot of speed. But it was YouTube highlights.

  2. unless there are major unanticipated upheavals to the 2017 roster they are clearly drafting the best soccer players available.

    • I’m not so sure what their draft strategy was. Earnie has often stated that the organization will “play the same system bottom-to-top”. That would imply that each pick was made because they would fit the system the Union, as an entire organization, wants to play. However, if they see each player as more raw talent then anything, they may have leaned toward best-player-available in the hopes that they can groom them to fit the system.

      • Since they didn’t have picks until later in the draft, you kind of take what you can get.

        It might say something that the Union were still picking up players while other teams were passing on their turns during the 3rd and 4th rounds.

  3. were all these draft picks to sign with the organization and make rosters, we might learn the GAM price for international roster slots in MLS.

  4. The organization might have seen Nanco in person during the 2016 preseason when Steel FC scrimmaged Syracuse.

  5. in the 2016 (last season) Roster rules for USL as presented in the USL Media guide, as USL side has 7 international roster slots. The guide makes no mention whether or not they are tradeable.
    of the 10 current Steel players on Steel, not Union (MLS) nor Academy (zero dollar), contracts, Cory Burke is definitely an international (Jamaican), Josh Heard may be (Welsh), James Chambers is definitely (Irish), Bolu Akinyode may be (Nigerian), Amoy Brown may be (Jamaican)altho’ from somewhere I have a rumor of a Green Card, Seku Conneh is definitely an international for Liberia for FIFA but may be on a Green Card for US Immigration. That’s six possibly and two for certain. seven is the limit.

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    The announcement of the Rowdies tournament on the Union website has the dates of the three phases of preseason. They are at Penn until the 28th or the 29th of January, having started with presumed meetings and physicals on the 23rd. They move to Florida on the 31st and are there through February 10th. They restart in Florida on February 14th and finish on the 26th. Of course they open in Vancouver on Sunday March 5th.
    The Steel have Meetings and physicals on February 1st.

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