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Union sign draft pick Marcus Epps

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union has signed second round draft pick Marcus Epps to a contract, the team announced Monday. Contract details were not disclosed.

“Marcus impressed us over his collegiate career and has continued to show his abilities throughout this preseason,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said Monday in a statement released by the club. “We are excited to see what he will bring to our club in years to come.”

Epps was the first player drafted this year by the Union, who did not have a first round pick. The team traded up in the draft to acquire the 25th overall pick in the MLS amateur draft from expansion side Minnesota United.

Epps is a 22-year-old wide midfielder who played collegiately at the University of South Florida, a team once coached by former Union head coach John Hackworth. Epps will be eligible to play for both the Union or on loan with the Union’s USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel FC. He is the first 2017 draft pick to sign with the first team. Fourth round pick Santi Moar has already inked a contract with Bethlehem.

9 Comments

  1. I’m a little surprised by this. He’s an out and out winger, and we’re pretty loaded up there (Pontius, Herbers, Ilsinho, Picault, Ayuk, now Epps too PLUS you can move Bedoya and Sapong out wide in a pinch). I can’t imagine he’s getting a look this year, but then again I haven’t seen him in preseason. Thank god we have Steel to develop this kid.

    • They did trade up to get him so I assumed the would sign him. We definitely have a logjam with wing depth and also squad space. I’m still thinking that Najem is going to get signed, which means we are going to have to loan or transfer someone, maybe a couple of players honestly.

      • As Gonzhao said, thank God for the Steel. We can afford a logjam of young players as long as we have BSFC.

      • Totally agree. Steel is one of the greatest new things we have. Was definitely a missing link before.

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    My initial reaction was that signing Epps might preclude a deal with Adam Najem.
    .
    However, the voices of PSP readers are whispering season long loan to the USL affiliate. Under the 2016 rules summary available to the press and the public, not the rules themselves with their law-code like, multi-level outline structure, such a loan would be possible as long as 2017 version of the provisions remains the same, a likely circumstance given the same governing CBA with the players. And the current deal with the USL was for five years, although I don’t remember when it was struck and have no idea of its amendment procedures.
    .
    To me the logical candidate is Auston Trusty provided the details of the deal would allow him to continue to practice with the Union next to Oguchi Onyewu, also a left center back. Limited video clips and practice reports, and the open practice in Chester suggest Trusty is always paired with Hugh Roberts at the moment in drills. That is the pairing likely to start the first Steel game.
    .
    Trusty needs game minutes, barring a series of injuries he’s not going to get them with the Union. The loan makesense provided it does not restrict his practice options.
    .
    And the loan would open a first team roster slot for Adam Najem, should he decide to sign should the Union decide to offer.
    .
    They still have to sign a 3rd goalkeeper, because the MLS extreme hardship goal keeper rules do not apply to a team that has only two keepers on its roster. So that provision does not provide a path through the problem of depth when Andre Blake is on duty with Jamaica. They must provide the keeper depth
    themselves.

    • By my math, we have 1 open roster slot (before we loan anyone out). And you’re 100% correct that we need to roster a 3rd keeper, so in order to sign najem to the senior team, which you would think is a requirement for him since he left NYRB when they couldnt get a deal done, we have to send someone out on a season long loan. My bet is on Ayuk since he also occupies an INTL slot. Trusty should be able to move back and forth as needed.
      .
      Regardless, this signing shouldn’t impact our ability to roster a player we want based on roster spots. (GAM, TAM, and salary cap dollars remaining are anyone’s guess)

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    A remaining roster mechanics question is international slots.
    .
    If the latest MLS staff update of team rosters is accurate, Andre Blake no longer occupies an international roster slot. If the slot sent to Houston when Williams, Wenger and Maidana went south has returned now that Maidana is gone, then they are good with eight.

    The Steel have three open international slots, four of their seven being already occupied. And the three remaining unsigned draft picks are likely all internationals.

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