Philadelphia Union II / Roster News

Meet Santi Moar

Photo courtesy Bethlehem Steel

In the fourth round of the 2017 MLS Superdraft, the Philadelphia Union took midfielder Santi Moar from Division 2 Pfeiffer University in North Carolina.

Three of this year’s five Union super draft picks were outside midfielders, a position already stocked on the organization’s combined roster. A year of seasoning in the USL as a transition between lower division NCAA competition and Major League Soccer benefited current starting Union left center back Richie Marquez a few seasons ago when he came from Division 3. So two days before their preseason started, Bethlehem Steel FC signed Moar.


Moar was born in Coruna, Spain and counts as an international on the Steel roster. He is 23 years old, having red-shirted one year at Pfeiffer, where he was a health and physical education major.

In 2015, he started for the Pfeiffer Falcons, the D2 national champions that year, and earned league, regional and  state recognition for his efforts, earning six points during the five-game NCAA championship tournament. In 20 starts the following year, he recorded 19 assists and 14 goals. He also excelled with the Charlotte Eagles of the PDL, netting 8 goals and 4 assists in 2016 and getting on the radar of  the Union.

So USL represents the next logical step in his progression towards MLS.

2017 preseason

PSP asked head coach Brendan Burke about Moar after one of the Steel’s earliest preseason practices indoors at YSC Sports in early February. Burke said he was very high on the Spaniard, that he liked his offensive instincts. So PSP paid attention to Moar in his four preseason scrimmages open to the public and press.

He has good left-channel chemistry with new Steel left back Charlie Reymann, an Ohioan who played at Kentucky. The chemistry includes improvisation that did not exist in last year’s right channel partnership with Ryan Richter and Eric Ayuk.

While the combination’s only test against a USL opponent occurred Saturday behind closed doors – they played Thursday against Notre Dame not Harrisburg – every public appearance has been quite promising.

Upon the Steel acquiring the ball in the defensive third, Moar reads a key whether to slide in towards the center of the field opening space for Reymann to overlap, or to stay wide and work two-man overlapping combinations with his full back.  We have no idea how they did Saturday.

Moar has been involved in several of the Steel’s preseason goals, either in the buildup, the assist, or the actual score. He penetrates horizontally from the wide position, either behind the defense along the end line or in front of them. Yosef Samuel, Josh Heard and Marcus Epps have all finished various Moar services.

He has also shown well at the attacking center mid spot, where he has ended up due to adjustments caused by substituions. Such a shift occurred against the Fighting Irish and both sets of PSP eyes in attendance were impressed with his play there in the game’s last 30 minutes.

Future challenges

During the preseason, teams in the USL have had little opportunity to its competition. Once the regular season starts and all matches are available on You Tube, the rest of the conference will have frequent opportunities to learn about the Steel’s new attacker. So for the challenge for Moar will grow because his opponents will have advance warning of his skills.

The Spaniard was a man on a mission to prove to Notre Dame that a D2 alumnus could not only play with them, but also dominate. Steel fans get their first glimpse of him on April Fool’s Day against Rochester at 4 PM at Goodman Stadium.

One Comment

  1. Despite all the depression about the first team, stories like these are why I love the pipeline and how it is setting up. Being able to get young players, stash them in the pipeline and see firsthand how they play is great.

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