Major League Soccer has made a sport of the player acquisition process. There's the SuperDraft, the Re-Entry Draft, the Supplemental Draft, free agency, youth academies, homegrown players, trades, and various online dating sites. Ok, I made up the online dating site thing, but I wouldn't put it past them.
Yesterday was the Supplemental Draft, which consisted of four rounds. The expansion Montreal Impact held the first pick in each round. The Union selected 13th in each of the four rounds.
They used their first pick, 13th overall, on Penn product Thomas Brandt, Brandt, a 5'11" defender, captained the Quakers and was a first-team All Ivy selection.
With its next pick the Union selected midfielder Krystian Witkowski. Witkowski, who attended Marist (Rik Smiths shout-out!) is listed as a midfielder/forward. He represented Poland at the U-18 level. Perhaps Peter Nowak consulted contacts in his native Poland for inside information on Witkowski.
Forward Antoine Hoppenot was selected with the 39th overall pick. He played his college ball at Princeton, where he was named Ivy League Player of the Year as a junior. Yes, the Union selected two Ivy League players. Team IQ is on the rise.
With its final pick, 52nd overall, the Union chose Santa Clara midfielder Brandon Zimmerman. Zimmerman represented the US at the U-15 and U-17 level. His older brother Preston, who plays professionally in Germany, was recently the center of a Twitter firestorm after expressing his displeasure with Jurgen Klinsmann's selection process for the USMNT. You can read about it here.
All four players face a tough road towards making the team. However, supplemental picks have found places on rosters. Look no further than former Union starting left back Jordan Harvey, who entered the league as a supplemental pick by the Colorado Rapids, as a Supplemental Draft success story.
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.