Reading United A.C. added to it’s impressive player development record at the 2013 Major League Soccer SuperDraft held in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday. United saw five former players selected to play professional soccer in MLS. The 2013 SuperDraft was Reading’s most successful draft to date, surpassing the 2011 SuperDraft that saw four former Reading players selected.
Reading’s first former player to be drafted was Deshorn Brown, a forward taken with the sixth pick by the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids were in need of a forward following the departure Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. Brown’s 13 goals for Reading were tops in the Premier Development League in 2012.
Ryan Finley was the next of Reading’s former players to hear his name called when the Columbus Crew selected him with the 9th pick in the SuperDraft. Finley played in eight matches for United in 2012, scoring twice. Finley was a 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist and was the Big East Offensive Player of the Year.
The New York Red Bulls selected former Reading midfielder Ian Christianson with the 22nd pick of the SuperDraft. Christianson will provide much needed midfield help for the Red Bulls. The senior from Georgetown University played nine matches for Reading in 2012.
The Philadelphia Union held the 31st pick of the SuperDraft and used it to select Reading United’s captain, midfielder Stephen Okai. Okai played two seasons with Reading, scoring 5 goals in 28 matches. Okai, who attended the University of Mobile, was the 2012 NAIA Player of the Year. This was the third consecutive draft in which the Union have selected a player from Reading. Philadelphia drafted United forward Levi Houpeau in the third round of the 2011 SuperDraft and defender Ray Gaddis in 2012.
2012 MLS Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy had the 38th and final pick of the 2013 SuperDraft and used it to select Greg Cochrane, a defender from Holland, Pennsylvania. Cochrane is a versatile player who can be deployed on defense or in the midfield. The University of Louisville grad appeared in 11 matches for Reading in 2012.
Since becoming the Philadelphia Union’s player development partner, Reading have had twelve players selected in the MLS SuperDraft. Seven of those players were selected in the first round.