Friday, January 16, 2015

Union takes Catic, Bird in SuperDraft

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union selected two players in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, forward Dzenan Catic from Davenport University with the No. 31 overall pick, and midfielder Eric Bird from the University of Virginia with the No. 41 overall pick. 

Both players won national championships for their respective schools in 2014.

“When Catic fell into our lap, we were shocked,” said head coach Jim Curtin. “That part worked out very well. He’s a guy who brings some size; very good in front of the goal. Talking with a lot of the coaches at the combine, they saw him as one of the top players – not just the top forwards.”

Catic, 22, played two years at NAIA-member Davenport University, located in Caledonia Township, Mich. In 2014, he scored 39 goals and handed out 11 assists to en route to being named the NAIA Player of the Year. Catic was the driving force behind the team’s national championship. He also scored 24 goals and had three assists in his first season at Davenport in 2013. He was born in Jablanica, Bosnia and moved to Michigan with his family when he was eight years old.

Bird, 21, played four years for the University of Virginia. In 2014, he scored five goals and had two assists in 19 games en route to being named to the All-ACC First Team. As a junior in 2013, he scored seven goals and had five assists in 24 games and was named to NSCAA All-America Third Team. In high school, Bird was the 2011 Virginia High School State Player of the Year and won two state championships while at Cox (Virginia Beach, Va.).

2015 MLS SuperDraft
Union selections
Secon round, No. 31 overall
Name: Dzenan Catic
College: Davenport University (Michigan)
Position: Forward
Height: 6-3
Weight: 185
Hometown: Jablanica, Bosnia

Second round, No. 41 overall
Name: Eric Bird
College: University of Virginia
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-11
Weight: 170
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.

The Union received one of those picks by loaning goalkeeper Zac MacMath,  who appeared in 103 games for the Union, garnering a 34-39-29 record, to the Colorado Rapids.

Philadelphia Union’s schedule became official Wednesday as Major League Soccer released the 2015 season slates for all 20 clubs.

The Union opens their 2015 season on March 7 and thes schedule features home matches against 2014 Supporters Shield and U.S. Open Cup winners Seattle Sounders FC (June 24), MLS Cup finalist New England Revolution (April 19, Aug. 29) and Eastern Conference regular season champion D.C. United (May 17).

Philadelphia also welcomes MLS newcomer New York City FC to PPL Park twice (April 11, June 6), in addition to closing the season at home against fellow newcomer Orlando City SC (Oct. 25).

The Union’s complete 2015 League schedule is listed below:

DATE                                     OPPONENT            

Saturday, March 7                Colorado Rapids     

Saturday, March 14                at Real Salt Lake       

Friday, March 20                  FC Dallas

Sunday, March 29                   at Chicago Fire

Sunday, April 5                       at Sporting Kansas City

Saturday, April 11                New York City FC

Thursday, April 16                  at New York City FC

Sunday, April 19                   New England Revolution

Saturday, April 25                  at Columbus Crew SC

Saturday, May 2                    Toronto FC

Saturday, May 9                     at Vancouver Whitecaps

Sunday, May 17                    D.C. United

Sunday, May 24                      at New York Red Bulls

Saturday, May 30                   at D.C. United

Wednesday, June 3               Columbus Crew SC

Saturday, June 6                   New York City FC

Saturday, June 20                   at LA Galaxy

Wednesday, June 24             Seattle Sounders FC

Saturday, June 27                 Montreal Impact

Saturday, July 11                  Portland Timbers

Saturday, July 18                    at Toronto FC

Sunday, July 26                      at D.C. United

Saturday, Aug. 1                   New York Red Bills

Saturday, Aug. 8                     at Orlando City SC

Sunday, Aug. 16                    Chicago Fire

Saturday, Aug. 22                   at Montreal Impact

Saturday, Aug. 29                 New England Revolution

Wednesday, Sept. 5                at San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, Sept. 12                 Columbus Crew SC

Sunday, Sept. 20                    Houston Dynamo

Saturday, Sept. 26                  at New England Revolution

Saturday, Oct. 3                      at Toronto FC

Saturday, Oct. 18                    at New York Red Bulls

Sunday, Oct. 25                     Orlando City SC       

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