Just before the Union’s coaching staff left for the airport, I caught up with Union assistant John Hackworth to discuss the club’s two second-round draft picks.
Hackworth has personally scouted Creighton midfielder Greg Jordan and West Virginia midfielder Raymon Gaddis, so he was well-equipped to talk about both players.
There’s also a video below of Hackworth talking about the Union’s selection of Chandler Hoffman. It includes a brief clip of Hackworth shooting down a rumor that went around yesterday claiming that the team was considering trading Danny Mwanga.
On Greg Jordan:
He’s a two-way player, very hard-working, kind of under-valued. But he was a workhorse on his Creighton team, one of the best teams in the country. I’ve known him since he was a youth player and had the good fortune to train him a little bit with the [U.S.] Under-17s.
He’s a guy with a lot of potential, and a good all-arounder who we think can be an outstanding asset to us going forward.
On where Jordan fits in given the Union’s depth in midfield.
He’s depth right now. But the thing about a kid like Greg is that he will come in and work harder than anybody. That’s what we need. It’s got to be very competitive for us. He’s a very good person. He’s going to work as hard as possible. We don’t have any questions about his ability, so hopefully he can grow and develop.
On Raymon Gaddis:
Ray, before his senior year, was probably one of the top right backs in the country. He played injured this year. His college coach is a friend of mine, and explained that he had to play him a little bit in the midfield this year just to try to protect him.
So I think that inevitably hurt him a little bit, but it helped us because we have some experience with him previously. He played in Reading as well.
On whether Gaddis being at West Virgnia helped the Union scout him, given the university’s relative proximity compared to other schools:
The big thing for us with Ray is that between [assistant coach] Rob [Vartughian], [Reading United head coach] Brendan [Burke] and myself, we’ve known him for quite a while. That was the main reason.
Our scouting of him didn’t really come off this year because like I said, he was injured.
So he wasn’t invited to the combine, and that probably kept him off some other teams’ radars.