After the first two rounds of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft took place last week amid glitz and glamour of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the final two rounds were confined to a conference call.
By the time the rapid-fire half-hour of selections was over, the Union had reeled in two players who they hope will bolster their defensive depth.
First up was UCLA defender Aaron Simmons, with the ninth pick of the third round (No. 51 overall).
The 6-foot native of Mansfield, Texas helped the Bruins reach this season's NCAA College Cup title game, where they lost to a Virginia squad that featured second-round Union pick Eric Bird.
"In Simmons, we got a kid that can play center back, is comfortable at defensive midfield and can compete athletically," Union manager Jim Curtin said in a statement issued by the team.
Then came Saint Louis University midfielder Raymond Lee, selected with the ninth pick of the fourth round (No. 71 overall).
Although Lee played in midfield as a collegian and growing up, the Union will try to convert him into a defender, and for good reason. He's left-footed, and the Union are in short supply of reinforcements for starting left back Ray Gaddis.
"We see a kid with a high upside," Curtin said, specifically praising Lee's "really good speed down the left hand side, and a left foot - which is a commodity.
Don't expect either player to compete for a starting spot - indeed, it's not even a certainty that they'll make the team's final roster. They're more likely to head to the Union's minor-league USL PRO affiliate in Harrisburg.
But there's some intrigue around Lee when the Union's preseason training begins next week at YSC Sports in Wayne. Curtin's absolutely right that being left-footed is a valuable commodity for a prospect to have. If Lee doesn't latch on here, other MLS or USL PRO teams may take an interest later.
Overall, a total of 42 players were selected in the third and fourth rounds combined, Two played collegiately in the greater Philadelphia region: Princeton forward Cameron Porter was drafted by the Montreal Impact in the third round (No. 45 overall), and Penn State goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the fourth round (No. 82 overall).
If you were rooting for Philadelphia native Manolo Sanchez to make it to the pros - perhaps after reading my profile of him last week - then you have reason to celebrate. The Clemson and Germantown Friends product heard his name called in the fourth round.
If you were hoping the Union would do the calling, though, you're going to be disappointed. Sanchez was picked by the rival New York Red Bulls with the 79th overall selection.
"It was a big longer than I would have liked to have waited, but it's still an honor," Sanchez told me "It's nice that It's really close to home, and it's a great team and a great place to learn."
Off the top of my head, it's at least the third time in the last five years that a player with ties to Philadelphia who wanted to play for the Union was drafted by the Red Bulls.
The first, in 2011, was Penn State midfielder and Reading native Corey Hertzog. The Union tried to make a homegrown player claim on him before the draft, but MLS headquarters denied it.
Although Hertzog was a Generation Adidas player, he never quite made it in MLS. In 2014, he played for Orlando City in its last season before moving up from USL PRO.
The second, in 2012, was Penn midfielder Christian Barreiro. He was a registered member of the Sons of Ben at the time, and was chosen in the third round of what was then known as the Supplemental Draft. That would be the equivalent of the fifth round under the current draft setup, and that round doesn't exist anymore.
Barreiro didn't make the cut with the Red Bulls. He played that summer with the PDL's Baltimore Bohemians, then signed a contract with the NASL's Puerto Rico Islanders. The club went under after the 2012 season, though, and Barreiro decided to pursue opportunities away from soccer.
As far as I know, Christian is working in commercial real estate in D.C. these days. His father, Mauricio, still shows up at PPL Park and Rhodes Field from time to time.