Seven players with ties to the area were selected in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday.
Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC Academy grad Justin McMaster was the first with ties to the region to go when Minnesota United made the Wake Forest forward their 17th pick. The Jamaica native joined the Philadelphia Union Academy when he was 16 and spent the last four years at Wake Forest.
Reading United defender Brandon Hackenberg was the second player with local ties to go in the draft when he was selected 22nd by Orlando City. The Penn State defender is the younger brother of former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
Sean O’Hearn, a PA Classics Academy and Hempfield High School grad from Lancaster, Pa. was drafted 38th overall by Minnesota United. O’Hearn, who won a national championship with Georgetown in 2019, was previously signed to a professional contract by New England Revolution II.
Lamine Conte went 40th overall to the New York Red Bulls. Conte is a Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC Academy grad from Philadelphia who spent time with Philadelphia Lone Star as a youth player, was part of back-to-back USL League Two finals with Reading United and most recently spent time with West Chester United after the fall season with the University of Louisville ended.
Dawson McCartney went three picks later at No. 43 overall to the Portland Timbers. The Voorhees, N.J. native and Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC Academy grad recently transferred from Dartmouth to Notre Dame after completing his undergrad degree and is expected to rejoin the Irish next week. He’s also played for Reading United and was a youth player for South Jersey Elite Barons prior to joining the Union Academy.
Atlanta United drafted West Chester, Pa. native and Notre Dame senior Aiden McFadden with the 59th pick. The West Chester Henderson High School grad played club for Penn Fusion Academy and has been a regular with West Chester United during his college career.
Goalkeeper AJ Marcucci rounded out the local picks when he was taken 67th by the New York Red Bulls. A two-time first team All-American at Connecticut College, Marcucci was a teammate of Union goalkeeper Matt Freese at Episcopal Academy and is a Penn Fusion Academy alum who has also been a regular with West Chester United.