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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Friday, September 13, 2013

Chris Konopka traded to Toronto, Supplemental Draft cut?

The Philadelphia Union made a personnel move Friday, trading reserve goalkeeper Chris Konopka to Toronto FC for a third-round pick in next year’s MLS SuperDraft. Perhaps the most stirring revelation of the trade is that what the Union got in return actually existed.

First, there’s Konopka, the 28-year-old ’keeper who joined the Union in 2012 and for whom Toronto is his fourth MLS stop. He made just one league appearance in nearly two years with the Union, a 1-0 loss to none other than Toronto May 26, 2012. Three days later, Konopka shut out the Rochester Rhinos, 3-0, for the Union’s first ever win in the U.S. Open Cup.

Konopka served as the backup for the first 24 league matches of the 2013 season behind Zac MacMath, who’s played every MLS minute and leads the league in shutouts. A knee injury kept Konopka out of the matchday 18 since Aug. 17, and he has been supplanted by veteran summer signing Oka Nikolov. 

Konopka, who was recently named one of the Philadelphia Daily News' Sexy Singles, was a bit of a fan favorite as backup goalies tend to be. He tweeted Friday morning:

As for the SuperDraft, which will be held in Philadelphia in 2014, the format has apparently changed. Instead of two rounds with a four-round supplemental draft, the latter has been eschewed for just a four-round SuperDraft this season, a fact that MLS never directly announced (there's even still info on the MLS site touting the supplemental draft).

However many rounds the league finally decides the draft will entail, the Union will be armed with an a bevy of picks. In addition to their four allotted picks, the Union have Chivas’ first pick thanks to the Gabriel Farfan trade, Chicago’s second-rounder in exchange for Bakary Soumare and a conditional pick acquired from Los Angeles in return for Chandler Hoffman.

The Supplemental Draft has been pretty friendly to the Union, as they've managed to extract the likes of Antoine Hoppenot in 2012 and Leo Fernandes in the final round of 2013. (Konopka, it should be noted, was picked in the third round of the 2007 Supplemental Draft by Kansas City.)

The league has jockeyed back and forth with the Supplemental Draft, twice dropping it then reinstating it, the last time being in 2011 after a two-year hiatus. Among the players to come through the Supplemental Draft process through the years: Adam Jahn (2013); Aaron Schoenfeld, Greg Klazura, Brian Rowe and Andy Rose (2012); Ryan Richter (2011); Chris Tierney (2008); Steve Purdy, Kosuke Kimura and Daniel Woolard (2007); Jordan Harvey, Andy Gruenebaum and Daniel Paladini (2006).

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