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Thanks for your service, Jordan Harvey

November 27, 2009 | 12:15 pm 2
By George Tanner

Jordan Harvey rarely got in the headlines in ColoradoSoccerNow.com in 2009. He went about his business as an outside back on a nightly basis with a steady professionalism, a burst of offense forward, a solid serve from the left side and rarely a misstep back. He didn’t perform the flashy bits, but he did record a career-high three assists.

philadelphia union excerptHis value to the team can be seen here: He was the only Colorado Rapids player to appear in all 30 games in 2009. And his total of 2,613 minutes of playing time last season was the eighth-highest in Major League Soccer.

I voted for Harvey as the Rapids’ best defender in balloting for the team’s end-of-the-year awards. When the team lost so many wide midfielders to injury during the season, Harvey helped pick up the slack, in addition to his regular duties.

And on Wednesday Harvey gained another distinction in Colorado’s franchise history: first Rapids player to be selected in an expansion draft. The Philadelphia Union picked Harvey with one of its 10 selections.

Each of the league’s 15 teams was allowed to protect 11 players, leaving all others unprotected and available for selection by the Union. Colorado left Harvey, and others, unprotected, and now he’s gone.

Was it the right move? The Rapids protected the following players: Matt Pickens, Julien Baudet, Cory Gibbs, Kosuke Kimura, Drew Moor, Colin Clark, Nick LaBrocca, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. Anyone on that list you would’ve taken a chance on losing in favor of Harvey?

Without naming names, I’d answer yes.

Harvey is a young, inexpensive, high-performing defender who has the potential to be a part of Philadelphia’s plans for years to come.

He was originally selected with Colorado’s first pick, ninth overall, in the 2006 MLS supplemental draft (which the league humbly refers to as a supplemental draft; usually, its drafts are named the “MLS Super-Maxi Overnight Draft with Wings” or some such nonsense). In five seasons with the Rapids, Harvey appeared in 45 games with 42 starts for 3,793 minutes, and he recorded four assists.

Here are the other players Philadelphia drafted (in alphabetical order):

Andrew Jacobsen, midfielder, D.C. United
Brad Knighton, goalkeeper, New England Revolution
Sebastien Le Toux, forward, Seattle Sounders
Stefani Miglioranzi, midfielder, Los Angeles Galaxy
Alejandro Moreno, forward, Columbus Crew
Dave Myrie, defender, Chicago Fire
Shea Salinas, midfielder, San Jose Earthquakes
Shavar Thomas, defender, Chivas USA
Nick Zimmerman, midfielder, New York Red Bulls

Five teams did not have a player selected: Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Salt Lake and Toronto.

Among Union coach Peter Nowak’s selections were MLS veterans Moreno and Thomas, who started 17 games for their clubs in 2009. Moreno, a Venezuelan international, just completed his eighth year in MLS, has scored 43 regular season goals in his career and scored in MLS Cup 2008 for the Columbus Crew. Thomas has seven seasons under his belt as a center back, represents Jamaica internationally and was part of Chivas USA’s stingy defense in 2009 that allowed just 31 goals in 30 games.

Philadelphia also selected Le Toux, the first player signed by Seattle. He had led the USL Sounders in scoring and played in 28 MLS regular-season games in 2009.

The 2008 expansion draft proved fruitful for Seattle, which selected Nate Jaqua, Brad Evans and James Riley last year. The Sounders were the first expansion team to make the playoffs since 1998, and they won the U.S. Open Cup.

Philadelphia, Major League Soccer’s 16th team, will begin play in the Eastern Conference next season. It will play its home opener at Lincoln Financial Field on April 10 and open its home stadium, Union Field, during the season.

But as for Harvey … despite all of his playing time in 2009, it feels like we hardly got a chance to know him. I’m sure we’ll see him performing at his highest level twice a season when the Rapids meet the Union. I’m very sorry to see him go, but I’m very optimistic about his chances to be one of the founding fathers of the Philadelphia franchise.

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  • Shaun said:

    This is a great article and pays great respect to a young and talented up and comer. Much appreciated.

  • Nicholas Lopez said:

    He IS a good player…very respectful and a GREAT team player. And on top of that, he is a great asset to ANY team he plays on. Thanks for taking the time to acknowledge his skills, sportsmanship and his wonderful demeanor.

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