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MLS Draft: Philadelphia Union Select Levi Houapeu, UMBC Forward

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With their third and final pick of the 2011 MLS Superdraft, the Philadelphia Union have selected forward Levi Houapeu from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. In 2009, he won the NCAA Division 1 scoring title averaging 2.15 points per game and has led the nation in scoring over the past two seasons. He was named ECAC Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Year and America East Midfielder of the Year.

While he has grown up in the Baltimore area, Houapeu is a native of the Ivory Coast.

SBNation Philly’s own Scott Kessler and editor of our Union blog, The Brotherly Game, actually selected Houapeu in the MLS mock draft run by SBNation soccer. Kessler actually took the Ivory Coast native a full round earlier than the Union did. He had this to say.

Houapeau has massive potential at both the winger position and up front. His speed provides him with the ability to stretch the defense on the wing, which is something that the Philadelphia Union desperately lack on the right side. After getting chewed out on twitter by Union supporters for not selecting Penn State striker Corey Hertzog with the fifth selection, or at least an offensive player, they are appeased with a player who can help the Union either on the wing or up front. Piotr Nowak is the perfect coach to get the most out of the extremely talented, but raw, Houapeu.

Our MLS draft guru Drew Epperly called him, "possibly the most underrated player in this draft." Here is his impressive highlight reel from the MLS site.

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