The highly rated defender is Clemson’s Nathan Sturgis, who according to some reports was the second-best defender behind only UCLA’s Marvell Wynne in last weekend’s player combine at Home Depot Center. Cal State Northridge forward Willie Sims, who went to New England at No. 23, was among the possibilities for the Galaxy with the last pick (12th overall) in the first round, but the nod went to Sturgis. He stands 5-foot-10 and weighs only 150 pounds, but Galaxy coach Steve Sampson and president and general manager Doug Hamilton said the slender physique is misleading. Galaxy officials were more than pleasantly surprised at how Friday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft panned out in Philadelphia. They not only selected one of the top defenders in last week’s player combine, but they also chose a player they felt was the best left-sided midfielder in the talent pool. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card“He plays a lot bigger than that,” Sampson said of Sturgis, who was the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. “There wasn’t one player who was able to get behind him in the combine. “We expected him to go much earlier. In the case of him and Burch, we were very, very pleased they were around.” Sampson was referring to midfielder Marc Burch, their No. 2 pick (24th overall), who scored the game-winning goal for Maryland in last season’s NCAA Division I soccer final against New Mexico. Hamilton said the Galaxy rated the 6-2, 190-pounder, who was not invited to participate in the combine, as the best left-sided player in the draft. “Period,” Hamilton said. “We were surprised he was there. That was a pretty good surprise.” “We felt he was one of the best players in the Final Four and the best player for Maryland in the final,” Sampson said. “We believe he’s the biggest surprise of the draft. The fact he wasn’t at the combine, I think we were able to hide him a little bit.” The Galaxy had two third-round picks and spent them on Ohio State defender Kyle Veris – a 6-3, 170-pound converted striker – and Bradley goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath, who likely will stay in school. Their fourth-round choice – the 48th and final pick in Friday’s draft – was used on North Carolina State forward Aaron King, who scored 44 goals in 75 career games with the Wolfpack. He was a first-team, All-ACC choice in 2003-2005. “He has incredible speed and was one of the best athletes in the combine and draft,” Sampson said. “I believe we found a great athlete with our last pick.” Hamilton said it was a good day all around. “Overall, we feel good about the guys we were able to acquire,” he said. “We were surprised some of them were available when it came time for us to be picking. We’re hoping to find guys like Joe (Ngwenya), Ugo (Ihemelu) and Troy (Roberts) to come in pretty early and contribute and get minutes.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2272 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!