- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On January 16, 2008
- 0 Comments
To me it seems like this year’s draft is a sign that the MLS is slowly moving away from doing drafts like this. A hand-ful of clubs will be mere spectators on Friday while a couple will be busy doing all the work. More teams are placing value on the recent rule changes for international players rather than finding a gem in the late stages of the draft.
The title may be a little misleading on my end. This really isn’t a pick-by-pick guessing game its more of a here’s where everyone stands and what I think will happen with their picks.
Yesterday saw a bunch of crazy trades with KC trading for the number one pick. I still believe there is more trading out there with the way some clubs look going into this draft. We will see, I won’t write up too many guesses on the potential trading picks but I will give you insight on what I think teams will be going for in this draft.
Kansas City (picks 1, 11, 23, 25, 39, 53)
They know Eddie Johnson is gone and the Wizards did something about it yesterday trading for the top pick. They gave up a valued player to some but they needed this pick probably a little more than San Jose. Sure no one in Quakeland will like it but they will learn to deal with it when their defense is better than most teams in the league.
Anyways, Obviously they will be drafting a striker to begin with and then probably grab a quality defender with either their second first rounder or their first pick in the second round. Don’t be too shocked to see them go for a keeper in this draft as well in the late rounds. Kevin Hartman isn’t young and they will need his replacement sooner rather than later.
Also adding some depth on the wings will be a high priority for the Wizards.
FC Dallas (picks 2, 8, 19, 22, 31, 45, 50)
As a Dallas fan I like the position the Hoops are in going into this draft. They just traded away Carlos Ruiz so you can expect them to get a striker to pair up with Kenny Cooper or Abe Thompson. Probably, the easiest bet to see Dallas do with first is a defender. Sure they signed Davino but they still need depth in that area.
Also look for Steve Morrow to add some depth to the wings. A lot of early picks should help Dallas do that.
Also expect Dallas to grab another Generation adidas player (or two). As many picks as they have you can almost be certian they will do this since those don’t count against the cap and they are good projects to take on if done right.
Real Salt Lake (picks 3, 14, 17, 37)
Only four picks but plenty of work still to do. Expect them to do defensive as well and maybe add a striker or two to pair up with Robbie Findley. The way they sign foreign players from Argentina suggests that they will probably not go with too many center midfielders or players in the middle of the park.
Most likely a defender/midfielder to pair up with Nathan Stugis in the midfield would be a wise move. And someone to replace the retired Eddie Pope in the back-line.
Los Angeles Galaxy (picks 4, 21, 28, 29, 46, 51)
Lots of picks and with now three very high contracts on this roster you better believe they will probably use a majority of these picks. I still see them trading away at least one if not two of these picks before the end of the day on Friday.
Probably will see the Gals find a back-up keeper to Steve Cronin. The early pick will more than likely go to a defensive player or a defensive midfielder.
The late picks are interesting since they need a lot of work done to their midfield to help out David Beckham.
Colorado Rapids (picks 5, 36, 47, 49)
Another year for what should be a lame-duck coach in Fernando Clavjio. Rapids need a quality striker and will more than likely use that first pick on one. As for their late picks, probably look for them to add some depth in the midfield (a flank player) and in defense.
Other than that the Rapids really don’t have a lot of needs other than getting rid of their coach and getting some quality strikers.
Columbus Crew (picks 6, 20, 48)
Crew coach Sigi Schmid is on record as saying he’ll look to the draft to acquire a central defender with pace. But I think the Crew still need that go-to striker. I still think they will sign a DP soon and that should take care of that need but if they don’t then they need to address their scoring in this draft.
Also look for the Crew to add more depth in the midfield in the event that Schelotto does turn to Argentina.
Chicago Fire (picks 7, 12, 26, 38, 40, 54)
I feel like a broken record in this but look for the Fire to add some depth to their scoring in this draft. They have plenty of picks to do that with. They will also need to address some needs in defense, one that I still feel is over-rated in the least.
Lastly, in the event that keeper Matt Pickens doesn’t resign with the Fire, look for the men in red to add a back-up to veteran Jon Busch.
Toronto FC (picks 9, 10, 30)
Only three picks so look for Mo Johnston to get the most out of them or trade one of them away to get more from this draft. I see Mo getting some depth to his weak scoring front in this draft as well as addressing some defensive needs.
Johnston is one of the best in the league at drafting so Reds fans should have no fear seeing that they only have three picks.
New England (picks 13, 18, 27, 41, 55)
The Revs are the one club in the league that knows how to draft and draft properly. Even with late round picks they should be able to find another gem in the draft like they have for the past few years. The loss of utility man James Riley in the expansion draft means New England needs defenders and perhaps some depth in midfield to make up for the loss of Andy Dorman.
Also keep an eye out for the Revs to draft a winger or a striker with the potential move of Pat Noonan. Steve Nicol is probably the best at finding what he wants in the draft and this year should be no different when it comes to addressing the Revs needs.
San Jose (pick 15)
Frank Yallop liked the talent he saw at the MLS Combine but he didn’t like it enough. Only one pick in the draft for the expansion club makes things very interesting if you are a Quake fan. I know many of you out there in Quakeland hated seeing that number one pick go but I think it will be for the best.
Expect that one pick to go to an attacking player. As defensive as the Quakes look right now, drafting someone to go in the back or in the midfield just makes little sense at this point.
New York (picks 16, 32, 34, 35, 44)
No first round picks for the Red Bulls is kinda strange to see but they still have plenty of picks to go around in the second and third rounds. The Red Bulls’ forward line is well-stocked, so finding help in the back, particularly in the center of defense, is New York’s biggest priority.
New York also could use a left-sided midfielder to allow Jozy Altidore to return to his natural forward position. Also don’t be shocked to see them go for a keeper in the late stages even though they have Jon Conway in between the pipes right now.
D.C. United (pick 24, 32, 52)
DC is set to sign a few players in the coming days which should address most of their needs. This draft looks a little lame for them after they do that. I’d say Tom Soehn will draft players to add to the midfield, in particular on the flanks, and up top in the event that Jamie Moreno doesn’t return.
Don’t expect a whole lot of excitement from the Black-and-Red this Friday.
Houston (picks 42, 56)
Same kind of goes for the Dynamo. Proabably will see the Orange add to their attacking core since Brian Ching is never 100% and no one knows if Joseph Ngwenya will re-sign with the team or not.
Chivas USA (pick 43)
Only one for the Goats. Kinda sad really considering how much of their club they dumped at the waiver draft and how much they need help at. More than likely this one and only pick will go to a keeper in the event that Brad Guzan bolts to Europe.