Monday Kicker: A SuperDraft Look Back

Monday Kicker: A SuperDraft Look Back

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 14, 2008
  • Adam Cristman, Brad Guzan, Chad Barrett, Chris Seitz, Dane Richards, Drew Moor, Jonanthan Bornstein, Jozy Altidore, Marvelle Wynne, Maurice Edu, Mehdi Ballouchy, Michael Parkhurst, Robbie Findley, Sasha Kljestan

Happy Monday to all here as we are a hours away from the international summer transfer window opening back up for all clubs to trade parts, find new and exciting and whatever else those clubs do with the transfer window.

But before an influx of new talent comes into Major League Soccer I wanted to spend a little time looking back at the homegrown stuff here in the States. More importantly the homegrown talent that comes out of the college ranks and what not through the league’s SuperDraft.

I am mainly looking at old drafts and thought it was worth a mention to take a look back at the last few drafts to see not only how clubs did but the players that have moved on to bigger and better things through the league. Also to talk about the players who were picked high and ended up as duds (there are more than you’d think).

For the most part the MLS SuperDraft finds us about 10 good players and about 30 or so not-so-good players. Some last in the league, others don’t make it, and some head for Europe before the first kick of their rookie season. I think the draft will continue to go on in the future but with fewer rounds before long. Once the homegrown talent from youth academies kick in we will mainly see college players go through this process. And most of those won’t come with a high profile either in my best estimate.

I’m only taking us as far back as the 2005 MLS SuperDraft. I feel like in this now-expansion era of MLS soccer, that’s a solid starting point for discussions like these. Not to mention most of those players by now are either hits or misses.

As always feel free to pipe in your own thoughts about these past drafts below.

2005 MLS SuperDraft:

  • I think it is fair to say that the top pick in this draft is still a kid. Nikolas Besagno probably didn’t go to the best club (RSL) to develop his talents but the jury may actually still be out on this kid. But by other people’s standards a top pick that has only seen eight league matches since being draft isn’t a good thing. If he was worth the top pick he would be a steady starter by now, at least.
  • Brad Guzan went second to Chivas, I think right now we all know how well that pick turned out to be for both sides.
  • I forgot Chad Barrett went at number three to Chicago in this one. Worthy of a top three pick? Maybe not with his inconsistent finishing. Still fairly young though, but I’m sure looking back on this the Fire would have loved to get a better defender out of this draft (Michael Parkhurst or Drew Moor). Though they did end up with a LATE steal in the third round with Gonzalo Segares.
  • Speaking of Parkhurst, he was easily the best player in the draft now that we look back on it four years later.
  • Rounding out the rest of the first round, lots of role players right now for the most part. Not a lot of big names to speak of. That’s what you get when seven of the first 12 picks are defenders.
  • Chicago easily had the best draft…along with Barrett they got two third round gems in Segares and Chris Rolfe. Not many clubs in any sport in America can say they got two steals in a late round like the Fire did. Pretty impressive.

2006 MLS SuperDraft:

  • Marvelle Wynne was the top pick with New York, though his time didn’t last long in New York I still believe he is one of the better wingbacks in the league right now. His pace and ability to get down the wings shows us reasons why he was the top pick in 2006.
  • Mehdi Ballouchy carried on the tradition of terrible draft picks for RSL in their first couple of seasons. How this guy is not in the USL or somewhere below that is beyond me.
  • Then again the jury is almost out of time on guys right after Ballouchy like Jason Garey and Yuri Movsisyan.
  • Best draft may have gone to Chivas who nabbed Sasha Kljestan with the 5th pick and then in the forth round with a steal of a pick in Jonanthan Bornstein.
  • We all know Jozy Altidore was drafted in the second round and how big that was. Easily a steal by anyone’s account, especially now looking at some of the crap drafted above him.
  • Some decent picks here and there in the first round now that we know more about some of these kids. Kai Kamera shows flashes here and there, Dax McCarty is as solid as they come when he is healthy, same could be said about guys like Jed Zayner, Nathan Sturgis, and Patrick Ianni.
  • Biggest dud of the draft may have been New England’s pick with Leandro de Oliveria. Yeah I don’t recall the name and couldn’t find a bit on him. Wow, for all the praise we give Steve Nicol and the Revs for finding gems in each draft he came up short on that one. Anyone have a story on that kid?

2007 MLS SuperDraft:

  • Its almost like a gulf in class between some of these drafts and this one. I think it may be a product of younger and better talent either not going into college or in the top pick’s case not staying in college very long. Either way this was a pretty solid draft.
  • A lot of trades in this draft…and I mean a lot. The Joe Cannon trade, the Ronnie O’Brien trade, the popular Amado Guvara deal. Plus many others that really shaped this draft.
  • Of course it is still early to tell with some players still in this draft but we are starting to see some key role players out of this bunch with guys like Wells Thompson, Brad Evans, Anthony Wallace, and Amaechi Igwe.
  • Maurice Edu was by far the best player in the draft, may be one of the best number one picks the league has ever seen really.
  • I was low on the second pick for a little while but I’ve come around to Chicago’s Bakery Soumare.
  • Chris Seitz continues to be talked about as the best keeper in this draft (which he was by and far) but we haven’t seen much of that in league play out of him. Tough to be a young budding keeper when you have a veteran standing in the way. Don’t be shocked if this kid is in Europe in a year or two.
  • Steal of the draft by some accounts was New England’s forth round pick in Adam Cristman.
  • Second round steal goes to New York (again) with Dane Richards.
  • Some could say Robbie Findley was a steal in the second round as well. Considering some of the players picked above those two (hello, Chicago picking Jerson Monterio or Colorado taking Nico Colaluca).

2008 MLS SuperDraft:

  • Yeah okay, I won’t go into this one too much since we are STILL figuring this draft out. Come back next year I suppose. Its anyone’s guess who got the best draft, much less the best player!
  • kovolikessoccer

    It's been 10 years. Is US soccer producing world class players yet?

  • It’s been 10 years. Is US soccer producing world class players yet?

  • tex

    The best drafts in MLS history were 2003 & 2004 and lots of those guys are in Europe now.

  • tex

    The best drafts in MLS history were 2003 & 2004 and lots of those guys are in Europe now.