Early SuperDraft Talk: 10 To Watch

Early SuperDraft Talk: 10 To Watch

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 5, 2008
  • 6 Comments
  • 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Generation adidas, MLS SuperDraft, SuperDraft Watch

Its been a bit of a slow news week and sometimes that happens during the playoffs. I’ve been kind of waiting around to get to this discussion or at least open it up a bit.

I am a big fan of the college draft in MLS, even though I do believe it isn’t producing nearly the amount of talent that the league needs to grow anymore and that I can see the academy system in MLS eventually end the need for a four round draft and Supplemental draft.

I will be the first to admit I don’t see everyone out there in the college landscape like I use to when I was actually in college and was traveling with a team during their runs in the NCAA tournaments. But I will provide my thoughts on a few players right now that I have kept tabs on that I believe will be solid picks in this year’s draft.

If you want real solid information on nearly every player in the country. Wait for Buzz Carrick’s previews on ESPN (assuming he writes for them again this year about it) or head over to 3rdDegree for his Generation adidas tracker. Also, one of my person favorites is the From College To Pros Blog. They always have solid information on everything SuperDraft related.

Now on to the show, I have ten players I want to discuss today. Some will probably be in line for those Generation adidas contracts come January and a couple others may just be safe bets in the draft. Most of you know I enjoy talking about a good defender more than anything, so I apologize if this list is too defensive for you. That’s just the way this draft will probably be anyways though folks. Teams want defense this year and they will look to the draft for it.

  1. O’Brian White (UCONN) – Being from a Big East school I got to see plenty of UCONN over the years. White had a solid season a year ago, his production isn’t as good in his senior year but expect him to be fairly high on some draft boards due to his work ethic. The 2007 Hermann Trophy winner should be at least a second rounder on most draft boards.
  2. Omar Gonzalez (Maryland) – I fully expect him to get a GA contract if he does go pro. The kid if you haven’t seen him is an absolute beast. Standing tall at 6’3 and 200 pounds, he will be a force on any backline. Most MLS clubs have seen what a tall, physical backline will do after seeing how Columbus did this year, Gonzalez would surely help bring the same kind of physical play to any club that takes him.
  3. Jonathan Villanueva (UVA) – Villanueva seems like the typical Steve Nicol kind of pick to me. ACC boy with loads of talent and plenty of room for improvement on the pro level. According to Carrick he was on the 07 GA list for MLS. Will this be the year he gets a GA contract and goes pro? More than likely.
  4. Nelson Becerra (St. John’s) – The Red Storm are enjoying a very good season this year, mostly due to Becerra. He’s a controlling type of player in the middle of the park, best of all he isn’t afraid to shoot from anywhere on the pitch. The junior could see the Red Bulls come calling in January if he continues to lead St. John’s in the NCAA tournament.
  5. Alejandro Bedoya (Boston College) – FCTP gave me the heads up on this senior a while back. He may not be a high selection (unless his draft camp is strong enough) but do expect some people to have Bedoya on their boards come January. He’s a solid playmaker in the middle and could be someone that would add some much needed depth to a club like LA or San Jose in the middle of the park.
  6. Ike Opara (Wake Forest) -Buzz has him on his GA watchlist. I’m talking about him because of his defense. Believe me he is another one of those defenders that could make a real difference after a while. Still young and a bit raw, Opara is one of those kids that can play real physical when needed.
  7. Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana) – This kid wanted to go pro before he went to college. I think he will finally go now once he is done with his junior season at Indiana.
  8. Sheanon Williams (UNC) -Another young defender. I thought for a while that he would stay at UNC for a couple years since he didn’t go pro last year but after watching some of his games this year I think he is good enough to go this year if he decides to. The US U-20 player has plenty of options as he did have some pro trials in Europe last year as well. I think he will end up in the draft though as a GA this year.
  9. Zack Simmons (UMass) – A lot of people had him as their preseason all-american or all-whatever in the keeper department. The keeper list won’t be huge for this draft but Simmons should be fairly high up on the list.
  10. Andre Akpan (Harvard) -A lot of people, including Buzz, wonder if the league can get Akpan to sign a GA contract and enter the league. Some feel that once he is done with his senior year at Harvard he will hang it up all together but some in the league think they can get him to sign. If they do they will be getting a very smart forward.

I know there are plenty more players to talk about. Those were ten that were on my mind at the start of the college season earlier this year. I will update this list more as we get closer to the SuperDraft. If you got a player that you think will be going pro, comment below about him.

  • Ben

    Check out Richard Jata from Campbell University. The senior MF has been named preseason player of the year two straight years in a row for the Atlantic Sun Conference. He started for the Carolina Dynamo the last 2 years, a team that consisted of both Marcus Tracy and Sam Cronin. He led CU to their first ever College Cup last year and they went 9-0 this year in conference play. They are 19-0-1 when Jata scores and he has provided the game-winning goal the last two years in upset wins over North Carolina. He had offers to play for Wake Forest, North Carolina and Clemson, but chose CU because of relationship with coach Doug Hess.<br />
    <br />
    Check out one of his direct free kick goals at gocamels.com. view schedule/results, then go to the Belmont game (W 1-0). He scores at the 8:54 mark for just one of his many goals via free kick.<br />
    <br />
    Just a thought: Last year the Carolina Dynamo sent 7 players to the MLS. This year Richard Jata, Marcus Tracy, Sam Cronin and many others will be selected as well. The Dynamo continues to produce quality players year after year.

  • Ben

    Check out Richard Jata from Campbell University. The senior MF has been named preseason player of the year two straight years in a row for the Atlantic Sun Conference. He started for the Carolina Dynamo the last 2 years, a team that consisted of both Marcus Tracy and Sam Cronin. He led CU to their first ever College Cup last year and they went 9-0 this year in conference play. They are 19-0-1 when Jata scores and he has provided the game-winning goal the last two years in upset wins over North Carolina. He had offers to play for Wake Forest, North Carolina and Clemson, but chose CU because of relationship with coach Doug Hess.

    Check out one of his direct free kick goals at gocamels.com. view schedule/results, then go to the Belmont game (W 1-0). He scores at the 8:54 mark for just one of his many goals via free kick.

    Just a thought: Last year the Carolina Dynamo sent 7 players to the MLS. This year Richard Jata, Marcus Tracy, Sam Cronin and many others will be selected as well. The Dynamo continues to produce quality players year after year.

  • Chris

    What about Nick Cardenas out of San Diego State. He is a 6'5' 206 pound athletic centerback that any pro team would like to have on their team. as a freshman was able to get 6 goals from his centerback spot and was named Pac-10 freshman of the year. Has progressed well on a very average team since he has been there. I think this guy is a definate pro prospect and would help out any team.

  • Chris

    What about Nick Cardenas out of San Diego State. He is a 6’5′ 206 pound athletic centerback that any pro team would like to have on their team. as a freshman was able to get 6 goals from his centerback spot and was named Pac-10 freshman of the year. Has progressed well on a very average team since he has been there. I think this guy is a definate pro prospect and would help out any team.

  • TK

    What about the UNC seniors, Callahan, Lewis and Shriver??<br />
    <br />
    These 3 have been through all of the ups and downs at UNC and are now in the Final Four.. All very smart players that have just about played in every game for their career at UNC..<br />
    Callahan is very smart in the middle, Shriver is extremely fast and great with the ball as well as a goal scorer, and Lewis is a very good defensive mid fielder.. I think all 3 of these guys can play at the next level….

  • TK

    What about the UNC seniors, Callahan, Lewis and Shriver??

    These 3 have been through all of the ups and downs at UNC and are now in the Final Four.. All very smart players that have just about played in every game for their career at UNC..
    Callahan is very smart in the middle, Shriver is extremely fast and great with the ball as well as a goal scorer, and Lewis is a very good defensive mid fielder.. I think all 3 of these guys can play at the next level….