Rookie Watch: Draft Class Continues To Impress

Rookie Watch: Draft Class Continues To Impress

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 12, 2009
  • 4 Comments
  • AJ DeLaGarza, Alex Grendi, Chris Pontius, Daniel Cruz, Darrius Barnes, George John, Graham Zusi, Jean Alexandre, Jermey Hall, Kevin Alston, Matt Besler, Michael Lahoud, Omar Gonzalez, Peri Marosevic, Quincy Amarikwa, Rodney Wallace, Rookie Watch, Sam Cronin, Stefan Frei, Steve Zakuani
Rodney Wallace has proved to be one of the best picks in the 2009 Draft. (Getty Images)

Rodney Wallace has proved to be one of the best picks in the 2009 Draft. (Getty Images)

A lot has been said about this year’s draft class. Going into the draft a lot of people thought it was a deep pool of players, more so than it had been in a few years. After eight or nine games for most clubs you could say those people figured right. Many rookies continue to get plenty of minutes and impress folks in the stands with their abilities.

I figured instead of doing the usual look at the potential rookie of the year today to do something a little different. Instead I will be looking at each club’s selections once again. I’ll do most of the first round and a few random picks here and there from that with a few other notes.

Most of all the clubs who had first round selections used them wisely as we can all see. A few others did not though. Then you have the clubs that hardly picked at all. Those are tough to grade.

As always feel free to post your comments below on the subject.

Seattle Sounders FC: This club made a big splash with Steve Zakuani at number one who has lived up in my eyes as a number one pick. Definitely more of a Maurice Edu-type pick rather than a Nikolas Besagno-type number one pick. Which is a good thing for the expansion Sounders. Zakuani has done enough to make the Sounder draft class one of the better ones this past year.

Toronto FC: Two picks in the first round usually mean the club will do fairly well. While one pick (O’Brien White) hasn’t played yet due to injury, the other pick has certainly lived up to his pick number. Sam Cronin was a worthy number two pick in the draft. Either off the bench or in the starting lineup, Cronin has shown he has what it takes to help make this TFC club a contender. But TFC’s best pick was probably in the last first round pick they had with keeper Stefan Frei. He probably has made the biggest impact of the three first round selections.

LA Galaxy:What can you say about their top two selections? Omar Gonzalez and AJ DeLaGarza have become pretty comfortable in the starting rotation. Each took sometime to get use to the style of play in the league but they are a big part of the reason why this club has only lost a single game this year.

FC Dallas: Had some good selections in the first round. George John has proven to be a very good pickup for this club in the back, who really needed help defensively. Peri Marosevic will get his time. Not a bad draft but then again not the best.

DC United: Two picks in a row in the first round have led to arguable the best draft class for this club in a very long time. Both Rodney Wallace and Chris Pontius are mainstays in the starting lineup for Tom Soehn and each are making big time impacts for the Black-and-Red this season. Right now I would say they are both in the thick of things for rookie of the year. Also, third round pick Milios Kocic has been a good pickup for them in goal when needed. He was a very underrated pick at the time and proves to be maybe one of the best steals of the draft.

Kansas City Wizards: A club with loads of picks this past year. Matt Besler has been a good addition to this club’s defense and Graham Zusi saw decent minutes to start the season. Overall their draft proved to be a decent one but nothing too exciting.

New England Revolution: Another club with a lot of picks, the Revs went out in typical Steve Nicol fashion and got a few good steals. Darrius Barnes and Kevin Alston have been big additions to the club’s defense and I would say Barnes could be right up there in the discussion of rookie of the year. Come on, the kid was a third rounder!

New York Red Bulls: Jermey Hall proved to be what we all pretty much expect him to be. A good pickup. Other than that the Red Bulls really didn’t end up with anyone else that has done enough to improve this club.

Real Salt Lake: Ah, most felt it was the worst draft of any club and I have to still agree with that. Jean Alexandre has really done little of note to be a first round selection. Raphel Cox has decent potential though to make up for it however. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get more playing time for this club as it is.

San Jose Earthquakes: No first rounder and really no big impact selection. Brad Ring hasn’t played but third rounder Quincy Amarikwa is showing potential. Either way its a draft class for this club that few will remember in years to come.

Chicago Fire: With this club being deep already adding a few rookies is tough. None have even had a sniff at the starting XI, much less even time off the bench so far this season. It may be a come back in a year and see if anyone does anything of note.

Chivas USA: Another club with few selections. Michael Lahoud has seen some decent time off the bench for this club. From what I’ve seen out of him in person this kid has some real potential to make the Chivas draft class for this year a good one.

Colorado Rapids: Another so-so draft. None of the players selected have even seen playing time this season. Hard to even say it was a good draft in that regards.

Columbus Crew: Kind of the same as the Rapids. Though fewer selections, one guy has seen time with the club so far this season. I do think third rounder Alex Grendi has turned into a solid selection for the Crew. He’s seen his fair share of playing time already.

Houston Dynamo: The club that took the biggest risks in the draft are seeing any sort of reward from it. Hey we kind of expected it when they took Daniel Cruz and Marcus Tracy with their only picks that it would be a high-risk/high-reward type of thing.

  • Kevin

    I agree with most of this, but I think you're far off on Milos Kocic. The guy shows talent, but I don't want him starting for my team (yet)! I can't comprehend how it's even a QUESTION at this point for Tommy; both Crayton and Wicks are, at this point, far more reliable. The kid needs some time to sit and observe, and then in a couple seasons, he could be a lock for starting keeper! But not now. Not yet, anyway.

  • Kevin

    I agree with most of this, but I think you’re far off on Milos Kocic. The guy shows talent, but I don’t want him starting for my team (yet)! I can’t comprehend how it’s even a QUESTION at this point for Tommy; both Crayton and Wicks are, at this point, far more reliable. The kid needs some time to sit and observe, and then in a couple seasons, he could be a lock for starting keeper! But not now. Not yet, anyway.

  • JM

    Couldn't disagree with you more about the Galaxy's rookies… just about every goal has gone right through those two. De La Garza hasn't played a second since his nightmare in San Jose, and Gonzalez cost the Galaxy another 2 points this week with his lazy response to an offside trap. I wouldn't be shocked to see LA go after a center half in July and drop Gonzalez altogether. I also think it is doubtful De La Garza sees much time again in 2009, and wouldn't be surprised to see him loaned to the USL come the window.

  • JM

    Couldn’t disagree with you more about the Galaxy’s rookies… just about every goal has gone right through those two. De La Garza hasn’t played a second since his nightmare in San Jose, and Gonzalez cost the Galaxy another 2 points this week with his lazy response to an offside trap. I wouldn’t be shocked to see LA go after a center half in July and drop Gonzalez altogether. I also think it is doubtful De La Garza sees much time again in 2009, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him loaned to the USL come the window.