- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 1, 2010
- 3 Comments
- 2011 MLS SuperDraft
The 2011 MLS SuperDraft is already on it’s way of being one of the best in league history. As club academies continue to grow so will the product in the college game. We’re seeing it more and more that academy players are also becoming major players on the college scene.
The list of possible Generation adidas players that came out recent suggest that the draft next January will be fairly deep. Throw in the amount of quality players that could also declare for the draft and we could have the makings of something special in 2011.
I’ve been meaning to get to these SuperDraft lists for week so this one could be fairly bigger than expected and could also cover some names that I’ve mentioned before. So for that forgive me if you see some repeats on here. I’m also going to give some shorter descriptions for these guys as well to make up for the time. If I miss any names don’t worry I probably have them waiting in the wings for another list to be released fairly soon.
There are a couple things to note here. A couple guys on this list could get signed by their MLS clubs as Home Grown players instead of entering the draft. Should that happen this list will change up a bit, if not those players will likely get GA contracts and enter the draft. Also, should Akron win the College Cup this year we’ll potentially see a large amount of their players leave for the draft which will make the GA class larger than the league probably wants to do. A lot of “ifs” but all very possible to happen.
Again, keep in mind some of these players may not come out this year. But its always good to keep an eye out for them for next year or even the year after that with some of the freshman talent that is in the college game right now. Also this list is in no particular order either, once the College Cup is over next month and the MLS Combine lists are out we’ll have a better idea of a mock draft for the SuperDraft. I did add projections by each player’s name but that will certainly change as well as we get closer to the draft.
2011 MLS SuperDraft Watch (*=possible GA):
- Omar Salgado (MLS/Generation adidas) – The kid has already signed with the league. One still has to figure he’ll be taken very early. Projection: Still figure him in the top three.
- Kodi Sarkodie (Akron)* – One of the many US youth internationals on the list this year. This right-back and score and add tremendous pace to the wings while being a rock in the defense. Projection: I full expect him to be a high first rounder if he does sign a Generation adidas contract with the league.
- Darlington Nagbe (Akron)* – There are some in the college scene that believe this kid is better than his predecessors (Steve Zakuani and Teal Bunbury). I’ve seen enough of Nagbe to think its very possible he could be better than them. He’s crafty and knows where to place the ball when shooting on goal. Projection: If he comes out look for him to be a top three pick.
- Dillon Powers (Notre Dame)* – His U-20 fame should be plenty enough to have him high on everyone’s draft boards. More than likely if he signs a GA contract he’ll be the best midfielder of the bunch. Projection: He’s a top 5 pick in my book if he does sign a GA contract.
- Zarek Valentin (Akron)* – There is a reason why Akron’s defense is so good and Valentin is one of them. I’ve always been very impressed with this kid in his ability to shutdown other team’s top scorers. Projection: Easily a top 10 pick as a GA player if he does come out this year.
- Will Bruin (Indiana)* – Boy this kid is a handful, there’s no better way to put it than that. He knows his way around net and knows how to finish. He was near the top in the nation in scoring this year and I’d imagine if he gets on the right team he’ll continue that scoring on the next level. Projection: Look for him to land in the first round, likely in the top 10.
- Perry Kitchen (Akron) – I’m not entirely sure he’ll come out but man if he does look out because the kid can flat out play. He’ll be a project type player early on if he does leave college. Projection: Still don’t believe he’ll leave but if he does he’s a top 10 pick easily.
- Darren Mattocks (Akron) – Same exact boat as Kitchen. I don’t believe he’ll leave just yet but should Akron win the College Cup this year its very possible the flood gates open there with young guys like him leaving. Projection: Should he go he’s a top ten pick.
- Zac MacMath (Maryland)* – One of the best young keepers in the nation. His time with the U-20s should be enough evidence to show why he deserves a early selection in January. Projection: I’d be utterly shocked if he didn’t go in the first round.
- David Bingham (California)* – His name isn’t out there as much as MacMath’s but in some circles he’s thought to be just as good. Projection: I’d imagine he’ll be a first or second rounder if he does come out.
- Ethan White (Maryland)* – If he comes out D.C. United could sign him as he is one of their academy players. I’d be shocked if they didn’t at least try to sign him if he does come out as they desperately need the defensive help. Projection: If D.C. doesn’t sign him I’d expect he’ll still be a first round pick.
- Andrew Wenger (Duke) – Quite possibly one of my favorite players in the college game right now. His size and speed make him an attractive option either in the defense or in the midfield. I’d imagine he’ll stick around Durham for another year though. Projection: However if he does come out he’s a first rounder.
- Matt Kassel (Maryland)* – He’s in the same position as White, he could sign with New York if they want him but if not he’ll end up with a GA contract. The Terp’s main assist man should be a big time weapon on the next level. Projection: He’ll likely go somewhere in the middle of the first round.
- Michael Farfan (UNC) – If you read any of my coverage last year you know what a fan of this guy I am. I thought he could have been an early selection last year. Projection: He should be one of the first seniors taken this year.
- Casey Townsend (Maryland)* – He could have easily come out a year ago, two years even. Instead he’s slipped a little bit down the boards but I’d still rate him pretty high after this season. Projection: A mid-first rounder.
- Jason Herrick (Maryland) – Easily the best senior striker of the bunch. He’s had one heck of a year with the Terps as they push for the College Cup. Projection: With a big Combine he could push a mid-to-late first round selection.
- A.J. Soares (California) – I think I saw Ives or maybe someone else call him this year’s Tim Ream. From the couple games I saw of him this year I have to agree. Projection: Someone will grab him before the first round ends in hopes he turns out to be Ream or better.
- Corey Hertzog (Penn State)* – His name isn’t out there as much as it should be. He could also get signed by Philadelphia as their first academy signing, if not he’ll go elsewhere in the draft. Projection: If he gets a GA contract I’d imagine he’ll end up being a steal for someone in the late first round.
- Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Akron) – One of the top midfielders in the nation. His name is difficult to say but look for him to be one of the first seniors signed once the College Cup is over. Projection: He could go anywhere between the top 10 and late first round.
- Stephen McCarthy (UNC) – A big midfielder for the Tar Heels. Hard not to notice him on the pitch really. I’d expect him to be one of the top seniors in this draft as well. Projection: A solid combine from him could push him to a late first round selection.
- Brian Ownby (Virginia) – I hyped this kid up a bunch last year and even more going into this season. Could still stick around for another year though. His injury concerns will hurt his stock but his speed will still win over plenty of people. Projection: First rounder.
- Colin Rolfe (Louisville) – There’s still a wonder if he’ll come out after his junior season or not. He’s got a knack for scoring timely goals and has helped lead Louisville to the top seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Projection: If he does come out, look for him to be a nice steal for someone in the late first or early second round.
- Michael Tetteh (UCSB)* – His speed is something teams will absolutely love but the injury bug is a concern for some. I’d imagine if he lands a GA contract he’ll be a project-type player that sees plenty of Reserve division time early on. Projection: Should be a second rounder, could sneak into the first round though.
- Luis Silva (UCSB)* – A solid two-way midfielder, in the running for a GA contract too. I’d imagine he’ll stick around UCSB for another year though. Projection: He could end up as second rounder with someone as a project-type player.
- Tony Cascio (UConn) – The junior striker has been very steady this year for the Huskies. His 10 goals and six assists got UConn in as a seed into the big dance but and early exit by UConn makes me believe he’ll come out next year. Projection: If he does come out he would end up being a solid pickup in the second or third round for someone.
- Cole Grossman (Duke) – Senior midfielder is very talented and will continue to improve. Projection: Second rounder.
- Jeff Attinella (South Florida) – Top senior keeper here. Some think Diego Restrepo from Virginia is better but what I’ve seen from Attinella this year is that he’s jumped over him. Plus from what I’ve gathered from folks is that he’s the third best keeper in the draft. Projection: Combine could push him higher but he’ll end up as a second or third round selection.
- Justin Meram (Michigan) – If you haven’t seen Michigan play this year you’ve missed out. Merman and the Saad brothers have been fun to watch this year. This kid has the size and speed to be a big impact player on the next level. Projection: Should he come out he’d be a hell of a steal in a second or third round.
- Daniel Keat (Dartmouth) – Almost similar to Andre Akpan from last year, solid scorer at a small school. Only difference is he is a midfielder that could see more action right away in the right system where Akpan struggled to see time. Projection: Second rounder for now.
- Ryan Kinne (Monmouth) – A senior that probably needs a big Combine to get into the first round. Still he’s a heck of a two-way midfielder. Projection: Could be one of those value picks in the second or third round.
- Spencer Thompson (UC Irvine) – Speedy forward that could end up playing on the wings in the next level. Projection: Solid second rounder.
- Jail Anibaba (UNC) – A big centerback that could move higher up with a nice Combine. He’s solid in the air and if he can develop into a set piece threat he’ll be a great pickup. Projection: A nice second or third rounder here.
- Josue Soto (SMU) – The main assist guy for SMU this season and also their senior leader in the midfield. Projection: Soto will likely be a nice late round pickup.
- Ashley McInnes (Tulsa) – Another one of those guys that needs a big Combine to move up the boards. Projection: For now he’s a third rounder for me.
- Bobby Warsaw (Stanford) – Maybe not big all over the country but the senior defender could be a nice pick up for someone. Projection: Solid value-pick late in the draft, for now – could move up.
I’ll have more names to add to this as we go on. I know its a bigger list than I normally do but that’s just how it worked out this time. Just remember this list will change between now and the middle of January. The projections are still early at this point and I’d imagine once we get the final GA list from the league later this month we’ll know more of where folks could end up.
There are a few other sites out there that will have similar lists between now and January too. I noticed one site had a full mock draft up already though it was fairly dated. I wouldn’t go by that until they update it if I were you. Also check out SBI, they’ve done plenty of great college stuff this year. I believe he posted his Big Board last week. Well worth a look, though you’ll see most of the same names here, though I have a few more sprinkled in that I’ve been meaning to mention. Also MLSSoccer.com has some solid college coverage too with Travis Clark (also of SBI fame).