- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On January 7, 2011
- 4 Comments
- 2011 MLS SuperDraft, WVH Mock Draft
The MLS Combine is nearly here as it will kick off later today down in Florida. The SuperDraft itself is a mere six days away and it seems like we’re only just getting started here with all of this. Its been a busy week for me here with work and other draft related items. On Tuesday I helped provide commentary for SBNation’s live mock draft. The recap of that is linked here, for my comments just view any of the picks and you’ll see them there.
For the most part that mock draft went pretty well. Only a couple real shockers here and there but those guys know the needs of their teams. Since my last mock draft some changes were made to the list of players attending the Combine and the Generation adidas list (though the league hasn’t confirmed this part yet).
I should also have a draft piece on FCDallas.com later today or early next week. When I have that link I’ll be sure to post it here.
Now to the real fun. Mock SuperDraft version 3.0 (view 2.0 here), the Pre-Combine mock draft. After more time evaluating players this week and talking with folks and other bloggers I have some changes to my mock draft. No doubt after this weekend we’ll have a better sense of who will be taking who and what not after the Combine is over. Until then my picks are mostly based on team needs and rumors I’ve picked up over the last week from various clubs.
2011 WVH Mock Draft
(* = Generation adidas)
1. Vancouver Whitecaps – Darlington Nagbe*, F, Akron
Still no change for me here on Nagbe being number one. Most folks agree he’s the top pick in this year’s draft. I’m a bit shocked he is sitting out the Combine this weekend though. Vancouver is denying they are picking him because of this (similar to Danny Mwanga last year with Philadelphia). The fact remains Vancouver needs an impact striker and Nagbe will certainly be just that.
2. Portland Timbers – Perry Kitchen*, M, Akron
Kitchen remains the Timbers pick for me for a number of reasons. First of all an expansion team has to love a player like Kitchen who can play multiple positions. Second of all he’s easily the best long-term prospect in this draft.
3. D.C. United – Will Bruin*, F, Indiana
This is a pick that is changing for me. I thought for a while that D.C. would go defensive here but signs keep pointing to United signing an experienced defender so the need won’t be there at the draft. Attacking needs are still there though and Bruin is likely the second-most ready striker of the bunch in this draft (after Nagbe). I know some will think taking Salgado makes more sense long-term for D.C. but I see Ben Olsen going for someone who can contribute more right away.
4. Chivas USA – Kofi Sarkodie*, D, Akron
Sarkodie only slides down a spot for me. New head coach Robin Fraser will surely go defensive with this pick and grabbing the best defender in this draft makes the most sense. Sarkodie can get forward in the attack and help cover on the wings. Oh and he’ll surely make Chivas fans forget Jonathan Bornstein in a hurry.
5. Philadelphia Union – Zarek Valentin*, D, Akron
I know, where is the Hertzog pick? Well the more you think about it the less it makes sense. So enter Valentin, another local kid that can play both centerback and on the right side. He’d be an instant upgrade to a defense that had it’s share of issues last year.
6. New England Revolution – Corey Hertzog*, F, Penn State
He slips for me but only to New England. The Revs have to do something about their offense this year and Hertzog would be a solid addition for Steve Nicol. He could take senior forward Justin Meram if he has a strong enough Combine but getting a striker that won’t count against the cap has to be something the Revs will like.
7. Houston Dynamo – Omar Salgado, F, Generation adidas
Salgado has a lot to prove here but I would really love to see him under Dom Kinnear. I know my previous picks for Houston were defense but let’s face it their offense was a wreck last season and the best defenders are off the board at this point, grabbing someone like Salgado makes sense for them.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (via Toronto) – Michael Nanchoff*, M, Akron
I still like the idea of this pick for Vancouver. I know the SBnation mock draft had another WVH fave in Michael Farfan from UNC here, which made sense but grabbing two GA players is never easy to do in a draft and the potential in Nanchoff long-term has to excite guys like Tom Soehn.
9. Chicago Fire – A. J. Soares, D, California
No change yet again for Chicago here. They will be hoping to land a GA but grabbing the best senior defender on the board has to be something they’ll look to do here. They do have needs up front but their defense has to be the top priority in this draft with their first pick.
10. Sporting Kansas City – Jalil Anibaba, D, UNC
Defensive work is what they need and Anibaba easily rivals Soares as the best senior defender in this draft. With Jimmy Conrad now with Chivas they need to work fast on improving that back line.
11. Seattle Sounders FC – Anthony Ampaipitakwong, M, Akron
After hearing from some Seattle guys that they won’t pick a keeper (Zac MacMath) with their first pick this one is likely the best option for them. Ampai fills the creative role that is lacking in their midfield and he’s also a quick player that helps fill the loss of Sanna Nyassi.
12. Columbus Crew – Michael Tetteh*, D, UCSB
The amount of depth lost in their defense last year has me worried. They could go a number of directions with this pick but grabbing one of the last remaining GA players seems like wise move for Robert Warzycha. He’ll fill need of an attacking defender like Frankie Hejduk. Tetteh could still break into the top ten with a strong Combine though.
13. New York Red Bulls – Michael Farfan, M, UNC
Back to New York goes Farfan for me. He fits more here with New York as it as anyways. They need an attacking midfielder and he’s certainly the best one available at this point.
14. Real Salt Lake – Zac MacMath*, GK, Maryland
Yes the mock draft from SBnation got me thinking about this pick but for good reasons. RSL has told me they want to pick a GA player if one is available and giving MacMath someone like Nick Rimando to study under makes plenty of sense. Let’s face it too, RSL doesn’t have all that many needs in this draft as it is so adding someone who you know will be great for you in games in the CCL and what not make sense. I view MacMath as the Stefan Frei of this draft, he should go really high but he won’t due to team needs.
15. San Jose Earthquakes – Justin Meram, F, Michigan
Meram could go really high depending on his Combine this weekend. But I still find him going to San Jose. The pick makes loads of sense for the Quakes and Meram should be a solid player on the next level.
16. LA Galaxy – Steven McCarthy, M, UNC
No change once again here for me and LA. I love the idea of a big (6’4″) player getting on the end of a of a set piece from Landon Donovan (or David Beckham).
17. FC Dallas – Ashley McInnes, F, Tulsa
Schellas Hyndman loves players who can play in more than one spot. McInnes to me is a replacement for Atiba Harris on the wings and up top. I know the club is looking for a midfielder this winter too but I see them filling this need with their first pick in the draft by going on the offensive.
18. Colorado Rapids – Michael Boxell, D, UCSB
With some losses they suffered around the expansion draft in the back, the Rapids will need to pull in some depth in the back to help bulk up their roster for the busy 2011 season. Boxell is the best defender on the board at this point too.
A few changes here and there from the previous mock draft. A lot could still change after this weekend too though seeing how five of the Generation adidas players won’t be at the Combine this weekend makes it all the more interesting. I’ll have my final mock draft up next Wednesday too, I may even do the first two rounds depending on how time goes then for me.
A few things to keep in mind as we gear up for the Combine too. There could be some trades that take place that shake this draft up, something I kind of hope for honestly as it will be things more interesting here. Also the new additions to the Combine in the international side of things will be fun to watch too. Where Wayne Rooney’s little brother John will go should be a story worth following. SBNation.com draft had him going to Vancouver in the second round.