- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On January 11, 2011
- 1 Comments
- 2011 MLS SuperDraft
Its hard to believe the SuperDraft is nearly here. The MLS Combine wraps up later today and folks in Florida will be rushing (if they haven’t already left) to get to Baltimore for the draft. The league shortened the draft from four rounds to three rounds last week (thank goodness), with all preexisting fourth-round picks becoming first-rounders in next week’s supplemental draft.
I know I was quiet on here yesterday due to my day job but today is a brand new day. I wanted to give a brief overview of each team’s draft needs as we head into the draft on Thursday. Tomorrow I should have my final mock draft and on the day of the draft I may do my annual live blog of the draft (still working out the details on that).
For this look-in, I’ll go team-by-team in their draft order, so Vancouver and Portland are first with Toronto going last since their first pick is in the second round.
Draft picks: 1, 8, 19, 37
Offensively this team still has a lot of wholes to fill. Their defense could also use a patch or two but you have to think they are targeting offense with their top pick. Having two in the first 10 picks is a major plus for an expansion team looking to grow too. I see offense then then going with a midfielder at eight. Also having the number 19 pick is a bonus as they should grab a decent player there too.
I think getting someone in the second round to fill their issues in the back on the left will help. Jay DeMerit and Joe Cannon are good but they’ll need help back there.
Draft picks: 2, 20, 22
We all think they’ll go with Akron’s Perry Kitchen if he’s there at two, with good reason too. He’s versatile and play nearly everywhere for John Spencer. They have plenty of strikers and could add one more with Kenny Cooper before the start of the season. Still adding depth up top wouldn’t be a terrible idea if Kitchen is off the board.
Their second round picks need to focus on the midfield though. Rounding out that and their attack has to be something John Spencer is hoping to accomplish here come Thursday.
Draft picks: 3, 31
Only two picks, one early and one in the middle isn’t exactly great for a club on the rebound but at least that first pick should be a good one. No doubt they’ll go offensive with that selection and take a striker like Indiana’s Will Bruin, or someone like Omar Salgado.
When they signed Ethan White it signaled to me that the top pick wouldn’t be defensive but grabbing one with their second pick wouldn’t be too far fetched.
Draft picks: 4, 40
Before Robin Fraser came on board I thought they were going offensive with their first pick but that has gone out the window in my mind. Fraser is a defensive mastermind and with Jimmy Conrad on board in Chivas-land you gotta think he’ll want a young defender to go with him. With plenty on the board at number four I see them going that direction. They could still surprise us and take Salgado if he’s available here due to the tied with their sister club in Mexico. I still think the chances of that are less likely with Fraser though.
As far as their second selection later on in the draft, adding depth in the midfield will likely be a must.
Draft picks: 5, 23, 42
Two fairly early picks at 5 and 23 should set the second-year club up nicely in this draft to get two quality players. The local ties to Corey Hertzog seem tough to pass still but do they need another young Generation adidas striker here? I still believe they need work on their defense and that is the wiser move at number 5. Grabbing some offense with the 23rd pick or even that late round pick wouldn’t be bad.
I think a playmaker would be nice to get in the second round though. Other than Sebastien Le Toux they really lacked one of those last season. Taking some pressure off him would be a big thing moving forward in 2011.
New England Revolution
Draft picks: 6, 24, 39, 42, 54
Loaded with picks, just late picks. Which could be great if Steve Nicol can return to his super draft picking abilities that we’ve seen from him in the past. We know he loves players from the ACC so don’t be shocked to see him go for one early at number 6 if he can. I think their top needs however still reside up top as they haven’t had a true striker in a couple years since Taylor Twellman first got hurt. Addressing that issue has to be done this winter in this draft.
With the later round picks adding depth in the midfield and in the back wouldn’t hurt at all. The team has some areas to fill like possibly a backup keeper (I’m not so high on Shuttlesworth).
Draft picks: 7
Typical one draft pick for Dominic Kinnear but at least this time around its an early one that he can snag a quality player with. This club has wholes all around but could probably use either a strong center back or another striker with this pick. Neither would shock me if they went that direction. If I were them I’d try to make it count a much as possible. Hard to believe it but we are getting at the point that a bad draft could doom you for a season.
Draft picks: 9, 45, 49, 51
Signing a defender from the D-2 league today doesn’t mean they won’t take a defender at number 9. They need depth in the back and someone who can be a game changer defensively. However if a top flight striker is still available here they’d have trouble not going that direction too with the losses they took this winter up top.
Having some late picks could still serve this club well. They had a solid draft a season ago due to some of their late picks (like keeper Sean Johnson).
Sporting Kansas City
Draft picks: 10, 32, 46
KC took a hit all over their locker room this winter when they lost Jimmy Conrad. They’re hoping to land one of the two top center backs to replace Conrad but that won’t be easy considering who is drafting above them. They could settle for some defensive help on the outside if A.J. Soares or Jahil Anibana aren’t available when they pick.
Adding some depth in the midfield would also be nice for this club as I think they’ll be pretty solid offensively next year with the addition of Omar Bravo.
Seattle Sounders FC
Draft picks: 11, 21, 27, 29, 47
A lot of second round picks could seriously set this club up well for the 2011 season depth wise. I think they need to focus on adding some creativity in the midfield with their first pick though. In the second round they’ll be able to grab defensive depth as well as some players to play on the wings or even up top if needed.
I still think grabbing a keeper in this draft has to happen at some point for them too. They can gamble on taking Zac MacMath early if he is still on the board or wait and get a solid keeper in the second round.
Draft picks: 12, 28, 48
They are rebuilding and let’s face it their draft last year was pretty bad (sure Bright Dike had a nice season last year in Portland and is now with the MLS side but come on, that was a reach of a pick that never worked for them). Still they have to do better this year and can with their three picks. I think grabbing some defensive help with their first pick is a must. After that they can concentrate on improving their offense.
New York Red Bulls
Draft picks: 13, 25, 30, 38
For a team that made so many headlines in 2010, this winter has been rather dull out of them. Hans Backe had one of the best drafts last year in recent memory and will look to repeat that this week. It will be interesting to see how drafting later will suit him and his staff. They snagged so many quality picks last year.
With the loss of Juan Pablo Angel they could use another striker to boost the depth of that area. Also adding some defensive depth is a must I would think. I’d also like to see them improve their keeper selection as well. You got to think if MacMath is still here that they’d go for him to have an improvement over Bouna Condoul.
Real Salt Lake
Draft picks: 14, 52
Quality club that really hasn’t lost much of anything this winter. They could add a striker at number 14 to replace Robbie Findley. I know they’d love to get a GA player if all possible here too, no matter which one is there. I still think however they’ll end up picking a striker here to help their run in the CCL later this spring. They need all the offense they can get for that run too since they sound serious about going for the title in it.
San Jose Earthquakes
Draft picks: 15, 33
Boy this club has lost a lot this winter and has yet to add anything in return. They need depth in a lot of areas too I think. Adding some strike force to go with Chris Wondolowski is a must. With plenty of quality strikers still to be around at this spot they’ll be hard pressed not to take one. However if a creative player in the midfield is around they could go that direction too.
Draft picks: 16, 34, 50
I still think some midfield depth is key for them even with the loss of Buddle. I got a gut feeling they’ll work out a deal with Juan Pablo Angel here but they still need depth up top. Sure they got Adam Cristman today but that isn’t a deal that will excite the locals. Drafting some depth up top will help in the long run too. I also believe they need to fill some holes in the midfield as well. They could take a chance on someone like UNC’s Stephen McCarthy if he is still around by this time.
Draft picks: 17, 35, 53
Schellas Hyndman found some amazing depth last year out of Zac Loyd and Eric Alexander in the draft. With only three picks he’ll have to be just as creative again. Right now the club needs some help up top with Jeff Cunningham gone to where ever. I think they’ll either pick a guy to play up top or someone who can be creative from the wings with their first selection.
After that grabbing some defensive depth would be nice for their busier season in 2011.
Draft picks: 18, 36
The champs only have two picks but I think they’ll find ways to make the most out of them here. Drafting some defensive help or some speed on the wings are probably a big deal. Also getting another striker could be key too at number 18. If Omar Cummings ends up going to Europe for good in the summer they’ll need all the offensive help that they can get for their CCL games.
Draft picks: 26, 43, 44
Not the best way to rebuild a bit with late draft picks. I think that is a huge part of why Houston has struggled in the last year or so as they haven’t had any early picks to build solid depth. Toronto could be in that boat here unless Paul Mariner gets creative and crafty here.
Where do you begin with them though? Offensive needs work up top, defense has holes to fill and the midfield could use some help on the wings.