- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On January 9, 2012
- 0 Comments
- 2012 MLS SuperDraft, Features
Thursday’s SuperDraft will be here before we know it. I’ll be fairly busy with the day job over the next day and a half but I did want to get this up today. With one final day of the Combine, teams are hoping to fill as many holes in this draft as they possibly can. Some teams will only get one shot at it (FC Dallas) while others have a few chances to add depth (Toronto).
Getting it right with the pick in the draft isn’t always easy. Some teams will draft for need, while others will draft for the future. Then you will have a team or two that will just take what is the best available option at that time.
Below is a look at each club’s needs going in to Thursday’s draft.
I’ve thought all winter that the forward position was the most pressing need. It still is even with the likes of Patrick Nyarko and Dominic Odurio running around up top for the Fire. With three picks over the two rounds on Thursday, grabbing a striker and some defensive depth is key for them. I think it will be go big with their first round selection and hope that some quality defensive help comes to them in the second round.
The Goats have made some head scratching moves so far this offseason so I wouldn’t expect the draft to be any different. Luckily for this club they have drafted fairly well over the last few years. With another high pick on the way, they need to make a splash. Two big areas of concern are their fullback position (particularly at right back where last year’s pick Zarek Valentin played) and up top (where Justin Braun used to roam). With so few options up top right now, grabbing a striker may be the way to go in the first round.
The Rapids pick at a tough spot in the first round, not quite in the middle but towards the end of the first round. Their wings are currently pretty thin and their defense could use a piece or two. Either way they go it has to be in one of those two areas on Thursday. I say that now but watch them surprise us all and take a striker – a position that wouldn’t be the worst thing to do either given the fact that Conor Casey is returning from injury this year.
The Crew sit in the middle of this draft and have a shot at landing some decent talent in the first round. Adding talent on the wings is a start, along with on the fullback side as well. But to me adding a big time playmaker in the midfield wouldn’t be the worst way to go. We saw what their young team could do last year and I’d expect them to carry the load once more in 2012. If they can snag a Generation adidas player in the first round that would be a good thing for their future.
I’ve said all along adding an attacking midfielder would be a wise way to go in the first round. That would take some heat off Dwayne De Rosario and let him be himself again. Also adding some depth to the defense, particularly at left back would be good as well. But a big need may just be up top for United. No Charlie Davies and an aging Josh Wolff doesn’t bode well for their outlook if they don’t address it.
A few different ways this club could go on Thursday but with one pick they have a lot of pressure to get it right. To me it comes down to either adding a winger or even an attacking midfielder to help bring a spark off the bench, or a center back. With George John having one foot out the door and the other in England, adding defensive cover may be the most pressing need of all.
Getting it right with such a late pick won’t be easy but there is talent in this draft that the Dynamo and Dominic Kinnear will find. We know how well this club drafts so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to draft so late. They’re pretty set in the defense and mostly in the midfield. I think adding an attacking midfielder wouldn’t be a bad way to go. But the main need still remains is up top. Its always a gamble to take a striker so late in the draft and hope he turns out gold for you but with Brian Ching gone and no big name coming in up top to play, this may be the route they have to take.
The MLS Cup champions have address a few areas of concern already this winter but adding a Juninho replacement may be the top order on the menu. But with Omar Gonzalez’s injury things aren’t so clear as to what the Galaxy really need. It will certainly come down to who is there at No. 19 and who isn’t for Bruce Arena. If a quality defender is available then that is the big need or else they will have to look somewhere else for a replacement for him. Also, adding depth at right back wouldn’t be bad either.
So far this club has done well building their roster for their expansion campaign but just like always with any expansion team there are needs everywhere. With the top pick in the draft, grabbing a future prospect up top will go a long way for them. I think like with any expansion team, adding some defensive cover will also be a wise move for them in this draft.
New England Revolution
Plenty of needs all around for this club. The biggest still remains up top as they have longed for a Taylor Twellman replacement for a couple years now. Adding depth on the wings is also important for Jay Heaps as they are incredibly thin. And lastly in defensive the depth there isn’t too grand either. Heaps has a lot of work to do with only a couple picks to do it in.
New York Red Bulls
Depth was a major issue for this club in 2011 and with Tim Ream reportedly on his way out to Bolton, adding some defensive cover has to be a big concern for this group. With only one pick – coming late in the second round – I don’t expect a whole lot out of this team. What is weird about this team is that they’ve drafted fairly well over the years but none of their picks really have panned into anything great until they leave the club. There is still the goalkeeper issue with this team as well but with so few options in goal in this draft, they’ll probably have to look outside of this draft for that.
They’ve slowly address some concerns in their defense this winter, which should go a long way in 2012. I still think adding a piece or two in the back wouldn’t be a bad way to go though. Outside of that, getting some depth and quality in the midfield to replace Justin Mapp and potentially Keon Daniels has to be an area that Peter Nowak will concentrate on.
Defensive depth is key for the Timbers in this draft. They were let down time and time again last year in the back – with some of the quality defenders in this draft – they have a change to get a good one. Possibly adding some depth on the wings would be wise as well.
Real Salt Lake
The core of this team is set – that much we certainly know – but with the pending CCL games on the slate again this year they need depth. Jason Kreis has done well at finding gems in this draft before and he’ll need to do so again to address the thin midfield depth and defensive depth that he has right now. When veterans like Robbie Russell and Andy Williams move on, you know that has to be a couple places that they are looking at.
San Jose Earthquakes
A playmaker has to be at the top of the list for the Quakes. After adding a couple midfield pieces and defensive cover this winter, Frank Yallop needs that guy in the attack that can create more chances for Chris Wondolowski and even take the pressure off of him for having to score all the goals. After that I wouldn’t mind seeing them go for a little more defensive cover. They have talent in the back but keeping them healthy has been a challenge over the last couple years.
Seattle Sounders FC
Two areas jump out at me right away, the left back position and up top. Seattle does have quality options behind Fredy Montero in Mike Fucito and Sammy Ochoa but with potentially more CCL games this year in the spring and in the fall, they will need all the attacking options they can get. With Tyson Wahl gone, the left back position needs some help, as does having some more depth in the middle of the defense.
Sporting Kansas City
No major needs outside of depth for this club. I do think adding some defensive cover should be the top priority though either in the back or in the defensive side of the midfield. I think we could easily still see Peter Vermes go offensive again this year since Omar Bravo is gone and Teal Bunbury will likely be busy with the Olympics and World Cup qualifiers this year.
It remains to be all about defense still for this side. WIth two first round picks, the Reds have a good shot at taking home two quality players in day one. Aron Winter could also use a good playmaker in the midfield to help keep Danny Koevermans busy. Either way there is a lot of hope for this club in the first round, it will be interesting if they make it count.
Outside of the draft this winter they’ve already address one of their bigger needs, defense. Now they can focus on drafting for depth and quality in their midfield. With the No. 2 pick on Thursday, new manager Martin Rennie has a shot at landing a very good player for years to come.