We are quickly inching closer and closer to the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. I know the 2012 season isn’t completely over yet, with the MLS Cup being this weekend, but I wanted to begin looking towards next year. Given that 17 clubs are already in this boat and to be honest so are LA and Houston, it is worth a dip back into the SuperDraft pool for a moment.
I’ve mentioned before that I am still a week or two away from my first mock draft, so until then this will serve as a good pre-course for those interested. Each team in MLS has specific needs going into the winter and will be looking to fill some of those needs out in the SuperDraft. Here is how I see each team laying out in the draft. I’ll go in ABC order just for kicks.
Chicago Fire - (1 pick – #11) – Chicago has been a club in recent years that has done very well in the draft. Grabbing someone like Austin Berry this year proves that but look at their roster and you’ll see plenty of SuperDraft picks that have panned out very nicely for the Windy City club. Being in the middle of the first round is always tricky, I see the Fire going a number of directions, one being taking the best available player. Other than that adding some midfield depth will be key going forward.
Needs: Midfield, mostly flank help and depth at full back.
Chivas USA - (1 pick – #2) – Who really knows what Chivas will do here. First of all we don’t know what direction the coaching staff will go here seeing as how we don’t know who the new coach is yet. Aside from that they have needs all over the place, which is why they are picking so high at number 2.
Needs: Striker, midfield depth and center back depth
Colorado Rapids - (3 picks – #6, #25, #30) – Adding depth and quality pieces will be the name of the game for Oscar Pareja as he builds towards his second season in the Mile High City. The Rapids dumped a slew of players a couple weeks ago which opens the door for many new faces and many needs across the pitch, the biggest in my mind being defensive depth at center back and some attacking options. That number #6 pick could go almost to anything but they need a playmaker.
Needs: Attacking midfielder, defensive depth and flank help
Columbus Crew - (2 picks – #9, #28) - One thing the Crew lacked this past season was some bite up front. Adding in more offensive pieces is where this club has to go as their defense is actually still one of the better ones in the league. Still, saying all of that, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a defensive piece drafted with one of the two picks. Also have to remember that the Crew have a slew of Home Grown Players out there that will fill some of their needs as well, more specifically in their defense.
Needs: Striker with speed and size, midfield wing help
D.C. United - (1 pick – #17) – Only one pick for Ben Olsen, who has done well lately in the draft. They do have some Home Grown Players in the college game that they could call up as well but look for Olsen to go with some value at this pick. If he can snag another attacking piece, you gotta believe he will.
Needs: Attacking options up front, depth in defense
FC Dallas - (2 picks – #7, #20) – Two solid picking spots for Schellas Hyndman. FCD does have a guy in London Woodberry that will provide defensive cover in the form of a HGP contract. Aside from that, I expect Hyndman to pick a senior player that provides depth in the defense or in the midfield. They’ve been burned too many times by selecting a young striker in this draft.
Needs: Anything in the midfield, specifically on the wings and in the defensive middle
Houston Dynamo (3 picks – #13, #18/19, #37/38) – Dominic Kinnear has some decent spots to add depth for next season here. They get the 13th pick from Portland by way of New York, which should be a good value spot for them to select some depth. I see a couple areas worth adding depth to including center back, striker and center midfield.
Needs: Striker, center back and midfield depth
LA Galaxy (2 picks – #18/19, #37/38) – Again, it will be all about depth for the Galaxy as they go into another season with a busy schedule. Defensive depth seems key as well as some flank additions in the midfield.
Needs: Fullbacks, wingers in the midfield and center midfield depth
Montreal Impact (2 picks – #8, #27) – A good first season in MLS gave way to a weird beginning to the offseason when Jesse Marsch parted ways with the club. They are now without a manager going into the silly season which means this could be an interesting offseason in Montreal. Lots of areas of concern though, specifically in defense and in the attack. A lot will be told once they hire a new full-time manager though.
Needs: Defensive depth, striker and wingers in the midfield
New England Revolution (4 picks – #4, #21, #23, #36) – Back to the drawing board for Jay Heaps and company. The Revs were good in places in 2012 and horrible in other places. They need a play maker in the middle of the midfield and I’m not so sure the SuperDraft is the way to find that piece. They do need more attacking options and defensive depth. I could also see them adding a keeper as well if the right one (Andre Blake from UConn) is available.
Needs: Play maker in the midfield, defensive depth and striker help
New York Red Bulls (no picks) - No picks in the draft for now. They could add one via a trade but let’s be honest it won’t happen.
Needs: Midfield depth, defensive depth
Philadelphia Union (2 picks – #26, #29) – Two late picks and no first round pick. So fun there for the Union. Philly has a couple different directions to go this off season, finding some offensive talent up front, a playmaker in the midfield and some defensive cover. I think they’ll get some of the defensive and midfield depth in the second round but we’ll see if they can get some value there in the second round or not.
Needs: defensive depth, midfield depth on the wings
Portland Timbers (2 picks – #3, #23) – Caleb Porter takes over in the Rose City and will have plenty of options at #3 and could even find some value in the second round. They need a playmaker in the midfield and will likely need a striker as well. Adding some quality in the defense will also be key.
Needs: Playmaker in the midfield, defensive depth at full back, striker
Real Salt Lake (2 picks – #12, #31) – It will certainly be an interesting winter in Sandy, UT. Two picks that could provide some depth and quality and you know Jason Kreis will be evaluating every position carefully. I think they’ll go defensive with their picks, getting a defensive midfielder to back up Kyle Beckerman would be good to see as well as adding more defensive cover to back up that group. Adding more flank players would be wise as well.
Needs: Defensive cover all over, depth in the midfield
San Jose Earthquakes (2 picks – #15, #34) – The name of the game will be adding depth for the next season. They add the CCL to their schedule and they will need to add pieces all over the place.
Needs: Depth all over but mostly in the midfield
Seattle Sounders FC (2 picks – #16, #35) – More depth needed on this side, probably up front and on the flanks. I think adding more depth at fullback will be good as well. It will be an interesting offseason in Seattle though, I think one that we could see plenty of turnover on this roster.
Needs: Depth in the midfield and on the wings
Sporting KC (3 picks – #14, #32, #33) – I expect SKC to find some value here in this draft, they’ve been able to quietly do that over the last few years. What they get will be an interesting question. Depth is good to have like I’ve mentioned for a lot of teams and with the CCL added to their schedule in 2013, they’ll need some of it in key areas like in defense and in the midfield on the wings. Adding more talent up front will also be key.
Needs: Striker, midfield depth in the defensive part
Toronto FC (1 pick – #1) – One pick and it is a big one, the first one of the draft. Picking for value is key and finding the absolute best player for the future is what they need.
Needs: Defense, defensive midfield, attacking depth
Vancouver Whitecaps (2 picks – #5, #10) – Martin Rennie has two good chances to add talent from the first round to his squad. Adding more talent through the midfield is key as well as getting some attacking talent. But don’t be shocked if Rennie goes defensive here and adds depth behind a quality group of defenders.
Needs: Midfield on the defensive side, play maker up front and a target forward