It is that time of the year again. Time when we really dive into the SuperDraft talk around here now that the College Cup is over (hat tip to Indiana for claiming the crown this season).
I wanted to start off this week with an update on the Generation adidas class for this year. I’ve started gathering some of the potential targets out there from some of my sources and contacts throughout the league. A lot of what I have gathered so far is that this could be one of the smallest classes to date. With the emphasis around the league going towards the Home Grown Players – which we’ll definitely see more signed this month for 2013 – the GA pool will be taking a hit.
MLS is also taking a step back on handing out a lot of GA contracts like they have in years past. The last few classes have been fairly large with last years having nine, 2011 have 11 and 2010 having 13. The numbers just keep going down.
I’d be willing to bet that the HGP list of players signed this winter will be larger than the GA pool in this draft as well. It is just where the resources are going these days. The league and teams are putting more resources in the HGP area. MLS has realized that the last couple of years that they have been spending more than they should have on GA deals with many young players not living up to their potential. MLS is wanting to basically spend their money a little wiser on the GA deals from here on out according to one source.
With the College Cup wrapped up I’ve been told at least two players are almost locks for deals with a couple others up in the air.
Furman’s Walker Zimmerman and UNC’s Mikey Lopez seem to be a consensus lock from everyone I’ve spoken to. Each are MLS-ready according to several scouts and based on the ol’ eye ball test, I have to agree.
From there I’ve been given a short list of about five other guys that are said to be targets. MLS is expected to only have a GA class of about six to eight players this year with the likelihood of the number being more on the six or seven side.
The list of other targets include:
– Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana)
– Andre Blake (UConn)
– Andrew Ferrell (Louisville)
– Patrick Mullins (Maryland)
– J.J. Johnson (VCU)
Some quick notes on these five players.
In some eyes, Ferrell is nearly a lock if he wants to come out early.
Mullins is said to have medium to high interest but may want to come back for his senior seasons since Maryland nearly won the College Cup this year. That is something to keep an eye out for here with Mullins.
Blake is a guy that could be better served with another year in college but some around the league feel he may be the only quality keeper prospect coming into the league from the college game for the next year or two and that getting him now may outweigh getting him later on.
Zavaleta has gone back and forth for some that I have spoken to but with IU winning the College Cup yesterday I feel he is more likely to lean towards MLS now. He dominated the college game and really has no where else to go but up into the professional ranks.
Johnson is a big time prospect that some folks seem to be enamored with. After C.J. Sapong won the MLS Rookie of the Year a couple years ago, scouts from all over the league have been hoping to replicate that kind of success with a kid from a smaller school like Johnson.
Other guys said to be on some short-lists around the league include: Deshorn Brown (Central Florida) and Kekuta Manneh (Development academy player that spent time with the Austin Aztex), Mamadou Diouf (UConn) and Eric Miller (Creighton). Georgetown’s Steve Neumann was a potential target but Travis Clark reported this morning that he isn’t going to go pro this year even if a deal from MLS comes in.
Once I get a more concrete list I’ll be sure to post it here. There is still a lot that can happen in the coming weeks but the league typically likes to lock these deals down before or around Christmas – if not definitely by the New Year.