Well the 2013 MLS SuperDraft has come and passed. Yesterday was a wild day that saw many trades, surprises and some usual steals.
I wanted to kick off today with a look at how each team did in a team-by-team draft grade article. Overall I thought some teams did very well in this draft while others have a few question marks here and there. Obviously it is way early to tell if these clubs really did good or bad in this draft. We don’t know how these players will end up being for each club or if some of them will even make their respective team rosters.
But saying all of that I still like to look at how teams did in each draft and give a reaction to it. Hopefully after the season I will go back and re-evaluate these grades and see if they hold up.
Drafted: #30 Yazid Atouba Emane, F, Rainbow FC
Thoughts: The Fire typically knock it out of the park with their selections but since they traded out of the first round to snag Jeff Larentowicz on Wednesday, they were left with one mid-second round pick. They took Atouba Emane from the Cameroon. He was one of the few international players selected yesterday which is a bit of a surprise. The kid has speed and lots of it from his Combine reel. He played in the 2011 U-20 World Cup for his country so he has a good pedigree behind him. Tough to give them anything too high just yet since it is just one pick but he does add some depth up front to a team that is kind of thin in the attack. Can’t blame them for getting something they need.
Drafted: #2 Carlos Alvarez, M, UConn
Thoughts: Well, we knew this one was coming. It was the Goats only pick of the day and while Alvarez is a really good player, I still believe he wasn’t worth the second overall selection. Still, Chvias got their man with this pick and I do think he’ll be a good pickup for them as they move forward in their quest to become more Mexican-American here. I would have liked to have seen Chivas trade into the second round though to get someone else like a Jose Gomez or something here. One pick for a team that has many need is just not enough.
Drafted: #6 Deshorn Brown, D, Central Florida, #11 Dillon Powers, M, Notre Dame, #25 Kory Kindle, D, Cal State-Bakersfield
Thoughts: Colorado knocked it out of the park for me with their three picks. They went big and bold just like we expected them to and boy did Oscar Pareja and company not disappoint. We all assumed they would take Walker Zimmerman but when they couldn’t work out a deal with Toronto to move up, they stuck to what they had and got better with the picks that they had. Brown will be a complete game changer on the wings and up front for them. Powers is a fantastic player that I’m sure Pareja is familiar with from his time in Dallas. Lastly, getting Kindle in the second round was a good snag as well. If they end up signing HGP Dillon Serna, they may end up with the best draft of anyone.
Drafted: #9 Ryan Finley, F, Notre Dame, #28 Drew Beckie, D, Denver
Thoughts: On pure needs alone the Crew got what they were looking for, a forward with good skill in the box and a defender that can provide depth. The only thing is I’m not so sure they got the right players at the end of the day. Finley is a solid player at number nine but I do still have question marks about him. Beckie is athletic and could end up being a steal for them. I’m just not so sure he’ll be able to contribute this year.
Drafted: #17 Taylor Kemp, D/M, Maryland
Thoughts: With just one pick Ben Olsen came and got what he was looking for. An outside back that is athletic and can compete for minutes on day one. I had Kemp targeted to go to D.C. for a while now and he was one of the few picks I was able to get right in my mock drafts (those trades killed us all). Kemp is a guy that I think will do well in this league as long as he remains healthy.
Drafted: #7 Walker Zimmerman, D, Furman, #20 Ryan Hollingshead, M, UCLA
Thoughts: Zimmerman was a big steal for Dallas, one that no one expected to see happen. Schellas Hyndman told media here in town that he was a player they couldn’t believe fell to them at that position. Zimmerman may not feel an immediate need but it does paint a picture that Ugo Ihemelu is likely done in Dallas. He is a bigger upgrade there than Stephen Keel was and will be someone that can push Matt Hedges. Hollingshead was a head scratcher since the guy is in Haiti at the moment on a missionary trip. There had been talks that he may not play at all but from what I am being told Dallas is confident they’ll get him in camp. If that is the case, he is a huge steal for them at 20 as Dallas needed depth on the wings in this draft. Hyndman loves guys that have good character and he drafted two of them yesterday.
Drafted: #13 Jason Johnson, F, Virginia Commonwealth, #37 Jimmy Nealis, D, Georgetown
Thoughts: For me it was between them and Colorado as to who had the better draft. The Dynamo got a steal with Johnson falling to them at 13. Sure, he didn’t have the best Combine but that hasn’t stood in the way in the past for some players. Dominic Kinnear needed another forward with speed and got one that won’t count against the salary cap for a couple of seasons. But their bigger steal was in the late second round with Nealis, a player I was totally blown away with this past year. Landing him there was a big steal as he’ll compete for minutes this season.
Drafted: #19 Charlie Rugg, F, Boston College, #24 Kofi Opare, D, Michigan, #38 Greg Cochrane, D, Louisville
Thoughts: I was a little surprised at the Galaxy taking Rugg with the last pick of the first round. Rugg is a solid player and had a decent college career but he wasn’t a big time goal scorer. But I trust Bruce Arena in picking players as he has proven time and time again he knows what he is doing in these drafts. Getting Opare and Cochrane in the second round was very crafty of Arena too. Both will provide good depth for a defense that will have lots of games this year.
Drafted: #8 Blake Smith, M, New Mexico, #18 Fernando Monge, F, UCLA, #27 Paolo DelPiccolo, M, Louisville, #32 Brad Stuver, GK, Cleveland State
Thoughts: The Impact did their homework in some respects in this draft. Smith and Monge are two very good picks in the first round. DelPiccolo could but a steal for them if he decides not to play in Europe. Taking a keeper late was a bit of a surprise as I really didn’t expect any keepers to go yesterday.
New England Revolution
Drafted: #1 Andrew Farrell, D, Louisville, #21 Donnie Smith, F, UNC Charlotte, #23 Luke Spencer, F, Xavier, #36 Luis Soffner, GK, Indiana
Thoughts: Getting the best player in the draft is one thing but the Revs did well in the second round too. Ferrell is a massive upgrade to their defense. Don’t sleep on Smith though too from this draft, he’ll get minutes in year one and so could Soffner before it is all said and done in the keeper position. Jay Heaps had a very good draft in my book.
New York Red Bulls
Drafted: #22 Ian Christianson, M, Georgetown
Thoughts: With their lone pick in the second round, the Red Bulls may have gotten away with one. I think Christainson will be a solid D-mid in this league and be a guy that will help carry the load a bit with Dax McCarty. He may not get a ton of minutes due to McCarty in year one, but he will be able to come in and contribute when they need him to.
Drafted: #26 Don Anding, F, Northeastern, #31 Stephen Okai, M, Mobile
Thoughts: Just when you think the Union are going to go one direction, they throw a curve ball at you. I’m not confident that Anding was the right pick when they got him, there were certainly better left-footed players on the board at that moment than him. Okai made sense due to his relationship with the staff there and since he played for Reading United.
Drafted: #34 Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, D, Washington
Thoughts: For having one late pick I thought the Timbers did very well in getting Tucker-Gangnes. It was a little confusing to see them take a center back after earlier this winter they said they didn’t need one. Still, Caleb Porter got wise and took a defender, a position they needed to improve at drastically in my book.
Real Salt Lake
Drafted: #12 John Stertzer, M, Maryland, #29 Devon Sandoval, F, New Mexico
Thoughts: I don’t think you could find a more under the radar kind of draft than with RSL. Stertzer will be a solid addition to Jason Kreis’ midfield and don’t sleep on Sandoval to compete for minutes up front either. I think Kreis did very well to draft for need here though I would have liked to have seen him get a center back. Still, good draft overall.
San Jose Earthquakes
Drafted: #15 Tommy Muller, D, Georgetown, #33 Dan Delgado, M, San Diego
Thoughts: Drafting for depth is what San Jose needed to do and they did just that. Muller filled a need in their defense while Delgado will be a nice backup to Rafeal Baca. Really, no complaints from me on San Jose’s draft.
Seattle Sounders FC
Drafted: #10 Eriq Zavaleta, F, Indiana, #35 Dylan Remick, D, Brown University
Thoughts: I loved their gutsy call to trade up and get Zavaleta. Is he a center back or is he a forward? Sigi Schmid will now decide. Either way, it was a good pick and a smart move. Remick is a speedy left back that filled a need that the Sounders had to get depth on the outside.
Sporting Kansas City
Drafted: #14 Mikey Lopez, M, North Carolina
Thoughts: One pick, one guy that doesn’t count against the cap. That is a win-win for Peter Vermes. Lopez is young and has a little ways to go before we can call him a big deal but I love this move for SKC. He’ll slide in perfectly to the SKC midfield. He’ll take a little time to develop into their system but I see him fitting in well as the Roger Espindoza replacement.
Drafted: #3 Kyle Bekker, M, Boston College, #16 Emery Welshman, F, Oregon State
Thoughts: They went Canadian and it works for me. They made lots of trades and got plenty of allocation money because of it. You can’t blame them for using the cards that they had in front of them to wheel and deal like that. Bekker will do well in their midfield and Welshman will also see plenty of time on the field in year one. It was a wild ride but at the end of it all, Toronto left Indy with a pretty good feeling knowing that they had some cap relief in front of them and two solid young Canadian players.
Drafted: #4 Kekuta Manneh, F, Austin Aztex, #5 Erik Hurtado, F, Santa Clara
Thoughts: The Caps wanted speed and they certainly got it with Manneh and Hurtado. I’m not so sure that was the best draft strategy to go with though as it didn’t totally fill their needs that they had going into the draft. They really could have used some depth in defense and some help in the midfield. Instead, Martin Rennie went with two players that will be burners off the bench. Lets also not forget that Manneh is still a project here that may take some time to really develop in this league.