Re-Grading The 2011 MLS SuperDraft

Re-Grading The 2011 MLS SuperDraft

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On January 24, 2013
  • 5 Comments
  • 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Features
The re-grades are in. (Getty Images)

The re-grades are in. (Getty Images)

Yesterday, I started to look back at previous SuperDrafts and the grades that I handed out to the various clubs. Based on my post history, I began grading the clubs in 2010 even though I covered the 2008 and 2009 drafts in other forms on here.

Many of you responded well to the 2010 re-grades from yesterday. So here is the 2011 grades. I do believe that a lot of these players that are still playing are works in progress so I may re-grade them again next year after they finish their third season.

Just as I did yesterday, I’ll stick to the same order in the re-grading as I did in the original post.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Previous Grade: C-

New Grade: D

Players Drafted: Omar Salgado (#1), Michael Nanchoff (#8), Jeb Brovsky (#19), Bilal Duckett (#37)

Thoughts: I was a tad harsh on the Caps after the draft given the two high picks and one early second rounder. Salgado is still a mystery as to whether or not he’ll be anything special in MLS. Nanchoff never quite broke through with the Caps and was released following last season. Brovsky may have been the best pick of the bunch in terms of playing time. He was exposed in the 2011 expansion draft and has been with Montreal ever since.

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Portland Timbers

Previous Grade: B-

New Grade: B

Players Drafted: Darlington Nagbe (#2), Chris Taylor (#22)

Thoughts: Nagbe keeps them at a B level because I fully expect a big year from him. We’ve seen plenty of flashes out of him as to who good he can and will be in this league but in year three, he should certainly be expected to do big things. Taylor never saw the light of day on the field for the Timbers, a wasted pick in some ways when you consider guys like Michael Farfan and Stephen McCarthy were drafted right after him.

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D.C. United

Previous Grade: A

New Grade: A

Players Drafted: Perry Kitchen (#3), Chris Korb (#31), Joe Willis (#50)

Thoughts: No real complains on draft day with Ben Olsen’s picks and still no complaints today. All three have seen plenty of time on the field and both Kitchen and Korb are quality players that are seeing a lot of playing time.

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Chivas USA

Previous Grade: A-

New Grade: D

Players Drafted: Zarek Valentin (#4), Victor Estupinan (#14), Jon Okafor (#40)

Thoughts: Such a waste really as all three are gone from the club. Valentin had a heck of a rookie year but Chivas exposed him for the expansion draft to Montreal and the Impact gobbled him up quickly as a result. He did graduate early from his GA status but you can’t tell me that Chivas was better off without him in 2012. Estupinan had plenty of hype going into the draft but he provided hardly anything positive while he was there.

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Philadelphia Union

Previous Grade: B+

New Grade: A

Players Drafted: Zac MacMath (#5), Michael Farfan (#23), Levi Houapeu (#41)

Thoughts: MacMath is now a regular between the pipes and Farfan is a big time leader with the club. What more could you want out of those two picks? I nearly kept them the same due to Houapeu’s lack of time with the club but given how the first two players have turned out I won’t hold that against them.

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New England Revolution

Preview Grade: A-

New Grade: B-

Players Drafted: AJ Soares (#6), Stephen McCarthy (#24), Steven Perry (#39), Ryan Kinne (#42), Alan Koger (#54)

Thoughts: Lots of picks on draft day but their top two keep them at a respectable grade for me. Soares and McCarthy are solid defensive players that are at least contributing. The other three, not so much. Still, the development of Soares and McCarthy is good to see and I believe they will be a couple of guys we’ll see in MLS for years to come.

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Houston Dynamo

Previous Grade: A

New Grade: A

Players Drafted: Kofi Sarkodie (#7), Will Bruin (#11)

Thoughts: I’m still highly impressed with these two picks by the Dynamo. Bruin as we know has turned into a total stud for the team and probably soon for the US National team. The sky is really the limit for him in my eyes. You have to believe that year three will see him continue to grow and improve as a player. Sarkodie is still a bit of a work in progress but we started to see Dominic Kinnear get some good time out of him last year, which leads me to believe this wasn’t a reach at all.

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Chicago Fire

Previous Grade: B+

New Grade: C+

Players Drafted: Jalil Anibaba (#9), Jason Herrick (#45), Davis Paul (#51)

Thoughts: After Anibaba it is though to be real pleased with how the Fire did. At the time it looked good but seeing as how both Herrick and Paul didn’t pan out for the club it is tough to really gage this team (not to mention those two picks were really late in the draft). Anibaba at least has given them plenty of playing time and still has some growth to do.

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Sporting KC

Previous Grade: C

New Grade: B

Players Drafted: CJ Sapong (#10), TJ Murray (#32), Konrad Warzycha (#46)

Thoughts: Yeah, I was way too harsh on Sporting, just like a lot of people were. Sapong was not a reach and he turned out to be quite a player winning the Rookie of the Year award. Murry and Warzycha didn’t end up getting much with the club and neither are there with the team these days. Still, the grade improved due to Sapong and his play that earned him the ROY.

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Columbus Crew

Previous Grade: C+

New Grade: C-

Players Drafted: Rich Balchan (#12), Justin Meram (#15), Cole Grossman (#28), Bernardo Anor (#48)

Thoughts: Balchan got plenty of time in his rookie year but began to flame out in 2012. Meram is still a wait and see kind of player. I think he has potential but I am still not sure that Columbus is the place he’ll break out in. Grossman is in the same boat as I think he’ll do much better in Salt Lake than he ever did in Columbus. Anor has also seen plenty of playing time in his two seasons and could be the best one of the group before it is all said and done.

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New York Red Bulls

Previous Grade: C

New Grade: D-

Players Drafted: Corey Hertzog (#13), John Rooney (#25), Tyler Lassiter (#30), Billy Cortes (#38)

Thoughts: Yeah, a disappointing lot for Red Bulls fans. Hertzog never got to see enough of the field and is now playing for Vancouver. Rooney was in the same boat before he left to go to the USL. Then the last two picks never did much of anything. Tough team on younger players, boy I hope that improves in the coming years under Mike Petke.

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LA Galaxy

Previous Grade: C+

New Grade: C

Players Drafted: Paolo Cardozo (#16), Hector Jimenez (#34)

Thoughts: LA bought into the hype on these two internationals before the draft. They did each see some time on the field but neither have really been big time starters. Cardoza was a trading piece in a deal with Chivas USA last year. Jimenez has shown to be decent in terms of depth but nothing more than that.

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FC Dallas

Previous Grade: B-

New Grade: C

Players Drafted: Bobby Warshaw (#17), Charlie Campbell (#35), Scott Gordon (#53)

Thoughts: Warshaw is a guy that I think will show well in 2013, after a injury filled 2012 season. He is the only thing keeping this grade up and it would be at the same level as when I gave it back in 2011 had he not been injured most of last year. Campbell and Gordon never saw time with the club and are with lower division teams.

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Colorado Rapids

Previous Grade: C+

New Grade: F

Players Drafted: Eddie Ababio (#18), Colin Givens (#36)

Thoughts: Neither saw time with the club. Ababio got a little bit of action here and there with the reserves and I think played in one game in the CCL. That was it.

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Seattle Sounders FC

Previous Grade: C+

New Grade: C

Players Drafted: Michael Tetteh (#20), Leone Cruz (#21), Servando Carrasco (#27), Bryan Meredith (#29), Alex Caskey (#47)

Thoughts: We’re still waiting on Tetteh to show us anything here. He is a guy that has been out on a few loans so maybe year three will be his year. Carrasco, Meredith and Caskey all saw time with the club but none have been big time players for the Sounders in two years. Caskey was cut shortly after this draft but returned to the club last year and saw action in 20 games, not bad.

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Toronto FC

Previous Grade: D

New Grade: D-

Players Drafted: Demitrius Omphroy (#26), Matt Gold (#43), Junior Burgos (#44), Joao Plata (#49)

Thoughts: Yeah, this was a swing and a miss by Toronto. Sure Plata turned out to be a decent player but he didn’t last long in Toronto. I will say it was tough to be easy on them given how they had low picks in this draft and given how this draft class was rather weak.

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San Jose Earthquakes

Previous Grade: C-

New Grade: D

Player Drafted: Anthony Ampaipitakwong (#33)

Thoughts: Thought to rate a team with one pick but given how they ended up selling him I guess it wasn’t too bad. But seeing as how I am grading now on how the players did for the club, it is tough to give Ampai a much higher grade than this.

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Real Salt Lake

Previous Grade: C

New Grade: D-

Player Drafted: Jarad vanSchaik (#52)

Thoughts: Another one that I should have given an Incomplete on draft day. RSL traded out of the first round to get allocation money but with one late pick they weren’t able to get anything good out of it. They get a D just because of the allocation they picked up and that was generous on my part.

  • DaveBrett

    I would have given the Sounders an F because they got nothing out of FIVE picks. Toronto should at least get a C for picking Joao Plata. He is a quality player.

    • F is a little harsh in my opinion, like I said, I will probably re-grade these again…should Caskey flame out then yeah, a F wouldn’t be too far off but until then I think a C is about as good as it can get for them.

      As for TFC, they would have gotten a C had Plata stayed on with them longer. That situation turned into more of a mess than anything.

      • DaveBrett

        But you can’t give a grade based on what a player might do in the future. You don’t know what Caskey or any other player will do in the future. All you can do is judge what they have done. And on that basis Caskey and the rest of Seattle’s five picks have done nothing.

        As for Plata, he was the best player on a very bad team. That has to count for something. Why did Plata leave anyway? Did he want out of MLS?

        • Plata, like many other TFC players before him, wanted out of Toronto. I don’t know all the details on that but from the sound of it, things got sticky. Word has it he’ll be joining up with RSL though.

    • Abbott_Smith

      Seattle’s picks were all second round and later. Tetteh was a bust and is no longer with the team. Cruz was traded for Andy Rose. Cruz faded out of the picture again with RSL but Rose was the top rookie for the Sounders last year. Caskey has turned into a very serviceable depth MF player which considering how late he was picked is not a bad value. Carrasco is a very servicable backup for Osvaldo Alonso. There aren’t many DCMs in all of MLS who would compete with Oz for playing time. Meredith played relatively well for a young keeper. Ultimately he was beaten out of his spot, but the Sounders did get value from him.

      Success isn’t just about using the draft to gain stars or even starters. Sometimes it is about using late picks to gain cost effective depth. Or sometimes it’s about finding a player who allows you to make a trade. Sometimes it is about trading a pick to obtain an established player why didn’t Seattle have a first round pick? Who did they get for that loss?

      Do I think Seattle deserves a high grade? No. But a C is fair and your analysis really isn’t accurate.