Tag Archive | "MLS SuperDraft 2012"

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The Union go defensive with second round picks

Posted on 12 January 2012 by Breton Bonnette

Greg Jordan (at left, taken at #32), a 6’2″ defensive midfielder out of Creighton, and Raymon Gaddis (at right, taken at #35), a right back from West Virginia, joined the Union as the 2012 MLS SuperDraft came to a relatively underwhelming close. There were no big trades aside from the Kenny Cooper dealing announced thirty minutes before the drafting began.

Regardless, Jordan – a 2nd team All-American this year – offers some size in the middle and could potentially be shifted to the back line if Nowak and Hackworth both see that fit. Raymond Gaddis, a Reading United AC player in 2010, will most likely serve as Sheanon Williams’ back-up and could potentially see some quality time if Williams makes the Olympic squad (which we fully expect). According to Joe Mauceri, noted college soccer guru, you can equate Gaddis to a “thinner Marvell Wynne”. Speedy, attack minded, but “erratic on the ball”. As for Jordan, Mauceri says he possesses impressive vision and superb tackling abilities but it’s still tough to see him fitting into an already crowded midfield with Okugo, Carroll, and the newly signed Gomez. Okugo should be making the Olympic team as well though so it may not be as crazy as we initially thought.

The two will join the #13 draft pick, UCLA forward Chandler Hoffman as preseason training opens up in a little over two weeks.

You can follow Jordan and Gaddis on Twitter at @gnike11 and @raygaddis.

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Fun with the Mock Drafts: 2012 Aggregate MLS Mock SuperDraft

Posted on 12 January 2012 by Breton Bonnette

The 2012 MLS SuperDraft is upon us and as we did last year (and the year before that), we have taken the Mock Drafts floating around the internet and aggregated them all in order to see who winds up with who. Please remember that this does not take into account team needs and obviously means nothing once a big trade for a first-round draft pick comes into play.

As for the Philadelphia Union, none of the pundits could agree on who they would take in the #13 spot. Calum Mallace, Chris Estridge, Dom Dwyer, Austin Berry, Tyler Polak and Tommy Meyer were all taken. As you can see, the only real agreement comes on the fact that the Union need defensive cover (four out of six picks were defenders).

The Mock Drafts we included were: Ives Galarcep’s, WVHooligan’s, all three MLS analysts, and lastly Steve Davis’.

1. Montreal Impact – Darren Mattocks (Akron, FWD)

Only MLS analyst Simon Borg put Mattocks out of pole position (#3) but everyone else can’t see the Impact passing on a dangerous and pacy striker.

2. Vancouver Whitecaps – Andrew Wenger (Duke, DF/MF/FWD)

Mr. Versatility was unanimous all across the board as it’s clear what Vancouver’s needs are. Expect to see Wenger making the trip out West.  

3. New England Revolution – Chandler Hoffman (UCLA, FWD)

Hoffman was as high as first taken (Borg) but Travis Clark and Ives Galarcep took him down a notch seeing him drafted at #9 and #10 respectively.

4. Toronto FC – Kelyn Rowe (UCLA, MF)

The only outlier here was Jason Saghini. He had Colorado taking Rowe at #14. Most everyone else sees the UCLA playmaker taken by Toronto or New England.

5. Chivas USA – Luis Silva (UC-Santa Barbara, MF)

According to many, Silva had one of the best Combines and rated him as going in the top six picks. Jason Saghini wasn’t impressed, however, as Silva fell to #19 and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Pretty sure the Galaxy wouldn’t mind that.

6. San Jose Earthquakes – Andrew Jean-Baptiste (UCONN, DF)

Even though this aggregated Mock Draft puts Jean-Baptiste as an Earthquake, it was clear with all the analysts that it’s Toronto FC that will be drafting him. Problem is, they couldn’t agree on whether the Reds would take him first at #4 or second at #12. All that indecision left him roughly in the middle, winding up with San Jose.

7. DC United – Casey Townsend (Maryland, FWD)

Not bad. A local kid to his local team. Half the analysts had him here, seeing him as a potential starter in year one.

8. Portland Timbers – Sam Garza (UC-Santa Barbara, MF)

Taken as high as #6 and as low as #14, Garza was all over the map but undoubtedly a first rounder. Not sure the Timbers need him as much as they may need someone in defense (UNC centreback Hedges is a favorite).

9. Chicago Fire – Matt Hedges (UNC, DF)

Only Simon Borg puts Hedges as a second round pick but most everyone else sees the UNC big man as a Portland Timber. If he’s available at #9, however, would the Fire really let him pass?

10. Columbus Crew – Nick DeLeon (Louisville, MF)

DeLeon didn’t have the best of combines and more than one Mock Draft took that into account. The rest, however, kept him locked in top 10. Where he goes will give us good insight into how much weight the Combine actually has.

11. FC Dallas – Austin Berry (Louisville, DF)

Hyndman is stressing defense and Berry is the favorite of most of the Mock Drafts. Only Steve Davis sees him slipping to #17 where Real Salt Lake would happily snap him up.

12. Toronto FC – Callum Mallace (Marquette, MF)

Seen as high as #4 (Jason Saghini again), most Mock Drafts see the Scottish midfielder as a late first rounder but nobody is in agreement as to where he may actually end up. Mallace is a toss-up.

13. Philadelphia Union – Ethan Finlay (Creighton, MF/FWD)

Another standout at the Combine, nobody has Finlay firmly on the Union’s radar especially with Philadelphia in need of defensive cover or depth up front.  Finlay did convince everyone, however, that he is a first rounder (though Ives still needs more convincing as he fell to #23).

14. Colorado Rapids – Tyler Polak (Creighton, DF)

Polak is Generation Adidas so there’s little doubt he’ll wind up taken in the first round but nobody knows where he fits. The Union? Seattle? Chicago?

15. Seattle Sounders FC – Enzo Martinez (UNC, MF)

In the majority of the Mock Drafts, Martinez is the last GA signee to go. Seen as a playmaking project, he could do well in Seattle learning from Rosales and Zakuani. Too bad none of the analysts actually have him going there. Only one agreement on this one – Steve Davis and Jason Saghini agree he’ll end up at #10 with the Crew.

16. Sporting Kansas City – Tony Cascio (UCONN, MF)

Divided on whether or not he goes first round or second round. Two say Chicago at #9 (they need a winger), two say Colorado at #14 (injuries galore on the wing there). Two say he’s 2nd round material.

17. Real Salt Lake – Dom Dwyer (South Florida, FWD)

Another revelation of the Combine, Dwyer has speed and could complement Espindola and Saborio well in the Salt Lake. He’s almost unanimous as a late first round pick – much higher than he was rated a month or two ago. The biggest rumor comes from Ives Galarcep as he threw out there that the Union may be shopping forward Danny Mwanga

18. Houston Dynamo – Hunter Jumper (Virginia, DF)

Replacing Hunter Freeman with another Hunter? Not a bad idea – although most of the Mock Drafts see Jumper as a mid-second round pick.

19. Los Angeles Galaxy – Tommy Meyer (Indiana, DF)

If it weren’t for Jason Saghini having the Union take Meyer at #35, the Hoosier would have been taken earlier in the first round. Regardless, the Galaxy wouldn’t mind a big body (6’2″) to help with the long wait for Omar Gonzalez’s return from injury.

Follow along on Twitter at @bwbonnette as today’s draft gets underway. According to those in Kansas City, it should be an active day with trade rumors swirling around as teams continue to jockey for position.

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MLS SuperDraft for the Union: A look at just the number

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Breton Bonnette

The Philadelphia Union will add another crop of young studs into the family tomorrow as the 2012 MLS SuperDraft takes place in Kansas City. With only two drafts under their belt, you’d have to say that Nowak and Hackworth have one of the best track records (though short as it is) in Major League Soccer when it comes to the SuperDraft. Six of their nine draft picks have earned significant minutes in 2010 and 2011 and look poised to make up the core for seasons to come.

Here’s a quick look at the history of the draft picks that the Union currently hold for the 2012 SuperDraft: #13, #32, and #35…

The #13 Spot

Best Picks: Stefan Frei (GK – Toronto FC), Pablo Mastroeni (DF/MF – Miami)

Frei has done enough over the years to earn much warranted interest from abroad. Started for the Reds right off the bat in 2009, earning praise even with a suspect defense in front of him. Milos Kocic and rumors that Frei is looking elsewhere could see the Swiss keeper moving onward. The past two season, however, have shown that he is one of the better goalkeepers in the league and one to watch out for in the future wherever he ends up.

Mastroeni needs no introduction. Taken by Miami in 1998, he has registered over 300 appearances in Major League Soccer with the Fusion and the Colorado Rapids. Though he’s 35 years old, Mastroeni was a main force in the Rapids winning an MLS Cup in 2010. His hard-nosed tackling and work rate earned him 65 caps for the US Men’s National Team (2 Gold Cup Championships, 2 World Cup rosters).

Decent Picks: Arturo Alvarez (MF – San Jose), Josh Gardner (MF – Los Angeles), Jed Zayner (Columbus), Rodrigo Faria (Metrostars), Seth George (FW – Los Angeles),

Faria was a flash in the pan, winning Rookie of the Year honors for the Metrostars in 2001. Scored eight goals in his rookie campaign and 12 in his sophomore before the Metrostars’ move for coach Bob Bradley sent him to Chicago. Rarely heard from after that with Chicago and San Jose. Arturo Alvarez, now with Chivas USA after the 2011 Re-Entry Draft, can play the role of catalyst with great technical skills but still operates on an inconsistent basis. He has played well enough in MLS, however, to earn a role with the El Salvadorian national team. Gardner was a stud in the USL after a failed stint with Los Angeles. His time in USL pushed him back onto a Major League Soccer team with the Crew where he enjoyed a breakout year. He wasn’t protected and will start the 2012 season with the expansion Montreal Impact. Jed Zayner has an MLS Cup to his name and has played the role of stop-gap starter well. He is now a free agent.

Remains to be Seen: Corben Bone (MF – Chicago), Corey Hertzog (FW – Red Bull New York)

Drafted to 2010, Bone has come by 15 appearances for the Fire but has yet to really crack their starting XI. Hertzog sits behind Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry on the depth chart in New York – he’ll have late appearances and the occasional Open Cup to prove his worth.

Duds: John Michael Hayden (Houston), Jamie Watson (RSL), Rob Valentino (New England), Neibles (Los Angeles), Smith (Columbus), Brownell (San Jose)

Given his youth national team pedigree, Watson underperformed in Major League Soccer but still was appreciated for his tenacity and work rate. He has found a home in USL-Pro with Orlando City. Still managed over 35 caps with Real Salt Lake in their early years.   

The #32 Spot

Best Pick: Luke Sassano (MF/DF- Red Bull New York)

Now with Kansas City, Sassano played an important role at one time for the Red Bulls helping them out in 2008 with his versatility (fullback, defensive midfielder). He found his way to Kansas City via the first ever Re-Entry Draft (through Los Angeles) but has yet to break into the first team there  (though he did register his first MLS goal in 2011).

Decent Picks: Quincy Amarikwa (FW – San Jose), Jay Needham (DF – DC United)

Decent picks meaning they picked mid-level quality but other teams were the ones who eventually discovered it. Amarikwa now comes off the bench in Colorado. Needham was the 2007 USL-1 Rookie of the Year for Puerto Rico before heading to Norway to feature for Alta no less than 50 times.

Duds: JT Murray (SKC), Davis (RSL), Schmid (Houston), K.Arena (Metros), Sutton (Columbus), Klaas (San Jose), Lee (Colorado), Peart (Kansas City), Meyer (Colorado), Sanchez (Kansas City)

The #35 Spot

Best Picks: Nick Rimando (GK – Miami), Nick LaBrocca (MF – Colorado), Gonzalo Segares (DF – Chicago)

Pretty solid picks for the #35 spot. Rimando won over the starting spot in Miami before the franchise folded. He landed in DC and then with Real Salt Lake in their expansion year. The rest is history – 2 MLS Cups, national team call-ups, Rimando is seen as one of the best goalkeepers in Major League Soccer. LaBrocca (Rutgers) didn’t have his breakout year with the Rapids, though he featured over 60 times in their set-up. It wasn’t until 2011 that LaBrocca put things together ending the season an All-Star and notching 8 goals for the campaign. Segares, despite a brief test of the European waters in Cyprus, is Chicago through and through. He has been their rock at left back for some time and has earned 19 caps for the Costa Rican national team.

Could’ve Been the Best Pick: Rob Friend (FW – Chicago)

Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga goal scorer that went to UC-Santa Barbara. The Fire drafted him in the fourth round in 2003 only to see him opt to play in Norway. It turned out to be the best thing for him as Friend grew to become one of the best strikers in Norway (playing for Moss then Molde). His play landed him a role in the Eredivisie with Michael Bradley’s former club Heerenveen before the 6’5″ Canadian giant found a permanent home in Germany with (yet another Michael Bradley club) Borussia Monchengladbach. He finished runner-up on the scoring charts in the 2.Bundesliga as Gladbach were promoted to the Bundesliga. Scored 10 goals in the top flight before returning to the 2.Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt (Rico Clark’s squad).

Duds: Stafford (KCW), Lapira (Toronto FC), Tangney (Chivas USA), Campbell (FCD), Christensen (Chivas USA), Nusum (Columbus), Brown (New England), Richards (Colorado), Lewis (Dallas), Brown (Colorado)

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