Akron forward Darren Mattocks was the favorite to be the Montreal Impact's first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, while Chandler Hoffman was considered a darkhorse for the spot. Instead, Montreal decided to pick the player who is perhaps the closest to a 'sure thing' in the draft, Duke utility man Andrew Wenger. Much like Perry Kitchen in last year's draft, he had a number of detractors due to not really having a position.
A year after winning the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, Wenger moved to striker and won ACC Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 as he scored 17 goals. He doesn't project as a forward in MLS, and many scouts believe he doesn't quite have the size to be a first-choice defender. Due to his versatility, skill on the ball and intelligence, his professional position is projected as defensive midfielder.
For the Impact, it's a perfect fit. Head Coach Jesse Marsch was a defensive midfielder himself, Wenger said on the MLS SuperDraft broadcast on ESPN that he wants to play in midfield, and most importantly, the Impact don't have a player that plays that position.
Montreal are loaded with wingers and attacking midfielders, but they do not currently have a true defensive midfielder on the roster. They have international player slots, money in the bank and money under the cap, meaning they could still add players, but Wenger's prospects for playing time look good. His college play and the Impact's roster suggest that he will be the starting defensive midfielder from day one, and with quality around him in the midfield, he will be set up to succeed.
The Impact still have serious questions in defense, however, and Wenger could either end up playing deeper than he prefers or playing in front of a poor defense as a result.
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