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The Red Bulls are in dire need of goalkeeping help, having released Bouna Coundoul and Greg Sutton, and with Frank Rost's future uncertain. But I think they can find other ways to fill this need in a very weak year for college net minders. If Erik Soler and Hans Backe's surprise selection of Tim Ream in the 2010 draft told us anything, it's that they like players with an eye for a pass and who are comfortable with the ball at their feet.
Having cut a number of reserve midfielders -- and with the future of Carl Robinson in doubt -- the Red Bulls could do a lot worse than select Creighton's Greg Jordan, a smart player with a non-stop work ethic, good feet and an knack for the killer pass. If the Red Bulls do go with a goalkeeper here, they might be tempted to select Fordham's Ryan Meara, if he's still available. But I expect them to defy expectations.
This pick was made by Matthew Conroy, an editor for Red Bulls blog Once a Metro.
With the last picks in each round, the LA Galaxy are going to have to be flexible. With our two picks in the SB Nation Soccer MLS Mock Draft, LAG Confidential went with Andy Rose - midfielder - from UCLA and Yuri Gorentzvaig.
Rose played defensive midfielder at UCLA last year and thus is listed there, but he played some center back in college. I think being listed as a midfielder will see him drop some, but the Galaxy would be wise to pick him up and move him to centerback. He could start with A.J. DeLaGarza while Omar Gonzalez is recovering from his injury, and then when Gonzalez is ready to return, DeLaGarza could move out to the right back position he was originally drafted for. The Galaxy lost Greg Berhalter, and likely Leonardo as well as Frankie Hejduk this offseason, so they could stand to refill depth in the defense.
Yuri Gortenzvaig was selected for his last name, which is long and difficult to say.
These picks were made by Jocelyn Becker, managing editor of LA Galaxy blog LAG Confidential.
The central midfield is a weak spot for the Dynamo and with no true attacking central midfielder available at this point in the draft, UW-Green Bay's Tony Wells makes sense for the Dynamo. The defensive midfielder just completed his senior year and played for the Chicago Fire PDL club in 2010. Wells isn't flashy but he brings a solid mix of athleticism and skills to the mix. In other words, he's the kind of player Dominic Kinnear likes. He would provide some much needed depth behind Luiz Camargo and Adam Moffat and give Kinnear some flexibility should either player pick up any injuries during the season. He doesn't solve the club's desperate need for a creative central mid, but given the success the Dynamo had last season with the defensive minded Camargo playing the in that roll, Kinnear can clearly make it work.
Ryan Meara is the best, and to be fair, pretty much the only goalkeeper in this year's draft. With Evan Newton cut, Houston has Tally Hall and Tyler Deric on the roster. Dynamo Academy standout Fernando Piña is only 17 and committed to Akron, so they'll need a third keeper. Ryan Meara gives them a talented young keeper with a solid skill set and a strong work ethic, something that will fit right in on a Dominic Kinnear team. Meara has good hands, understands proper positioning and moves very well in the box. In four years at Fordham, he started nearly every game. The addition of Meara would give the Dynamo three strong goalkeepers and plenty of future flexibility should Piña continue to develop and eventually sign a homegrown deal with the team. Of course, with there being no such thing as a guarantee, picking up a talented keeper like Meara late in the draft would be a steal at a position of need.
Zach Woosely is a SB Nation soccer contributor and the managing editor of Dynamo Theory.
Real Salt Lake has been negotiating with MLS and Orlando City FC for months to finalize a move for Yordany Alvarez, but still a gap remains so with their first round pick they select Calum Mallace a 6-foot-2 defensive midfielder. Should they get the deal done for Alvarez, I think Mallace still brings value as a guy who looks like he could play on the backline as well as in the midfield. He was the 2011 Big East midfield player of the year, oh and an interesting thing is that he played in the Chicago Fire Youth system with several other players at the MLS Combine and who are expected to be taken in the 2012 MLS Draft.
Perhaps the biggest stretch I could make, but there is something about Banton that has caught the eyes of folks at Arsenal, Liverpool and Blackburn. A hit on him is that he has the tools to play the game, including speed to spare, but that he lacks decision making and focus. He spent time last winter with Chivas USA, but the story is that Robin Fraser was looking for more experienced players and unwilling to take the risk. I think for a RSL team that clearly needs speed that Banton might be worth the risk of a draft pick and some time training with the team. I do think he would be someone who might be able to provide a spark off the bench either in the midfield or up top if needed.
I have real doubts that Ivo would fall this low, but should he, I think he is exactly the type of player that could do well with RSL. He had 10 goals and 10 assists last year for SMU, is a creative midfielder who isn't afraid to attack players one-on-one and is able to both score and create. He has also played forward, but I believe he would be another guy who could fit well into the RSL midfield. I think the challenge will be getting him to buy into the both-sides-of-the-ball style that RSL plays.
These picks were made by Denzel Eslinger, managing editor of Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.
My initial thought going into the mock draft was basically to select the best player available, provided that it wasn't at the following positions: goalkeeper, fullback and striker. I feel that Sporting Kansas City is already set at those positions. I did have my eye on the center back position specifically in the first round, as I thought that perhaps a player such as Louisville's Austin Berry, or more surprisingly, UNC's Matt Hedges may fall to me at 16. When both players ended up being drafted with the 11th and 12th picks, I started focusing in on Silva, who I was actually very surprised was still on the board as my selection was coming up.
A player creative player like Silva could play a role for Sporting Kansas City in his first year, even if it's strictly as a role player. Besides Graham Zusi, Kansas City is lacking a player in the midfield that can find his teammates on a consistent basis. Silva, even if he has only a minimal impact in 2012, may be able to become that player for Sporting in the near future.
After selecting Silva with the first-round selection, I really had my eye on potential central defenders, but much like in the first round, a talented player at another position that could provide depth fell to me. Ibarra can play out wide, and depth out there is definitely a problem for the club. Kei Kamara and Bobby Convey are the likely starters, but there's hardly no depth to speak of outside of them. Ibarra could amend that problem for Sporting Kansas City.
Ibarra is quick, and is good with the ball at his feet. I would imagine that type of player could flourish in Sporting head coach Peter Vermes' up-tempo style.
I didn't end up nabbing the center back I was initially looking for in the two round mock draft, but ultimately, I feel I was able to pick up two players that fill needs for the club. Depth in the KC midfield and out wide will help Sporting take the next step towards bringing the MLS Cup to Kansas City.
These picks were made by Justin Mayhugh, managing editor of Sporting KC blog The Daily Wiz.
The mock draft had a Generation Adidas player fall to 15 so the pick was fairly easy. That it is a player that is likely in the draft due to some input from Seattle Sounders FC makes it all the better. In Dom Dwyer they get a player in some ways similar to Steve Zakuani in that he looked to the American college game to reignite his footballing career. Unlike Zakuani it wasn't injury that kept him from succeeding, but an attachment to a small club.
Though early combine reports are marginal, his season with University of South Florida in the Big East earned him Offensive Player of the Year and 2nd Team All-America. He was one of the last players to sign a GA deal this year. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds he's a strong and fast forward who nets goals through off-ball movement, speed and quick trigger.
For the Sounders he would play a high forward in similar style to Mike Fucito rather than Sammy Ochoa. His conversion to the American game succeeded in Junior College when he had 37 goals in 2010. In one of the best conferences in NCAA Division I he netted 16 goals and two assists. While Seattle doesn't "need" another goal-scorer the ability to get a player who has no cap hit makes this a near no-brainer. In the real draft his stock may be falling due to the MLS Combine, but since Seattle saw him in their Vegas Combine they'd have more data on the player than most other teams.
With the Seattle Sounders doing things a bit different than other teams (Vegas Combine, heavily lean to Southern California players and a history of going for those not on national boards) a short list of players filled the short board for Sounder at Heart. Those players went with picks 31 (Gaddis), 32 (Allen) and 33 (Ibarra). With options quickly dwindling the pick of Jamie Finch may be a bit of a stretch, but there's little evidence that a pick in the mid 30s should be anything but a flyer that may succeed.
The University of Washington Husky played in 2011 for a coach that knows MLS (Coach Jamie Clark played in MLS, played in college with two Sounders and coached two current MLS players) and is local to the Sounders. The left back played on a strong defensive side and finished third in assists on the team with five. He finished his college career with 11. Finch is one of two remaining Husky seniors in Joe Mauceri's Big Board top 42 and one of the better players not at the MLS Combine.
Coach Clark told Sounder at Heart after the season that Finch, recent Portland Timbers HomeGrown signing Brent Richards and Jacob Hustedt could all make an MLS team in 2012. Though he'd be competing in a crowded leftback situation an addition there is not out of the question. Seattle could shift current GA Michael Tetteh to a midfield role where his strengths seem to lie. As someone who started a bit late in his focus on soccer only he can and should still develop. His youth soccer time, like all in this draft, is before the formal USSDA system was established. He played with Emerald City FC for club soccer and Inglemoor High.
These picks were made by Dave Clark, managing editor of Sounders blog Sounder at Heart.
The Colorado Rapids are now under a system of a new coach, a coach that has shown a love of offensive flair in his players back in Dallas. Unfortunately, they're a team right now without much offensive flair outside of a deep striker corps. Tony Cascio is probably the best pure winger in the draft and has shown fairly well during the combine playing both right wing, central mid and forward, and he might just be the young spark that the Rapids need.
He has fantastic touch near the box and is not afraid to shoot the ball, which is a problem that the Rapids have had for a while now, which is why their leading scorer last season was a defensive midfielder who never scored from anything but set pieces. Even better, he can play box-to-box and defend, something that Sanna Nyassi would never dream of doing. Seeing as how Cascio would likely be Nyassi's replacement of sorts, I can't see how that's a bad thing.
This pick was made by Chris "UZ" White, managing editor of Rapids blog Burgundy Wave.
This selection is a pick that surprised even myself. The UNC junior was around at 13 and the top defensive options at both center back (Andrew Jean-Baptise and Matt Hedges) and left back (Tyler Polak and Chris Estridge) had been taken previous to the Philadelphia Union's turn to select in the first round of the mock SuperDraft. Considering the Union will either draft directly for defensive depth or select the best player available, I went for the creative midfielder.
Martinez brings versatility to the Union that head coach Piotr Nowak covets. As seen with brothers Gabriel and Michael Farfan, being able to play multiple positions in Philadelphia is key to winning a place within the Union's starting lineup. The 21-year-old is able to play as a central attacking midfielder, or as a central midfielder in general, as well as playing as a left midfielder or winger. The Union are currently thin on the left side of the field and could potentially lose one, or both, of their current central attacking midfielders (Roger Torres and Freddy Adu).
His Generation Adidas status makes Martinez even more viable of an option for the Union, as Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney and Zac MacMath will all most likely graduate from the program after this season. Money is going to start to get tight for the Union, and having another salary not counting against the cap will help the team continue to get closer to its goal of a MLS championship.
A medium risk, very high reward pick at this point. Perhaps even a low risk, incredibly high reward selection.
Maund is a former USMNT under-20 player and was one of the better center backs in college, but not the most dependable of them. The biggest knock on Maund is that he is horrible on the ball. Images that come to mind when visualizing his on-the-ball skills hearken to Tim Ream's pass straight to Danny Mwanga in the Union's 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in the 2011 MLS regular season. On-the-ball skills are vital in professional soccer, even for center defenders that do everything else right defensively. Still, on-the-ball skills can be taught prior to a starting role on the Union for Maund considering his talent levels.
The Union need to gain some defensive depth centrally and not use an international slot while doing so. Young Englishman Joe Tait is currently the only natural center back behind Carlos Valdes and Danny Califf and never saw action during his time with the team in 2011. With the departures of Juan Diego Gonzalez and Stefani Miglioranzi, the addition of Maund would be welcomed by Philadelphia.
The best name in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft (sorry Luckymore) fell to the Union in the second round, with the 35th overall selection.
Despite signing Porforio Lopez, who was on loan in Costa Rica from a Chinese team, to compete with Gabriel Farfan for the starting left back role in 2012, the Union would be best served by drafting one of the better fullbacks in this year's SuperDraft. If Jumper, or any other left back, is drafted then it would allow Nowak to move Garfan - as he is affectionately called by Union fans - up into the midfield, his natural position. The Union could potentially start Farfan and his brother, Michael, across from each other as wingers or wide midfielders. As noted previously in my explanation on taking Martinez, the Union are thin at left midfield, making the prospect of adding Martinez and moving Garfan there appealing.
Jumper is projected to be drafted in the first two rounds of the SuperDraft, but his exact positioning does not have a consensus at all. At 35, Jumper would appear to be a pick of high value, if not simply because of the roster possibilities that his addition would bring to Philadelphia.
These picks were made by Scott Kessler, managing editor for Union blog Brotherly Game.
11. FC Dallas: Matt Hedges, CB, North Carolina
Schellas Hyndman and company can't believe their luck when 6-foot-4, 185-pound monster center back Matt Hedges falls to them at No. 11. Paired with FCD Academy graduate Boyd Okwuono at center back, Hedges led the UNC Tar Heels to the national championship in his senior season and comes to an FC Dallas team thin at center back with the impending departure of George John.
Hedges, the highest rated senior center back in the draft, should step right into the FC Dallas squad and compete with recent Colombian signing Hernan Pertuz as the starting center back opposite Ugo Ihemelu. The man from Carmel, Ind. who spent his first three years at Butler University, compares very similar to John as a defender. Both are players who are very good in the air and a threat to score some headers on set pieces. He will need to improve his distribution out of the back, but could give FC Dallas a dominant center back pairing from Day 1.
This report was written by Daniel Robertson, the managing editor of FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer.
Sam Garza is a versatile player in college and will be an asset for a Crew team without an immediate need, but could use some depth on both wings. While he is listed as a forward, he saw considerable action at right wing in college. He can also play at left wing, where current starter Dilly Duka could miss time with the Olympics and his backup Bernardo Anor was a bit inconsistent in his rookie season. He is an offensive weapon, scoring 17 goals and logging 10 assists in two years at UC Santa Barbara. The Generation Adidas contract provides a couple of benefits. He now has the time to develop slowly, much like the team's handling of Dilly Duka and the GA contract doesn't count against the cap. That's very useful to a team that has made several international signings this winter. Garza's appeal is in his potential. He's not an immediate starter, but will have time to grow into an MLS calibre player.
Kenney Walker is a pick that will add depth for the Crew. He's a smart, tempo controlling midfielder during his time in Louisville who can play a holding role while providing defense. He's able to make passes and keep the ball moving. He may not be MLS ready, but with Tony Tchani, Danny O'Rourke and Rich Balchan able to play holding mid, Walker wouldn't be expected to contribute immediately. He does fit the mould of a Crew midfielder. Warzycha looks for his midfielders to do double duty, moving the ball around while screening the back line. While Walker wouldn't be certain to make the team, his skill on the ball and his willingness to control tempo are very attractive qualities and he wouldn't expect to contribute his rookie year. He may be given the time to develop into a solid professional player.
RJ Allen is an attacking presence at outside back and will provide depth for a Crew team still a little thin on the back line. Known for his offense, in four years at Monmouth he tallied seven goals and 23 assists while playing solid defense at right back. As his assist totals show, Allen certainly likes to attack and is able to deliver crosses into dangerous areas. While playing in a smaller conference, he was a three time all-Northeast Conference and helped Monmouth to three NCAA tournament appearances. Allen will have to make the big jump to MLS. He won't unseat starting right back Sebastian Miranda, but he can certainly press Corey Veeder and move up the depth chart. With a little time, he could turn into a valuable player; someone who can create offense from the fullback spot.
These picks were made by Patrick Guldan, the managing editor of Crew blog Massive Report.
The Chicago Fire will be delighted if they have the chance to take former Chicago Fire PDL player and left back Chris Estridge with the 9th pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. There might be some war room cursing if Tyler Polack is selected earlier as he was here by the San Jose Earthquakes but it is probably for the best. Polack has the Generation Adidas contract and has a higher talent ceiling. Chris Estridge is ready to contribute now and the Fire desperately need a competent LB backup for Gonzalo Segares and even RB Dan Gargan.
Segares led the team in minutes played in 2011 by more than 300 and he isn't getting any younger. Estridge is an offensively minded left back that could duplicate and even surpass the offensive role Fire head coach Frank Klopas had Segares serve this year. Estridge played forward for the Fire's 2011 PDL team and even led the team in goals with 7. The Indianapolis native is just too perfect of a fit to pass up.
At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, Oliver Kupe provides a target forward the Chicago Fire can invite to pre-season camp. Born in Luxembourg to parents originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kupe would fit right in with the eclectic international backgrounds of the other Fire forwards Patrick Nyarko, Orr Barouch, and Dominic Oduro. Kupe went to high school in Michigan and graduated from Chicago based Northwestern University so he's already well adjusted to the city and the Midwest should he make the team.
The Fire were a non-factor in the air last year. Kupe would help negate that negative while being a minimum hit to the Fire's salary cap, international spots, and senior roster spots. He won't be a prolific goal scorer but he had a knack for scoring goals in big games and in big moments at Northwestern. Kupe could develop into more down the line but if he could turn the role/spots Cristian Nazarit and Gabriel Ferrari had on the squad last year into one for 2012, this would be a great pick for the team.
Raymon Gaddis is one of a couple of right backs the Fire will be tempted to take with the No. 23, No. 28, or what is essentially the No. 47 overall pick; the No. 9 pick in the Supplemental Draft. It starts to get murky on overall talent after No. 20 and some teams start to pick for the future while others make picks hoping against the odds that they have found a player who can contribute right away.
Raymon Gaddis lands on the radar here because he was talented enough to make the Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2010 and 2011 but has failed to leave a lasting impact. Chicago's coaching staff might be able to get him to find that level people have potentially seen since 2010. Gaddis could blossom under the tutelage of veteran MLS fullbacks Segares and Gargan while competing with fellow Indianapolis native Estridge for the backup fullback position. Other RB options that are comparable to Gaddis include RJ Allen, Mykell Bates and Aubrey Perry in descending order.
These picks were made by Tweed Thornton, the managing editor of Fire blog Hot Time In Old Town.
When my No. 8 pick rolled around I was actually in a bit of a conundrum as both of my top choices were still available: Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Matt Hedges. Both are big central defenders who are considered to be MLS ready. My reason for going with Jean-Baptiste over Hedges, despite not being regarded as highly, is two fold. First, Jean-Baptiste is a Generation Adidas player whereas Hedges is not. Having the extra cap room along with a solid center back to develop was a top priority with my first selection. Second, Hedges did not have a great first day at the combine and I was a little worried how the added stress of the professionals would wear on him.
With my second choice I ended up going after a relative unknown in international Aldo Paniagua, despite being well aware of the Timbers current lack of international roster spots. After a breakout first combine match, I came away very impressed with the young (22) attacking midfielder. Additionally, after some brief research I found that, despite being a midfielder, he has a certain penchant for the net. He scored in his first combine game, but he also scored in his last club game in Paraguay so clearly there's some consistent talent there. With a bit of work I think he could eventually be a nice back-up or replacement for Diego Chara should the need ever arise.
Geoff Gibson is the managing editor for Timbers blog Stumptown Footy.
D.C. United heads into the 2012 SuperDraft with a roster cut down to bare bones, so selecting a player that will need a couple seasons to blossom is a luxury Ben Olsen and Co. can't afford. With that in mind, I fake-drafted Louisville senior midfielder Nick DeLeon, who was the No. 3 player on my draft shortlist behind only Darren Mattocks and Andrew Wenger.
DeLeon is a versatile attack-minded midfielder who will likely feature as a winger as a pro. At 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, United will not have to fret over whether DeLeon will be yet another college attacker who was too small for MLS. That versatility is key, as United will probably need him to play both wings and even make the occasional appearance up front as the year goes on. As an added bonus, DeLeon has already signed an MLS contract.
Having seen him mastermind the defeat of my Maryland Terrapins first-hand during this year's NCAA tournament, the first thing that struck me about DeLeon is that he has much better soccer IQ than your average high-end college midfielder. His movement off the ball and ability to find open space is very good, and when you pair that with a reliable first touch and admirable skill as a passer, you have a dangerous player. While United's first-choice wide men Andy Najar and Chris Pontius create more on the dribble and tend to pick up more goals than assists, DeLeon is very much a creator first. He might not be a Brad Davis-style crosser, but he can still create a lot of chances cutting in from the wing and looking to play someone in behind the defense.
Ultimately, seeing DeLeon (or Ethan Finley out of Creighton) fall to No. 7 would make this year's SuperDraft another good one for DC.
Jason Anderson is a contributor to SB Nation Soccer and an editor for D.C. United blog Black and Red United.
The best full back available in the draft and a Generation adidas player, Polak was picked over the deep field of attacking midfielders due to his consistent and solid defensive play both at Creighton and with the U.S. U-17 national team. Additionally, he boasts a good deal of speed and can contribute going forward. While he will have some work to do in transitioning to the professional game, he offers a bit more upside than Justin Morrow -- who started the end of 2011 for the Earthquakes -- and can learn under the tutelage of MLS old hand Ramiro Corrales, who will likely need a deputy as he enters his 17th professional season. Finally, the Earthquakes seem to be looking abroad to fill their need at attacking midfielder (Simon Dawkins and John Bostock are rumored loan signings from Tottenham) and have Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Rafael Baca at that position entering their sophomore seasons, where we can expect to see more of them, making the selection of a left back of Polak's quality here more sensible.
Considering that Nana Attakora's contract renewal still up in the air, Bobby Burling left in the expansion draft and Ike Opara has managed just 1,399 minutes of playing time over two seasons, getting some cover at center back would be a smart move for the Earthquakes, even with the addition of Honduras' Victor Bernardez. Meyer is a strong central defender who is good in the air, though he is not the fastest player. Furthermore, he is technically sound for a center back, can play out of the back and is one of the more MLS-ready players in this year's draft class. All these qualities make him a good pickup for a team needing some cover at the back early in the second round.
Ownby's selection gives the Earthquakes a dose of speed that was needed by the frontline. Frank Yallop has talked this offseason about bringing in players with the pace to get behind opposition defenses, and while recent acquisitions Shea Salinas and Marvin Chavez can offer that on the wings, the Earthquakes have none of that kind of threat up front, making Ownby a logical choice. The former U.S. U-20 international has struggled with injury, but looks healthy entering the Combine. In addition to his speed, Ownby is capable with the ball at his feet, boasts a decent shot, and is not averse to tracking back, qualities that make him an attractive prospect for a team that places high value on hard work and is looking to take the goalscoring burden off Chris Wondolowski.
These picks were made by Nicholas Rosano. In addition to covering the Earthquakes for Goal.com and CSN-Bay Area, he also writes for FMF State of Mind.
Chivas USA desperately need depth both up top and in defense. However, with the lack of great defensive options ready to start right away, adding depth up top is the best strategy with this fifth pick. Casey Townsend has demonstrated his ability not only to create chances but finish well. He could be a great option up top behind the veteran leadership of Juan Pablo Angel and Alejandro Moreno. He's been seen as the "next Taylor Twellman," but has also been compared with our very own Angel, which would be a great match for both the player and the team. While he may not be the biggest player on the field, his ability in the air is tremendous, which is just another asset to add to the list.
This pick was made by Rachna Kapur, a writer for Chivas USA blog The Goat Parade.
The UCLA standout was signed to a Generation Adidas contract which only increases his appeal to a team like Toronto. He fills a position where the club lacks depth with Eric Avila being the only natural CAM with the club and should help to fill more of the void left by Dwayne De Rosario. Rowe is a good fit for Toronto as he has the skill set to make an impact at the MLS level next season. His vision, on-the-ball skill, and passing make him a valuable asset and when you add in the fact that he comes with no cap hit makes him too good to pass up with this pick.
Despite having a bit of a rough senior year for Louisville, Berry is a player who should still be able to contribute at the next level. His aerial abilities make him a good fit for a Toronto FC team that struggled on set pieces at both ends of the field. Despite his biggest knock being a lack of pace, his size makes him a good partner for someone like Ty Harden or Adrian Cann but means he could never partner Andy Iro. Berry will have to improve his marking to be a successful MLS CB but at No. 12 he was the best defender left on the board and CB is a clear need for TFC.
These picks were made by Dave Rowaan, a writer at Toronto FC blog Waking the Red.
It is no secret that the Revolution offense was anemic last season, and with Milton Caraglio gone and Rajko Lekic likely to follow, New England is looking rather barren up top. Hoffman was an excellent goalscorer for UCLA this season and is showing well in the combine with two goals through the first two days. His nose for goal and ability to make intelligent runs should help create chances for the Revs in 2012.
Finlay was an integral part Creighton's offense this season, scoring 14 goals from a forward position and finishing as a runner-up to Billy Schuler for the Hermann Trophy. While he lacks the true finisher's polish of Hoffman, Finlay has the ball skills to play out wide as well as at striker, and with Zerka still not a lock to return, wing depth may well be a major concern for the Revs in 2012. Finlay could provide spark and dept, and is frankly a steal at pick 22.
These picks were made by Steve Stoehr, managing editor for Revolution blog The Bent Musket.
Generation Adidas defender/midfielder/forward Andrew Wenger proved irresistible because of what those three little forward slashed words make obvious: his versatility. Wenger played forward with Duke this past season but was a central defender in 2010 and gets hype as a midfielder and fullback as well. While the 6-foot-0 21-year-old seems a little slight to play centre back in MLS, his intelligence and endurance seem to make him ideal for the middle of the park.
Wenger is versatile, smart, and has earned his considerable NCAA success with skill, brains and effort rather than raw athleticism. When you're looking for a player to make the big jump from NCAA to MLS, you don't want somebody who's just bigger, stronger, or flashier than the other kids: you want Andrew Wenger.
As a second round pick, Colin Rolfe may seem like a strange selection for a Whitecaps team that's strong up front. But even turning 22 in February, Rolfe is a bit of a project and would benefit from no-pressure development time in USL PDL and the MLS Reserves. He's another player who succeeds with skill (and pace) rather than size and has an enviably consistent NCAA scoring record. While by no means a sure thing, a taste of professional coaching to go with Rolfe's legendary work ethic could provide a surprisingly useful player.
Benjamin Massey is a SB Nation Soccer contributor as well as the managing editor of Whitecaps blog 86 Forever.
It is hard to read into the minds of Jesse Marsch, Nick De Santis and Matt Jordan, the soccer think-tank of the Montreal Impact. With no official signing of a Designated Player, I went with a mix of instinct, the team's needs and the availability of the best player at the moment of the pick. Marsch has always emphasized on building from the back and has shown that by selecting a few defensive players (Bobby Burling for example) in the 2011 MLS expansion draft and add to that the signings of CB Nelson Rivas, and CMF/DMF Patrice Bernier and Hassoun Camara.
The obvious debate for the 1st overall draft pick of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft is: Darren Mattocks vs Andrew Wenger.
Mattocks has shown goal-scoring abilities in college soccer with great athleticism that includes an interesting vertical leap, speed and explosiveness even when at a full stop. The Montreal Impact already have Justin Braun and Brian Ching (whether he'll play is still an open question) as potential center forwards. But I don't think that the team will pass on a player like Mattocks that has a certain physical maturity and has the raw technical skills to be efficient in the MLS.
During the MLS combine first game, Mattocks was not fed many times from his teammates but showed soccer intelligence by playing a CF when getting the ball, protecting it and distributing it to the wingers. He also took little space given to him and stretched out his opposite CBs with speed, solid ball control skills while keeping his head up looking for either the shot or the pass. He is soccer smart and athletic and from there, it's all about development at the professional level with coaching, mentoring and surrounding him with the right players and assigning him the correct role for him and the team.
The senior and captain of the team is finishing off his collegiate career with a national championship. A no non-sense defensive midfielder, Urso resembles Marsch. He was seen playing as a CB and RB during the 2012 MLS combine next to Andy Rose which might prove useful for the Impact, an expansion team looking for versatility. Not necessarily known for his speed, Urso provides a physical presence in the midfield while still being a good passer. If available in the second round, he would be a good pick.
Sofiane Benzaza is a contributor to SB Nation Soccer and the manager of soon-to-launch Montreal Impact blog Mount Royal Soccer.
SB Nation conducted a mock MLS SuperDraft, with Darren Mattocks being the No. 1 overall pick.
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