17. Real Salt Lake: Calum Mallace, M, Marquette
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.
24. RSL: Jason Banton, F, International
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.
36. RSL: Arthur Ivo, M, SMU
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.