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MLS Mock Draft 2015: Expansion clubs go with offense

Bloggers representing all 20 teams select players for Thursday's MLS SuperDraft.

Stephen Slade/UConn Athletics

Everyone who covers MLS does a mock SuperDraft. We do ours with a bit of a twist. Not only do we project out the first two rounds, but we attempt to recreate the draft by having bloggers from each of the teams draft. We feel this method has the potential to give some insight into how the teams think. Here's how it went:

First Round

1. Orlando City SC - Cyle Larin, F, UConn

We're actually not sure of this pick, although most mock drafts have Larin at the top. There is a good chance head coach Adrian Heath and GM Paul McDonough will look to trade down and perhaps take someone like Central Florida's Romario Williams. Or he could trade the pick for a player who can help sooner. However, if the Lions keep the pick, Larin may be too big of an asset to pass up. - Michael Citro, The Mane Land

2. New York City FC - Cristian Roldan, M, Washington

Roldan, who just finished his sophomore year at Washington, is young. But that youth belies the fact that he's one of the most exciting young prospects in the draft. He's a crafty playmaker, can play anywhere in the midfield, and he's a dynamic option who can break down opposing attacks. His youth means that he probably won't be starting right away, but New York City should have a sufficiently deep midfield that it probably doesn't matter if he doesn't see playing time until the middle of the season. - Rafael Noboa y Rivera, Hudson River Blue

3. Montreal Impact - Khiry Shelton, F, Oregon State

I was pretty happy to select Khiry Shelton with the third pick because he is exactly the kind of player Montreal needs. If the draft was a couple of weeks ago, my choice would have been a defender, but with the recent signing, I have to go with a forward, and Shelton is the man. He is 6'3" and able to score or be the playmaker. A perfect fit in Montreal. - Jean Francoic Corbet, Mount Royal Soccer

4. San Jose Earthquakes - Ramon Martin del Campo, D, UC Davis

The former Quakes PDL player was a dominating center back for the Aggies and made the breakthrough to the USMNT U-23 squad last summer. A native of Chula Vista in Southern California, del Campo flirted with a move to Liga MX before signing with MLS. - Robert Jonas, Center Line Soccer

5. Portland Timbers - Conor Donovan, D, NC State

With Liam Ridgewell, Nat Borchers, and Norberto Paparatto at the top of a centerback depth chart that sorted out its defensive issues toward the end of 2014, the Timbers' need here is depth rather than immediate impact. That makes Donovan's upside and GA status too much to pass up. - Chris Rifer, Stumptown Footy

6. Toronto FC - Leo Stolz, M, UCLA

The German midfielder has been one of, if not the best players in college soccer the past two seasons. He is a bit of an enigma, though, with teams likely to be scared off by his unwillingness to sign with MLS before the draft because of a desire to control his destination. If TFC could get him at sixth and sign him, he would be an instant upgrade for the club, which is still seeking the right partner for Michael Bradley. - Dave Rowaan, Waking the Red

7. Chicago Fire - Fatai Alashe, M, Michigan State

Oddly, for a Chicago Fire side that seemed to stockpile destroyers in recent years, the positions deeper in midfield are something of a question mark on the current Fire roster. Enter Alashe, whose positional flexibility makes him attractive. - Sean Spence, Hot Time in Old Town

8. Houston Dynamo - Oumar Ballo, D, UMBC

Defense! The Dynamo need defensive depth and a left-footed center back is a good place to start. At 6'2, Ballo displays dominance in the air -- something every team could use. - Alicia Tolar, Dynamo Theory

9. TFC - Alex Bono, GK, Syracuse

TFC has a starting keeper in Joe Bendik and a keeper for the future in Quillan Roberts, but that is not enough of a reason to pass over a talent like Bono. His reflexes and natural ability to stop shots make him capable of starting in MLS from day one. - Dave Rowaan, Waking the Red

10. Sporting KC - Nick Besler, D, Notre Dame

Kansas City can use some depth at d-mid. Throw in the fact that Besler is not only local, but he would have his big brother as his captain would drive him to excel. Besler's stock has been rising lately as more teams see his ability in person. Besler may not be ready to start, but may not be as far off as people once thought. - Thad Bell, The Blue Testament

11. TFC - Romario Williams, F, Central Florida

If you can't have one of the clear top two forwards in the draft, Williams is not a bad consolation prize. He is a raw talent and takes up an international slot, but he has a very appealing skill set. He has the size to play a more physical game but also the pace to get in behind defenders. - Dave Rowaan, Waking the Red

12. SKC - Otis Earle, D, UC Riverside

Earle is a left back who can also get forward and could even be used up top for a spell. With all the minutes Sinovic played the last couple of seasons, a good backup is crucial. - Thad Bell, The Blue Testament

13. Vancouver Whitecaps - Skylar Thomas, D, Syracus

It would be easy to label this as the token "Canuck pick," given that Thomas hails from Pickering, Ontario, but the Whitecaps could definitely use some more youthful talent on the backline. While they appear to be set at one CB spot with Kendall Waston, Andy O'Brien is clearly not a long-term answer at the other spot given his age. In addition, Johnny Leveron, like O'Brien, has yet to sign a deal, and the young Christian Dean has a bright future, but is still a prospect and has also been used at LB. - Jon Szekeres, 86 Forever

14. Columbus Crew - Aaron Simmons, D, UCLA

Crew SC need defensive depth and Simmons can provide that. He can contribute while learning from a player like Michael Parkhurst, and he also has the capability to play in central midfield. - Patrick Murphy, Massive Report

15. FC Dallas - Dan Metzger, M, Maryland

The game for Oscar Pareja in this draft is finding quality depth in any way he possibly can. Metzger is a confident player on the ball who can push homegrown midfielder Victor Ulloa for playing time in 2015. - Drew Epperley, Big D Soccer

16. Real Salt Lake - Eric Bird, M, Virginia

Eric Bird is a short, crafty midfielder -- the Real Salt Lake mold, if you believe the popular narrative (and we do.) He may not be entirely pro-ready, but his skill set could see him fit neatly in the system following the loss of Ned Grabavoy and Sebastian Velasquez. - Matt Montgomery, RSL Soapbox

17. D.C. United - Andy Thoma, D, Washington

D.C. United has been short a fullback since Christian went back to Spain last summer, and Thoma is the best left back in this draft pool. It also helps that he's a major steal at No. 17. United adheres pretty strictly to "take the best player regardless of position," so this pick is the best of both worlds. - Chest Rockwell, Black and Red United

18. New York Red Bulls - Tim Parker, D, St. John's

The Red Bulls are thin at the center back position and desperate for consistent players who don't make a lot of mistakes. The first team All-Big East selection played his college ball locally and made 78 starts in four seasons. - Lester Townsend, Once a Metro

19. Colorado Rapids - Boyd Okwuonu, D, North Carolina

The product of the FC Dallas youth academy has been one of the top defenders in the hyper competitive ACC. - Burgundy Wave

20. SKC - Andy Craven, F, North Carolina

A Hermann trophy runner-up who can play any of the three forward spots could be a steal at this spot. He has a good scoring touch that enabled him to be tied for the lead in Division I scoring and is reported to have the work rate that Peter Vermes demands. - Thad Bell, The Blue Testament

21. LA Galaxy - Tyler Miller, GK, Northwestern

After releasing Brian Perk, LA needs another keeper, and from what coaches are saying, the confident, well-rounded 6'4" Miller is the best goalkeeper in the draft. - Mike Gray, LAG Confidential

Second round

22. OCSC - Andrew Wolverton, GK, Penn State

With Donovan Ricketts, Tally Hall and Josh Ford, Orlando has a handle on its goaltending situation for the time being. But we think the club would select a quality young keeper that City can groom for the future and who can learn from two such accomplished MLS starters such as Hall and Ricketts. - Michael Citro, The Mane Land

23. NYCFC - Ricky Garbanzo, F, Coastal Carolina

Garbanzo is another product from Coastal Carolina, which is building a reputation for developing players who possess a high work-rate. Garbanzo is talented and versatile enough that he can play either forward or midfield; players who possess that kind of versatility are useful indeed. - Rafael Noboa y Rivera, Hudson River Blue

24. Timbers - Seth Casiple, M, Cal

With Will Johnson likely missing for some portion of the early season, the Timbers could use some depth at defensive central midfield. Casiple can fill that role behind Ben Zemanski and Diego Chara in the interim before, barring further injuries, spending the rest of the season with Timbers 2. - Chris Rifer, Stumptown Footy

25. OCSC - Jose Ribas, D, Creighton

Adrian Heath's system calls for outside backs who can get forward and Ribas seems the type who can do that. Depth on defense is something every expansion team can use, so it's important Orlando City can bolster its back line in the early rounds. Ribas ticks all the boxes. - Michael Citro, The Mane Land

26. Rapids - Jordan Murrell, D, Syracuse

Rapids continue to bolster their defense with this highly regarded center defender from Syracuse. - Burgundy Wave

27. Seattle Sounders - Dzenan Catic, M, Davenport

The Kaiserslautern II product trialed with Seattle last year. Now with S2 entering the team pyramid, it could use a dynamic forward who was both the NAIA and PDL Player of the Year. - Dave Clark, Sounder at Heart

28. Fire - Saad Abdul-Salaam, D, Akron

Right back Lovel Palmer turned in an iron-man performance in 2014, which is fortunate, because the Fire had lifelike papier mâché figurines as backups. The explosive Akron wingback will get a year of seasoning behind a pro's pro while also serving as useful depth farther up the field until Patrick Nyarko is healthy enough to play. - Sean Spence, Hot Time In Old Town

29. TFC - Adam Montague, F, Michigan State

His 23 goals and 21 assists at Michigan State were impressive totals, but the question will be where to use him in MLS. He could play as a forward or a midfielder depending on the team's needs, but at least he will be familiar with Jay Chapman, who should soon be signed by TFC as a homegrown player. - Dave Rowaan, Waking the Red

30. SKC - Luke Mishu, D, Notre Dame

With Chance Myers coming back from injury, an unknown situation with Igor Julião returning and Kevin Ellis still not re-signed, some depth at right back could save Sporting KC from having another forward play there. Luke Mishu is a very good option and provides one more Notre Dame connection, where he was the captain. - Thad Bell, The Blue Testament

31. Philadelphia Union - Manolo Sanchez, M, Clemson

Sanchez is a local kid from Philadelphia, coming off a solid collegiate season, getting three goals and six assists in 1,486 minutes this year. - Eugene Rupinski, Brotherly Game

32. Timbers - Andy Bevin, F, West Virginia

West Virginia isn't exactly a footballing powerhouse and the MAC was underwhelming this year, but 13 goals and nine assists in a senior season to follow up a strong junior campaign makes Bevin a reasonable choice for depth up top behind Fanendo Adi and Maxi Urruti. - Chris Rifer, Stumptown Footy

33. New England Revolution - Sergio Campbell, F, UConn

Without a first-round pick and holes at striker and centerback, it will be hard to find a quality attacker in the middle of the second round. Campbell has been a three-year starter at UConn and has international experience with Jamaica. - Jake Catanese, The Bent Musket

34. Timbers - Anthony Manning, D, St. Louis

Like a Billiken, a 6'4", 200-pound centerback who likes the ball at his feet sounds like a mythical creature at this point in the draft. Despite having all the tools Caleb Porter likes in his center-halves, though, Manning will need some seasoning before he's ready to contribute consistently in MLS. - Chris Rifer, Stumptown Footy

35. Crew - Axel Sjoberg, D, Marquette

At 6'7", he gives the Black and Gold something they've lacked since Giancarlo Gonzalez left last year -- height. Another defensive pick, but those players tend to stick these drafts. - Patrick Murphy, Massive Report

36. Dynamo - Kyler Sullivan, D, Virginia

Another defensive depth pick, but this time with a speedy right back. For three of his four years at Virginia, he played as part of a four-man backline that changed to a three-man line his senior year, which demonstrates his ability to adapt as needed. - Alicia Tolar, Dynamo Theory

37. TFC - Dennis Castillo, D, Virginia Commonwealth

Castillo has the athletic skill to get up and down the wing from outside back, but needs to work on his defending. Defense is a position where TFC could use a pick to try and find some much-needed depth. - Dave Rowaan, Waking the Red

38. Whitecaps - Tyler Arnone, M, Michigan

It may seem like an odd pick, given that the Whitecaps have a full defensive midfield with Matias Laba, Russell Teibert and Gershon Koffie, but the odds of the Whitecaps holding on to all three long term is questionable. A prospect like Arnone, a natural born leader who scooped up pretty much every individual award there was to win at Michigan, would be a nice player for Carl Robinson to mold. He may be a tad undersized at 5'10" and 175 pounds, but he's intelligent and brings a good brand of physicality. - Jon Szekeres, 86 Forever

39. Red Bulls - Connor Hallisey, M, Cal

Peguy Luyindula could use a backup and it's still unknown if a DP attacking midfielder is coming. Hallisey upped his production senior year in a big way with nine goals and 12 assists. - Lester Townsend, Once a Metro

40. Sounders - Spencer Richey, GK, Washington

Seattle has one keeper for two teams. That isn't enough. Richey had a down year coming back from injury, but the once-promising talent has what it takes to be a pro, plus he's local. - Dave Clark, Sounder at Heart

41. Union - Alex Shinsky, M, Maryland

Shinsky was with the Union's academy; however, he was ineligible to sign a Homegrown Player contract with the club. Shinsky had two goals and two assists for the Terps in 2014, and is in the USMNT U-20 player pool. - Eugene Rupinski, Brotherly Game

42. United - Akeil Barrett, F, Tulsa

Barrett will take up an international roster spot. United has plenty of room in that department, so the Black-and-Red can afford to roll the dice on Tulsa's Jamaican star. After losing Thomas McNamara to the expansion draft, Barrett would fit in as a versatile attacking option who can pick the lock, so to speak. - Chest Rockwell, Black and Red United