SAT, 7AM ET
WED
NOT
SAT, 7:45AM ET
BUR
MUFC
SAT, 9:45AM ET
FUL
CAR
SAT, 10AM ET
MCFC
STO
SAT, 10AM ET
NEW
CRY
SAT, 10AM ET
QPR
SUN

MLS Draft: The Day After

 MLS Draft: The Day After

The MLS Superdraft yesterday provided more drama and perhaps more impact players than recent drafts. Some past MLS drafts have been very deep: 1998, 1999 and 2003 come to mind. Some however have been bordering on worthless for drama and impact players.

The decision of Hermann Trophy winner Marcus Tracey of Wake Forest to sign in Europe put a bit of a damper on the day, but still plenty of quality players were available after one of the best seasons of college soccer in recent memory. The 2008 NCAA campaign maybe remembered as the season college soccer finally opened up: a criticism of American college soccer is the defensive tactical mindset of many managers and the generally physical play which impedes scoring and the development of attacking talent.

Sadly many casual fans of the game only watch the College Cup, and in the semifinal matchup North Carolina packed the back to try and stop high flying Wake Forest. The Tar Heels were successful: a victory for UNC but a defeat for the game. Maryland the eventual NCAA Champions however showed a tactical savvy and a technical flair which speaks highly of the evolution of the college game.

Seattle with the first pick set the tone for the day by picking an attacker: Akron’s Steve Zakuani. Zakuani will not count against the cap as a Generation Adidas player.  I loved TFC’s first round getting Sam Cronin, who I considered to be the best player left in the draft after his Wake Forest team mate Marcus Tracey signed in Europe. TFC also drafted injury plagued  O’Brien White who I think can make an instant impact if he’s healthy. Stefan Frei surprisingly fell to TFC, but honestly the Cal Goalkeeper had a huge disadvantage: MLS right now has more solid keepers than any period since the great keeper boom in the league from 1998 to 2000, when every team not only had a solid starter but a capable backup between the pipes.

I loved New England’s pick of Kevin Alston. If Steve Nicol transitions to a four man backline this season, Alston could start. New York’s pick of Jeremy Hall was solid but I believe DC United really reached in its pick of Chris Pontius who as an attacker just isn’t in the same class as the three forwards picked ahead of him in the draft. Rodney Wallace however, a hometown pick from the national champion Maryland Terps should be solid.

Real Salt Lake supposedly reached for Jean Alexandre with the 12th pick of Round One. Let me outline why I believe Alexander may in fact be a steal at that pick.  Alexander has already played in World Cup qualifying for his native Haiti. Alexander has also turned into a big  scorer with his youth team and college legend down here in south Florida. Part of the reason he didn’t go to a big name school like Wake Forest or Maryland was because he’s a Haitian immigrant who was reduced to local options: Lynn University was his best bet.  I expected him to be picked and to have a positive impact somewhere. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be in the first round, but I am happy for him that it was.

I’ve also seen Ryan Maxwell play a few times in the PDL with the Bradenton Academics. He went to school at the University of Tampa and should be a solid role player for Steve Nicol in New England. I also liked the Revs getting Andrei Gotsmanov late in the second round. DC United got a steal with Wake Forest’s Lyle Adams also late in the second round. United defense has been porous and with the intensity Adams showed in college, he could hardly do worse than what the red and black has had the past few seasons.

Yohance Marshall from South Florida going undrafted was a bit of a shock to me. But otherwise the draft went pretty much according to script with a few slight deviations. This draft should serve to enhance the quality of MLS beyond its current level and continue to show the increasing depth and quality of NCAA Soccer for the skeptics to see. 

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, MLS Draft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

8 Responses to MLS Draft: The Day After

  1. henry5 says:

    Kartik – the name is Alexandre…. check the spelling! I was really surprised the Revs didn't pick up some more forwards. Still Alston is an attack minded fullback and Maxwell likes to control the ball in the midfield… could he be the cover for steve ralston the Revs need?

  2. kkfla737 says:

    Thanks Hank……………that's a typo. I actually know the kid and am kind of embarrassed that I misspelled his name. Going to fix it now.

  3. mike says:

    Have you ever seen Pontius play?

  4. kkfla737 says:

    YES. Don't get me wrong, I think he'll be decent. I just think DCU forced the pick of a forward and three really good ones were already gone. Most years he would have gone later and Frei would have gone much earlier, but their are a lack of talented forwards right now in MLS while the goalkeeping is outstanding.

  5. free bet says:

    i think that given the lack of league talent, if MIAMI BARCA is confirmed, when Barca starts to ship out young talent into the team like a young Messi or a young Bojan, they will definitely be a main contender

  6. it has been covered so many times before. Not including a referral in a comment like that could be the writer’s way to help its
    audience do some conscious thinking, not obvious knowing.

  7. I pride to be citizen of the world, so I am also hoping that the Hindu’s class system of “Royal(lords) and peasant (commoner)will change”, so the education level will improve together with the knowledge, virtues and economy.
    China had forgotten the past history with Japan. The former Premiere Mr. Deng Xiao Ping , when asked by the Japanese premiere about twenty five years ago.” about the return of the northern island back to China.” Mr. Dan replied:” Slow down, we wouldn’t know how the politics of the world is going to be fifty years from now.” Most recently, Mr. Hu said:” We hope Japan will involve in greater part of the affair of the world. We are happy to see the peaceful path Japan takes since the thank you for sharing:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>