Winners and Losers of the First MLS Re-Entry Draft
Recently my computer ran into a series of issues that has rendered it incapacitated and made me realize its place in my life. It loads slowly and lacks many of the modern amenities in many computers, but when working properly it is has enough memory to run fairly quickly and is perfect for the tasks for which I need it, mainly posting to this site, running my fantasy teams, and doing other mundane tasks like email and social media. I mention this because my computer is a lot like the MLS re-entry draft: the pieces available aren’t going to wow your friends and make you the envy of the league, but drafting right can give you the piece that is perfect fit for your club.
As with any draft, some teams were able to land the piece that is right for them while some whiffed on their picks. As such, below are my winners and losers from today’s draft with one caveat. Teams have a week to negotiate with their selections and failing to sign them allows the team to hold their rights, so there could be trades and non-signings over the next week which could alter these rankings, so check back for changes.
Los Angeles Galaxy: The team showed the aggressiveness and willingness to spend wisely that so many clubs refuse to do. Seeing former Arena-coached player Juan Pablo Angel sitting undrafted after three picks, the team traded its fourth round pick in the Superdraft to Houston for the fourth pick and picked up Angel from New York. The forward has scored 61 goals in the past four seasons, so he is definitely still a contributer for the Galaxy. Adding Angel to pair with Edson Buddle upfront or being the scoring option off the bench makes the Galaxy the early 2011 Supporters Shield favorite. Plus they picked up a needed young midfielder with their original pick.
Chivas USA – The club that lost its big-name star in Jonathan Bornstein this summer and missed the playoffs got the chance to finally replace him by taking Jimmy Conrad with the second pick. It gives the team a veteran defender and a player who can help them begin the climb back to the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference.
Colorado Rapids - The defending champs publicly said they were going to focus on the Superdraft and international market for club improvements. However, the club picked up veteran defender Tyrone Marshall with the last choice in the first round, good depth for a team that needed defending depth. Now if they can keep Omar Cummings they may be set.
Major League Soccer – As part of the new CBA the organization created this odd draft system where players with a certain playing time can become sort of free agents. This makes the “win” side because it gives MLS a little press in the slow winter months.
MLS fans who like Ronaldinho – The unhappy AC Milan star and LA have been negotiating behind the scenes for weeks now about a possible move to the Galaxy where the Brazilian would be the team’s third designated player. The selection of Juan Pablo Angel could endanger that depending on how negotiations go. If Angel is the team’s third designated player, then Ronaldinho or another big-name international star loses that slot.
D.C. United – Going into this draft process, D.C. United clearly needed two things: offense and defense. The club has eschewed defense with its two picks of Joseph Ngwenya in the first part of the draft and today with Josh Wolff. But the club passed on a ton of bigger named players who might have had a more definite impact. Consider this: United this offseason released Danny Allsopp, who had five goals for the club. The two re-entry selections had a combined three goals in 2010. A disappointing draft.
Jaime Moreno: If Jaime Moreno decides he still wants to play, and at times he has hinted as much, his chances took a hit today as he went undrafted and enters the free agent pool. But more importantly Jeff Cunningham was taken by the rebuilding Columbus Crew, who needed a veteran striker. Now Cunningham will have a chance to pass Moreno in the all-time MLS scoring list for good, a nice honor for the veteran but a misfortune for the current record holder.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto – The 2008 MVP went unselected over two rounds and is now a free agent. Ouch.
Who are your winners and losers from this draft?