MLS Draft 2010

Your MLS Draft Questions Answered (Part One)

2010 MLS Draft

The 2010 MLS Draft takes place tomorrow and since I know SBI readers have tons of questions, I will try to answer as many of them as I can in the hours leading up to the draft.

I will be looking to post one more Two-Round Mock Draft and one final MLS Big Board later on today. For now, here is the first segment of Your MLS Draft Questions Answered (look for another segment in the late afternoon or evening):

AVERY-Ives, do you see any way that the Red Bulls could select either Tchani or Opara with the second choice and find a way to still get Duka by trading up?

Also, what are the trade rumblings that you mentioned before?

IVES– It’s possible, but not easy because Duka heads into the Draft projecting in the 8-12 range of the first round. He played very well on day two of the Combine and showed scouts enough ability to merit a Top 12 place.

Now, if the Red Bulls packaged the No. 14 with a player to move up say to 8 or 10, they could possibly grab Duka, but you wonder which players on the Red Bull roster would draw trade interest.

As far as trade rumblings, I've heard that Kansas City is trying to move into the No. 2 spot and I've heard that Toronto, Columbus and Los Angeles are all trying to move up in the draft. As far as players who could be on the move on draft day, I'd say Toronto's Marvell Wynne, Columbus' Frankie Hejduk and New England's Chris Albright have all been mentioned in talks.


SEAN– Tchani's size reminds me of a Shalrie Joseph type player. Is this a fair assessment?

IVES– He’s not quite as strongly built as Joseph, but he’s got a similarly tall frame and is strong in his own right. He doesn’t have the bite that Joseph has, but he can win his share of tackles and he is very strong in possession. He has a good sense of where his teammates are and where to pass the ball. He’s very polished, but the real scary part is that he’s so young and still has room to grow. He's a box-to-box midfielder more than a true defensive midfielder.


CHAD– KC has the fourth pick. There are rumors we'll trade it (maybe to Toronto). How do you see this playing out? Do you still see us taking Bunbury?

IVES– If KC deals the pick, it won’t be to move down. The trade talk I’ve heard has involved KC and New York in a potential swap of the 2 and 4 picks with a player or cash being involved. The sense I get is that the Wizards will push for a deal to try and get Tchani, but if that doesn’t work the Wizards will take Bunbury.


JIM– Rumours up north are that Mo is willing to deal Frei and Wynne to grab a stud CB. What are you hearing? And how much influence could Preki have on what TFC does? Any chance for Bunbury to play in a Canadian shirt like his dad used to?

IVES– listen, unless John Terry somehow entered this draft I’m not sure how there’s a center back worth Frei and Wynne. I know Toronto wants to move up, but the problem for TFC is that so many teams love Tony Tchani that it’s making it that much tougher for TFC to swing a deal. That, coupled with Bunbury looking good at the Combine means he’s likely to stay a Top Four pick and unless Toronto can work out a deal with long-time trade partner San Jose, I don’t see a deal happening.


DANNY– What are the real possibilities for FC Dallas to move one (or both) of their picks in the 1st round? Who seems to be most interested at this point? Who has a real shot at getting them?

IVES– I think there’s a very good chance of Dallas dealing one of the picks. I don’t see them dealing both. Teams that could move up include Toronto, LA and Columbus.


SCNEWJERSEY– What do you think the chances are of RBNY getting Dave Van Den Berg in some sort of draft day deal with FC Dallas?

IVES– Getting Van Den Bergh is a possibility for New York, I'm just not sure it happens on draft day, if only because the new head coach has just arrived and I think the Red Bulls will want to hold up on any non-draft acquisitions until he is a bit more up to speed.


ELAC-Could you see Chivas USA drafting Irving Garcia in the first round?
We already have Michael Lahoud, Gerson Mayen, Jorge Flores in that same mold.

IVES– No way. I love the kid and think he could be a player, but he doesn’t grade out as a first-round player. That being said, I would not at all say that Garcia is anything like Lahoud, Mayen or Flores (aside from also being short). He's a speedy midfielder with better attacking qualities than those three players.


MENTZ– What is the point of the Red Bulls having a youth academy when the best player to come from there cannot be signed directly by RBNY? Now I hear we are attempting to trade up to get Duka? Weak.

IVES– Mentz, Duka isn’t a kid who spent years in the Academy before attending college, he is a player who joined the academy late in his development and who didn’t spend enough time in the academy before college to qualify as a homegrown player. There are rules in place regarding academy players and Duka simply didn’t qualify.


SEAN M– Irving Garcia has himself a hell of a combine,where do you see him going,second round perhaps???I would love to see my Galaxy take a risk and go for him,If not Da Luz seems like a good signing.Garcia isn't aftaid to take people on,part of the reason I like him alot.

IVES– I’d say Garcia is a second-round talent who could wind up being better than some first-rounders.


RAW– What do you think of RBNY not selecting Duka? He is a NJ native and has said he would like to play for them? I know that if I was in RBNYs position, I would see that we really need an attacking midfielder since there really is not too much help for JPA up front.

IVES– I think the Red Bulls will take Tony Tchani and it’s absolutely the right call. Why? He’s just a better prospect than Duka right now. That’s not a knock on Duka, but a statement of Tchani’s ability. Every single team in MLS would trample Duka to get to Tchani. That doesn’t mean Duka isn’t going to have a nice career, but this notion that he’s the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in this draft is a myth perpetuated by some people who are a bit deluded about Duka’s ability.

As for the Red Bulls needing an attacking midfielder, do you really think Duka is ready to step in and start in MLS as a playmaker? Name me the last American college playmaker to step into MLS and play well? Tchani is much closer to being MLS ready.


NE-DUB– Did Justin Davis, F from University of New Mexico, play at the combine? I saw his name on the list before it took place but haven't heard anything since. If so how did he look?

IVES– Davis did play in the Combine, he just didn’t do anything of note, at least not that I noticed.


JOAO MOUTINHO– It seems as though your latest mock draft is very similar to your mock draft before the combine. In looking at the order, there are no players who entered the first round after the combine. Could you shed some light on how this could possibly be the case? Are you a clairvoyant?

IVES– It is a case of many of the draft’s top prospects doing well at the Combine. Listen, I know my Mock Draft won’t be exact, and there will be some players who play their way into the First Round, but when I did that mock I felt that those were the players coveted by teams after the Combine. There are some players who could get into the first round, such as Collen Warner (who I rated highly before the Combine), Justin Morrow, Chris Shuler and Michael Stephens, but I think the first-rounders I selected have a very good chance of being taken.


WILYBOY– What are the chances of DC taking McInerney? Seeing as they were thinking of taking Wiedeman, and he probably is going to fall.

IVES– Funny you should mention that because I can remember seeing the D.C. United brain trust watching one of McInerney’s games and focusing on him. It might be early to take him at No. 7 though.


PICO– If for some weird reason both Da Luz and Duka are available for the Red Bulls, who would you take? If it is true that the team will take Tchani, who will be a better compliment in that midfield

IVES– I’ll say this one time: If Dilly Duka is available to the Red Bulls at No. 14 they will (and absolutely should) take him. That said, I doubt he’s there.


J1MBR0WN– Jack McInerney seems a bit young. What is the best scenario for him to develop? What would be the worst?

IVES- Two teams that I think would be great destinations for McInerney are Real Salt Lake (Where he could work with Jason Kreis) or Chicago (where he could learn from Brian McBride). Seattle with Sigi Schmid wouldn’t be a bad environment either. These are teams that pick around where I can see him going in the first round.


JON– Some Rev fans guess that Emmanuel Osei may be moved from CB to Dmid if Larentowicz leaves, and thus might draft Kwame Watson-Siriboe in the first round. Thoughts?

Do you see any likelihood that the Revs might be involved in any trades?

IVES– I could see the Revs drafting Watson-Siriboe, but I don’t see them making any trades on draft day, with the exception of dealing away Chris Albright.


JR– 1. What is the limit on the number of Generation Adidas contract per team? Is FCD at risk of going over?

2. Is Mwanga a smart choice at #1? Do you see him starting immediately and making a big impact in Philly?


IVES– I believe the limit on Generation adidas players is six per team. As for Mwanga, I’ve heard from several scouts I respect that Mwanga is a special player. Will he start immediately? Maybe not from day one, but if he doesn’t start a majority of the games then the selection will probably be questioned.


MFFINLA– With your mock draft, I think you're forgetting the rule of Nick (Besagno that is). Even in a weak draft, I don't think teams are willing to spend a top 10 pick on 17/18 year old who won't contribute for 2 years…if he develops at all. Even Jozy went #17. At the time, I thought that was way too late, but he was an obvious freak at 16. He had the body of a grown man and he rang the crossbar from 40 yards at the combine.

So unless you're saying Okugo is Jozy quality, I don't see him going to DC.

IVES– Things change my friend, just as a year ago some would have said that rookie centerbacks don't become starters on championship contenders (like Omar Gonzalez) and rookie goalkeepers just don't emerge as quality starters in year one (like Stefan Frei). Okugo is 18 but mature beyond his years. he's a special talent who will be going in the Top 10 and D.C. could be the team to take him.


EMAY– Love the sight. I'm a huge Chicago Fire fan. It seems they are in need of a ceterback, leftback, and midfielder. Who all could you see them drafting?

IVES– From what I understand, the Fire has several deals in the works to land players via the international market, so you could see some of those needs, including left back and center back, addressed via signings. That means the Fire will probably go best-available with their draft picks. I’d project them to grab a forward or center back with their first round pick.


IFISHIE– Do you think any players who weren't at the combine might get drafted in the latter rounds?

IVES– Definitely. It’s a must. Guys I’d look out for are Barry Rice, Alan Sanchez and Mark Blades.


RANDALL– Andrew Hoxie got some pub at the combine after a couple of goals. Is he for real or just the lucky guy who got teamed up with Tchani and Lloyd. Where do you see him going in the draft.

IVES– Hoxie had a nice Combine and certainly impressed, but it didn’t hurt him being on the best team in the competition. His size and skill combo should earn him a draft spot, but anybody projecting him as a first-rounder might want to seriously reconsider that one. I’d say he’ll go somewhere from 25-35 overall. One coach I spoke to compared him to Nate Jaqua, but I think he’s actually better with the ball than Jaqua.


BRIAN K– Any chance Red Bulls can take Tchani at #2 and engineer a trade for the #3 pick and take Opara?

IVES– Not going to happen. The Red Bulls would have to package a good player (like Jeremy Hall) with the No. 14 and cash and that still might not be enough. San Jose holds that pick and already has plenty of picks in the first two rounds.


SAM– Of the players in this draft, who do you see going abroad the soonest?

IVES– I’d bet on Tony Tchani, with Danny Mwanga also up there.


  • Fred

    Unrelated question — Anybody know if Adu or Johnson saw the field today for Aris? I couldn’t find a feed or commentary or anything. (Vision of things to come . . . years from now Adu will be playing in the Faroe Islands or something, and I’ll be scrounging around online, hoping maybe he got the assist . . . .)


  • Torporindy

    Yes, check out the comments in the Conrad post. According to one of the posters, Johnson came on at 79 and Adu gets his work permit tomorrow.


  • Frankie Simek

    “Name me the last American college playmaker to step into MLS and play well?”

    Kyle Martino.


  • frankie da kid

    Ives – What is the status of the allocation order in MLS and how does it play out for the Red Bulls? I may be wrong but I thought that the Red Bulls had the top spot in the Allocation after Philly acquired someone. If so, do you see Red Bull keeping Perkins or using him as trade fodder?


  • madmax

    Report from the Faroe Islands, 11/11/2012
    “Freddy Adu did not dress.”
    Freddy’s Twitter,
    “Something big is in the works.”


  • Rory

    I love how the draft has become a big deal the last few years. More coverage, more info, and more importance!

    Long Live SBI


  • Andolini

    Is Tchani American? I heard he plays for Cameroon’s U-19’s but UVA bio has someplace in Virginia as his hometown.


  • Josh D

    Who decided on the Combine’s teams? Some seemed awfully strong compare to others…

    Do they take into account players who would work well together? Put top 10 prospects on teams where they shine at the expensive of a few lesser guys?


  • Erik V

    Whatever happened to that guy RBNY picked last year but then decided to stay in college?


  • swansuite@gmail.com

    The question that wasn’t asked, but should have been is: should teams put much energy and money into a draft that rarely turns out more than 3-5 players who will star in MLS or, conversely, should they be putting their money into scouting outside the country for talent that likely surpasses our best and is cheaper? I know which way the Sounders are leaning……


  • Rory

    Colorado has about 9 Defenders they should part with any of them (almost) and get some depth at midfield. I noticed not once have they been mentioned in trade talks.


  • babieca

    Freddy didn’t make the 18, still waiting for work permit. EJ played about 10 minutes.


  • Matt in Detroit.


    They need to do both. MLS teams are allowed only 7 foreign slots. That means the other 17 have to be american or carry a US passport.

    You can get immediate gratification on filling a need by going out and finding a foreign player (DC about three years ago with Fred, Emilio and Gomez). But sometimes, you get burned there (DC two years ago with the Gonzolo’s, Niell, the other argentine playmaker and the peruvian goaltender). They don’t adapt to a unique environment or style of play.

    The draft normally provides 15-20 long term players every year. That’s a starter for every team.

    Its importance can’t be understated but I agree that few players make an impact in their first year.


  • Adam in Cali

    Read a report saying that Johnson came on as a late 2nd half sub but didn’t really contribute at all, and Adu’s paperwork still hasn’t completely gone through, so he sat today…


  • Freddie Footballer

    Mwanga and Tchani sound like they have promising futures. I wonder if they have any interest in playing for the U.S. in the future?


  • Michael F. - SBI Mafia Original


    Considering teh RBNY defensive woes, shouldn’t they take Opara over Tchani?

    (SBI-What often went overlooked last season was how many times the midfield was overrun, leaving the defense facing numbers on the break. I’m doing a mock draft now and I’d say the Red Bulls can still get quality centerbacks with its other early picks and a player like Tchani can help a defense by A) keeping possession and B) winning possession.)


  • swansuite@gmail.com

    Good points, Matt. I wonder, though, if, of the 15-20 players, how many of them are already fully identified and queued? No question that at least a couple of hidden gems surface every year at the combine but, by and large, don’t you think that most of the top players have already gone through a screening process? My point being, that it would be folly to overlook the draft, but probably senseless to put a whole lot of time, money, and energy into it? Your thoughts?


  • Eric_the_King

    I just have to say that all this coverage and gearing up for the draft is a beautiful thing. I think it speaks volumes to how the sport is evolving in this country. I can honestly say that even up to last year’s draft, I didn’t give two hoots as to what happened or who happened. But I’ve taken a keen following to it this year. Which a majority of that probably has to do with RBNY having the 2nd pick and a new stadium, but I also feel that – for the first time – it represents the future of our league and its growth. I’ve never felt that sort of attachment to the draft until now. We’re still young and taking good baby steps, but the positives seem to keep on coming.

    Outstanding stuff Ives!


  • DC Josh

    So for two straight years I am looking forward to the MLS draft. Congratulations Ives, you have me hooked to the MLS SUPERDRAFT.


  • Smith

    Ives –

    So are you telling us that Duka is NOT the second coming of Johan Maradona Christ??????


  • fischy

    You are wrong. There had been talk about Jeremiah White coming back to play for Philly. Didn’t happen. The Union is still tops in the allocation order. It’s possible they’ll pass on Perkins, but I’d bet that DC makes a trade with Philly, rather than take the chance on Perkins sliding down the list.


  • fischy

    Babajide Ogunbiyi. Had some trials in England. Can’t find anything on the web about what happened to him. I hope he hasn’t headed to Yemen.


  • Emil

    Ives- you said that sometimes, money is packaged in with a lower pick in order for teams to trade up to a higher pick(i.e. the possibility of KC shipping cash to NY to swap picks). Is there a value chart similar to the one that NFL teams use to value draft picks? About how much in allocation money do you think particular picks are worth- say, the #1 overall, a mid-first rounder, and the last pick in the first round? Do the later round picks have any real trade value at all?


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