MLS Draft 2011

Whitecaps take Salgado No. 1, Akron produces 5 of first 8 picks in MLS Draft

Salgado Getty


So much for all that Darlington Nagbe and Perry Kitchen talk.

The Vancouver Whitecaps opted to select Omar Salgado with the first overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, choosing the 17-year-old United States U-20 prospect over the two Akron products who had been expected to vie for the top spot.

After Salgado, national champion Akron stole the show, producing a draft-record five first-rounders who were all taken in the first eight picks. Nagbe went second to Portland, Kitchen got scooped up by D.C. United with the third pick, Zarek Valentin went next to Chivas USA, Kofi Sarkodie was taken at No. 7 by Houston and Michael Nanchoff was selected with Vancouver's second first-round pick, No. 8 overall.

Other draft-day highlights included the Columbus Crew trading Steven Lenhart to San Jose for the Earthquakes' first-round pick and using it to select Justin Meram; The New York Red Bulls landing Corey Hertzog and John Rooney; Houston trading for a second first-round pick to take Will Bruin and the Philadelphia Union using its first pick on Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

What did you think of the draft? Do you think Salgado was the right choice for Vancouver? Which team(s) do you think had the best day? What surprised you?

Share your thoughts below.

  • NDS10

    I’m happy to see Kinnear and the Dynamo capitalize on the draft and utilize it for a change rather than trading away their picks like in the past. Two seemingly good pickups that can hopefully contribute to the team soon.


  • Dan in New York

    I like the Red Bulls picks. And that we get to hear more from John Rooney, hopefully with subtitles next time, lol.


  • Derek Young

    I was shocked that Salgado went first. Definitely thought he was better than others, but that really surprised me.

    Did they say how much allocation Sounders got from Portland for the 1st pick trade?


  • ELAC

    Props to Houston. Way to reload. I think Chivas USA reached a bit to get Estupinan, but adding another Akron player to our roster is always a plus.

    I’m saying it here first:

    Zarek Valentin, 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year


  • jonk

    This doesn’t answer your question, but in regards to Portland’s subsequent trade with Houston, and MLSS article stated “The Timbers acquired an undisclosed sum of allocation that was greater than what they had given to Seattle.”
    My wish for 2011 is some level of transparency when it comes to the allocation holdings of each team.


  • metasyntactic variable

    I wonder if the Dynamo would be interested in trading their 1st round picks for the Whitecaps 1st round picks?


  • fig96

    Really happy with the Dynamo pics as others have mentioned. I think we got two of the more MLS-ready picks and Bruin is an ideal understudy to Ching.

    Now let’s see that DP Houston!


  • jmadsen

    I just wanted to give kudos to Ives and the team for their coverage of the draft, including so many interviews with players and coaches during the combine.

    I have to admit I’ve been swamped with work this week and haven’t had time to keep up with everything you’ve produced, but hope to little by little go back and get to know our new young players better from your efforts.

    Great job!


  • Gary

    Ives and team — today is proof that you run the #1 website for MLS and USMNT fans. Un-freaking-real what you’ve pulled off over the past few weeks.



  • Kevin in ABQ

    Agreed, jmadsen. Awesome job by Ives and the staff on covering this draft. I think Houston definitely came out best in the first round with Bruin and Sarkodie.


  • Gary

    I just said the same thing, but like, you said it before me. Nice to see we’re appreciating the efforts.


  • Dontreadondeuce

    You’re right on about Ching and Bruin. Bruin is like Ching with more speed and a bit of a nasty streak to him. Bruin could very easily be the steal of the draft. Huge draft for the Dynamo.


  • Charles

    Awesome, just awesome.

    Who would have thought when I used to get the NASL scores the next day, we would be getting info like this as it happens ?

    Ives, you have replaced even the latest step of traditional journalism. Nice job.


  • gigi

    liked the hertzog pick alot, alot of depth at forward Henry, Agudelo, Hertzog, Rodgers, and chinn showed good in the open cup and then you have chigardze who can be promising this year ( he was injured last year). rooney…hes a wildcard for me showed well in the combine showed the talent, but deff a wait and see. im rooting for him should compete with ballouchey, kassel and perhaps solli in the middle until a potential 3rd dp signs. Lassiter can show up, ream had a bad combine and look at the year he had. Should compete with miller for the LB spot..look for borman to prob get traded. Cortes?? idk much bout but eager to see.

    what new york still needs though is a rb to compete with albright, and with marquez, ream and mendes at CB they need one more CB especially with marquez getting call ups to the nats. with that said, good job by red bulls, they built a team with few if any glaring needs and everyone competing for spots. alot of depth. alot of young talent mixing with expierience, alot to be exicited bout with this franchise.


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