MLS Draft Post-Mortem

MLS Draft Post-Mortem

Major League Soccer

MLS Draft Post-Mortem

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Good evening folks. For those of you hoping to find more information on today’s draft, I apologize for the lack of posts after the live commentary. I had stories to write for ESPN.com and the Herald News that have taken up most of my afternoon and evening.

The activity on the blog will be light on Saturday, at least early on before the US-Sweden match. For now, I will leave you with some observations from draft day:

Xavier Balc was not even drafted, which makes me wonder whether it was his awful draft or something else entirely. I heard concerns about his fitness and conditioning, but for a player with his skill to not go in four rounds is a bit shocking.

Speaking of players who slid, Eric Avila plummeted. Why? Well, there are stories about how unfit he has been at the U.S. Under-20 camp, stories that might have scared away coaches who were already concerned about his slight frame. The kid has skills, no question, but many wonder if he has the make-up to be a good pro. If those fears prove unwarranted, Avila could wind up being the biggest steal of this draft.

Chicago, Kansas City and Toronto came away the big winners on Friday. No question about that one.

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston was absolutely giddy after the draft, and with good reason. If he finds a way to lure Joe Lapira to Toronto, he will officially become the king of the MLS Draft. I wouldn’t rule it out.

FC Dallas could be the big winner five years from now, when Brek Shea, Josh Lambo and Eric Avila are ready to dominate. At least the Hoops hope so.

The big losers tonight were the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake. I’m still trying to figure out what Fernando Clavijo was thinking. You have to feel for Clavijo, who is coaching a club whose management provides about as little support as any other in the league.

RSL GM Garth Lagerwey was very happy with his draft but the Tony Beltran pick was a real head scratcher. He was easily the most well-spoken of the draftees but the memories of his poor Under-20 World Cup are still fresh in the minds of many.

I may take shots at Alexi Lalas once in a while but I have to give him and the Galaxy folks credit for a good day at the draft. Sean Franklin was one of my favorite players in this draft and unloading Chris Albright’s contract and scoring allocation money in the process was a very necessary move. Those of you expecting more DP madness can relax, the Galaxy will NOT be adding another designated player slot. If they did, it would be four rich guys and 22 developmental players.

A source tells me that ESPN will soon announce the changes to its main soccer broadcast team. Dave O’Brien is moving on to do more baseball and Eric Wynalda is still in talks with the network over what he will do for the remaining year of his contract. The JP Dellacamera-John Harkes-Bruce Arena trio could be coming to a soccer game near you very shortly.

I managed to fit in an interview with GolTV’s American Soccer during all the madness so you will be able to catch me on TV sometime this week. Be afraid.

I will have provide more draft insight come Monday, including a post-draft Q&A, so stay tuned. Good night folks.

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