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MLS Pre-Draft Rumblings and Tidbits

The MLS draft is two days away and the trade talk is in full swing as several teams are looking to trade either in or out of the first round.

So who wants into the first round? The Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls are two squad source are telling me will be lining up offers in Baltimore to move up. The Dynamo is high on young winger Brek Shea while the Red Bulls would love a chance to move up and grab Chance Myers.

Here are some other tidbits leading up to Friday’s MLS Draft:

Center back prospect Andy Iro told journalists on Tuesday that he hadn’t signed a contract yet with MLS and might consider going back to England if he winds up with a team that he isn’t comfortable playing for. It sounds as if he wants either a familiar environment or club with a reputation for developing players. The Galaxy and Houston Dynamo are two teams he is reportedly interested in playing for but only LA has a legitimate chance of acquiring him.

While San Jose wound up dealing the No. 1 overall pick to Kansas City, sources told me that the Houston Dynamo was interested in acquiring the pick before it was dealt. What kind of deal could have worked out there? How about Brian Mullan and a 2008 pick for the No. 1 overall pick. The Dynamo could have gone in any number of directions but my money is on Houston wanting a chance at Brek Shea. Don’t be surprised if Houston winds up with a Top 4 pick for that very reason.

Where oh where will Alex Nimo go? The young forward showed some nice moves at the MLS Combine but he’s short, not really that fast and doesn’t project too well at any particular position. As a Generation adidas player he doesn’t cost anything against the cap, but that still won’t keep him from likely sliding into the mid to late second round. I don’t see a team picking him early when the chances are slim that he’ll contribute at all for the next two years.

I will be posting the second round of my latest mock draft some time tonight so stay tuned for that.


  1. I think Houston will possibly try to move up to get Shea. With the possibility of several key players moving, Shea, while from what Ive seen, is not ready to start though he has potential Houston may covet.

    Nimo could fall through the second round if he isn’t projecting well, even as a Gen Adidas player. There are enough players who have more of an upside early on. Only thing keeping him up seems that he’s Gen Adidas.

    TFC, KC are in the market for depth at the striker position. If MoJo sees enough and Nimo is down, he could be a Reds reserve next year. Galaxy also could use players who do not count against the cap while KC, if they lose Johnson and are going to rebuild, may seem Nimo as a project to be ready for 09 or 2010.

    Top three guesses?
    1. Galaxy 2. TFC. 3. KC

  2. Ives,

    How is Jonathan Sabbatini going to be placed? I would think that he should have enough interest following his combine performances.

  3. Benny Feilhaber is going to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, no? That’s what’s being reported.

    I would think Houston need more defensive cover, particularly at right back, unless that’s where Ianni is pencilled in. Still their defense is thin for a team that will be playing in so many competitions next season.

  4. If the quality of players in this year’s draft is down from years past (it probably isn’t to any discernible extent), then I’m sure that’s already somewhat priced into the market.

    It’s not like you can just cash out your 2nd round pick for an allocation, you have to find a trade partner. A first round pick or third round pick has no inherent value. It’s all dependent on the market (the players available, other teams’ perceptions, etc.) and is dynamic from season to season and team to team. The smart teams are the ones who can find the discrepancy in certain parts of the market and take advantage of it. I’m thinking San Jose was trying to do just that by dealing the #1 pick away in a year where there are no clear elite talents to be had.

    But to say that it’s worthless to even draft players at all is foolish. Many teams have used good scouting and player development to get good players at all points of the draft. Dane Richards in the 2nd or 3rd round last year is a good example, as he was a starter for the majority of the season and very productive for a cheap price. His contract was also a fraction of the cost that Waterreus’ was, as a senior international (which you advocated instead of drafting).

    There are good and bad decisions made by different teams in the draft, like there are good and bad decisions in every facet of running a team. But it IS important in building a good team – the Dynamo and Revs are great examples for being able to identify which guys will be able to fit in their systems and develop into quality players – and they have been among the best teams in the league for the past 3-4 years.

  5. Holden might soon be better than Mullan, but not as a pure right mid, he’s more of a central player IMO.

    There’s about 20 guys who are fairly sure bets to be solid squad players in MLS at the least. Up to 5 of them might completely bomb, but the odds are good in the first round or two.

    Nimo is a guy who might make a pretty good #10 in 5-6 years. Problem is that you’re drafting a 4-5 year contract.

  6. Nimo’s physical shortcomings, age, success at the U-17 level, and technical ability, all remind me a lot of David Arvizu. That wouldn’t bode well for his MLS future.

  7. By reading multiple opinions on this draft class, it seems the best move would be to trade out of the draft entirely, and seek allocation money and/or international spots as compensation.

    If these guys aren’t much better than the crop that will end up on the reserve rosters, than why pay the full-wage salaries?

  8. I can understand dealing Mullan for an attempt at Shea. Mullan eats up salary cap, and Holden seems to be the better option on the right anyways.

    I don’t think forward is a problem anyways. Ching is good, De Ro can deputise, and they have cap space to go out and get a good forward.

  9. The Dynamo have gone from haveing solid forward depth to basically only Ching in a week, if the rumors of Jaqua & Ngwenya signing in Europe are true. They are going to need to find another starting forward somewhere. They can play DeRo up top (I think he is better either up top or out wide) or a hodgepodge of midfielders up front with Ching.

    If they were to trade Mullan, it would mean that. He is a heart & soul guy and works tirelessly out there. His production and play this year did drop off a little but i can’t see Kinnear trading him unless salary cap issues forced us to get rid of a starter to get a forward.

  10. The Shea rumors puzzle me also. I understand he’s a lefty, but Davis, Holden, and Ashe have all played that position. One thing’s for sure in my mind — if they do acquire Shea and one of the 2 forwards mentioned leaves, Ashe will return to his college position at forward.

  11. I agree that the options on the left side for Houston make an offer for Shea unlikely – or at lest a waste,

    I’d say a move up for James or Iro makes more sense. Having 3 DC’s is a lot less profilgate than having 3 AML’s

  12. Ives, with Jaqua and Ngwenya possibly gone from the Dynamo (Both to Europe) I would think the Dynamo’s first priority would be a striker and then a back-up goalie. If this Brek Shea kid is really worth getting, I’m sure the Dynamo could trade for him at some point down the road when he has become more experienced. I just can’t seem him coming into the league and making an immediate impact at his age.

    As far as a Davis/Holden midfield, that would be a great option for the Dynamo if they did decide to deal Mullan. They did, however, just sign Mullan to a new contract so not sure whats going on there.

    Your Take?

  13. So can we assume since KC threw the pick away or just because lack of overall quality in the draft, that Seattle will be immediately better when they start MlS. I assume they will get first pick next year as well as expansion draft as well as several sounders players. Not to mention I have a hunch that Kasey Keller will be the goalie. He has made it no secret he wants to end his career in mls, especially the northwest. Money may be the only thing that keeps that deal from getting done.

  14. John, it’s called planning for the future. Shea looks like he could be a star down the road and he’s a hometown kid so why not trade up to get him? Your wingers in 2008 could be Davis and Holden and you would have a potential star in Shea, so why wouldn’t a trade of Mullan for the pick have made sense? Nevermind the cap relief Houston would get from swapping Mullan for Shea, who is Generation adidas and therefore free against the cap.

    Fair question about why you would need to include a pick with Mullan for the No. 1 pick. I was thinking of what the price appeared like it might be BEFORE San Jose set the bar at Garcia, much lower than most expected.

  15. Considering that Mullan is a much better player than Garcia, I don’t see why Houston would have had to throw in an extra pick to make that trade for the #1 overall with San Jose???

  16. Why would Houston want to trade up for Brek Shea when they have the strongest Midfield in the country??

    LM: Davis, Holden, Ashe
    RM: Mullan, Holden
    CM: DeRosario, Clark, Mulrooney

    Doesnt look like they would need to trade up for a left winger, so I find that hard to believe.


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