Good morning all. I’m writing you from North Fort Myers, Florida, where I’m taking advantage of the MLS Combine off day to pay my mother a visit.
Today is also a day to reflect on the action in Ft. Lauderdale, where all the league’s coaches and personnel people have spent two days watching the draft-eligible talent. We haven’t seen jaw-dropping talent on display but certainly enough prospects to make Friday’s MLS Draft an intriguing one.
Those of you expecting a ton of wheeling and dealing may wind up being disappointed. When Mo Johnston says he’s probably not doing as much trading as usual you know it could be a slow week.
After talking to Frank Yallop the impression I get is that San Jose would rather deal the pick for a proven veteran. As nice as some prospects are in this draft I don’t get the impression that San Jose is in love with the draft’s standouts.
So who might talk turkey with the Earthquakes? Here are a few teams to consider:
Columbus Crew. When I asked Mark McCullers about trading up on Sunday he stated that the Crew hadn’t considered that yet. He might have been waiting to get a better look at Patrick Nyarko to see if he’s worth it. Columbus definitely needs forward help (Even with the mystery designated player waiting in the wings) and the Crew may just be better off standing firm at No. 6.
Toronto FC. I thought Mo Johnston might crack when I asked him about trading up for the No. 1 pick, and a wry smile he gave when asked about it made me think I had him. Johnston convinced me that Toronto has too many needs to package picks and/or players to move up to. No 1. Toronto has the No. 9 and No. 10 picks, which should yield some quality players for him.
LA Galaxy. You have to consider the Galaxy because LA needs forward help and has tons of picks to package in a deal, as well as a roster full of players that Frank Yallop knows well. The Galaxy already has the No. 4 pick, but a package of a second-round pick and a player might get Yallop listening.
One thing I see in this draft is a nice crop of goalkeepers, which is good for MLS because the league could lose a pair of young goalkeepers to Europe this month in Brad Guzan and Matt Pickens. It will be an interesting call between Josh Lambo and Dominic Cervi being chosen first. Lambo has tremendous upside and is Generation adidas (which means he doesn’t count against the cap). Cervi isn’t Gen adidas but he looks closer to being MLS game ready. Peter Nowak certainly thinks highly of him. He saw him play on Sunday and called him in to the U.S. Under-23 national team camp immediately, which means Cervi’s MLS Combine is done.
The defensive depth in the draft is shaping up to be as good as expected and it wouldn’t surprise me to see some highly-rated defenders slip in the draft as teams wait on defense to take the few quality attacking prospects on the board.
I will be doing a mock draft this afternoon so stay tuned for that.
Share your thoughts on the MLS Combine below.