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Official SBI MLS Mock Draft (version 2.1)

Good afternoon folks. It took me a bit longer than I thought it would but here is the second edition of the SBI MLS Mock Draft.

I wasn’t able to do a complete second round but plan to have one done by the end of the day. There are plenty of changes from the first mock draft to this new one after getting plenty of feedback from coaches on their views of the Combine. I’m pretty confident that version 2.0 is closer to what will go down on Friday.

One thing I will say after doing another mock draft is that I get the real feeling that there is going to be a handful of trades into the first round. The reason being that there are some quality prospects available at positions where the teams drafting early don’t have needs. I also think that the growing list of teams in love with Chance Myers and Brek Shea is long and those teams will be looking to move into the mid to high first round. Now that San Jose has set the bar low on value for draft picks by giving up the top pick for Nick Garcia, you may see a flurry of deals.

Now, onto the mock. Here is the second edition of the SBI MLS Mock Draft:

2008 MLS MOCK DRAFT

1. KANSAS CITY WIZARDS- JULIUS JAMES (University of Connecticut). The Wizards dealt veteran Nick Garcia for this pick and land a real stud in James, who will cost a fraction of what Garcia cost and should be an upgrade over the aging defender. So why not Patrick Nyarko? The Virginia Tech forward wasn’t all that impressive at the Combine and KC is lining up a move to sign Colombian forward Ivan Trujillo.

2. FC DALLAS- PATRICK NYARKO (Virginia Tech). Things could not have broken better for the Hoops, which deal Carlos Ruiz and find Nyarko waiting at No. 2. Nyarko looked average at the Combine but still has the tools and resume to make Dallas grab him and groom him for a starting role.

3. REAL SALT LAKE- ANDY IRO (UCSB). This pick makes the most sense but don’t be surprised to see Iro go elsewhere. He let it be known at the draft that he wouldn’t sign with MLS if he wasn’t drafted by a team he wanted to play for. Is RSL a team he’d play for? If so, he’ll have a starting job waiting. If not, RSL will have little choice but to draft him and trade him, or trade this pick. Why not just take somebody? The MLS-ready players available are at positions RSL doesn’t need and the ones who are at need positions would be a reach here at No. 3

4. LOS ANGELES GALAXY- CHANCE MYERS (UCLA). The Galaxy couldn’t ask for a better player than Myers, a skillful and speedy left back with good vision and passing skills. Perhaps just as importantly, he’s a Generation adidas player so he doesn’t count against the Galaxy’s squeezed salary cap.

5. COLORADO RAPIDS- ERIC AVILA (UCSB). Having Avila slip to this spot would be a score for Fernando Clavijo, who needs an attacking midfielder. Avila possesses the kind of play-making ability the Rapids thought they were getting when they traded for Mehdi Ballouchy. The real question is whether Clavijo is ready to take a player who may need more than one season to have an impact. If Clavijo decides that he needs a more MLS-ready player, he could grab Peter Lowry here.

6. COLUMBUS CREW- GEORGE JOSTEN (Gonzaga). The Crew needs forwards badly and Josten had the best combine showing of any forward in Ft. Lauderdale. He’s got size and an ability to finish chances. Xavier Balc looked like a lock to be chosen here, and still may be, but his stock is falling quickly.

7. CHICAGO FIRE- BREK SHEA (U.S. Under-17 national team). The Fire will be thrilled to add a player with Shea’s tools and upside. He was one of the stars of the Combine and it wouldn’t shock me to see a trade here. Houston will be looking to trade up to grab Shea and may find a taker here. The Fire could wind up with a quality veteran like Brian Mullan.

8. FC DALLAS- PAT PHELAN (Wake Forest). The Hoops have already added Nyarko and go for the best available defender, which is Phelan. A strong center back and capable defensive midfielder, Phelan is mature enough to step in and play right away.

9. TORONTO FC- PETER LOWRY (Santa Clara). One of the stars of the MLS Combine, Lowry has the goal-scoring ability from a central midfielder/withdrawn forward that Mo Johnston likes. Johnston could also go with Duke’s Mike Videira here but I’d be shocked to see him pass on Lowry if given the chance (actually, I’m more inclined to see someone like San Jose trade up to get Lowry rather than seeing him fall this far.

10. TORONTO FC- YOMBY WILLIAM (Old Dominion). One of the most impressive defenders at the Combine, William still needs some seasoning but has the physical tools to be a solid starting central defender. Don’t be surprised to see Johnston grab a forward like Ricardo Pierre-Louis here either.

11. KANSAS CITY WIZARDS- SEAN FRANKLIN (Cal State-Northridge). The Wizards complete the revamping of their defense by taking Franklin, who only spent one day at the combine but showed that he is clearly the best right back in the draft. Adding James and Franklin to a defense that includes Conrad is pretty impressive.

12. CHICAGO FIRE– JOSH LAMBO (US Under-17 national team) Will Chicago address its goalkeeping position here? It should consider given the uncertain status of starter Matt Pickens, who is on a trial in England. Without Pickens, the Fire must rely on veteran Jon Busch. Lambo makes sense for a variety of reasons (no cap it, local kid, most upside of any American goalkeeper in years) but Chicago also likes Dominic Cervi and Brian Edwards, so does Denis Hamlett wait to address goalkeeper or grab Lambo here? I say he grabs Lambo here. If Hamlett waits, look for him take defender Jon Leathers or midfielder Andrew Jacobson.

13. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION- ANDREW JACOBSON (U. of California).  The Revs don’t have many needs but some central midfield depth and fullback depth are two of them. Jacobson and Stephen King are the most highly-regarded of the central midfielders so look for the Revs to grab one of them, with Jacobson being the most likely.

14. REAL SALT LAKE- JON LEATHERS (Furman). Leathers is one of the most polished defenders in the draft and his ability to play center back and right back make him valuable. He is a touch undersized but showed at the Combine that his size doesn’t stop him from making plays.

SECOND ROUND

15. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES- RICARDO PIERRE-LOUIS (Lee University). The Earthquakes have veteran Preston Burpo penciled in as the team’s starting goalkeeper. Cervi gives San Jose a very impressive prospect who has the tools to start in MLS in year one.  Yes, I managed to forget about the Joe Cannon trade. Apologies for that one San Jose fans. The talk before the trade with Kansas City was that San Jose would take Patrick Nyarko. Here, they get an exciting forward with lots of potential who could just wind up being as good, if not better, than Nyarko. Frank Yallop could also go with midfielder Stephen King from Maryland. And be honest, if you didn’t have Cannon, wouldn’t you want Dominic Cervi?

16. RED BULLS- DAVID HORST (Old Dominion). The lack of quality wing midfielders will force Juan Carlos Osorio to grab a need pick. The Red Bulls need some depth in central defense and Horst has the size (6-foot-4) and tools to push for playing time. Don’t be surprised of Osorio finds a way to trade up in order to grab either Brek Shea or Chance Myers.

I won’t be able to do a complete second-round for this mock draft now but plan to have one done by the end of the day.

Let me know what you think of the changes and what players you would like to see your team draft. Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Hahaha, sounds good on Brunner… but I love Keller, man! I just love him less than many of my fellow Americans, that’s all… lol

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  2. Yes Miq, Brunner is the better fit and was going to go in that spot if available for the final mock draft. Hold your horses next time Keller hater. LOL

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  3. Ives,
    I think Horst will be a decent MLS defender, but why not Brunner for the Red Bulls at that spot? Tall and fast, good in the air… I think he can be slightly more of a difference maker than Horst.

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  4. Jason Kreis recently mentioned in an MLSNet.com article that he and Garth Lagerway weren’t looking to pick up any defenseive players in this draft (with Ian Joy and an unnamed Columbian defender coming in). Ives, you’ve got RSL picking up two defenders. I’d actually expect RSL to trade away their pick for a solid player or at least a good sized allocation.

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  5. The Revs could very well take Videira over Jacobson and I’ll probably make that change in my final mock. I originally had Toronto taking Videira before realizing I hadn’t included Lowry after trying to decide between Lowry and Avila to Colorado. Call it the domino effect.

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  6. This draft pool has several central defenders that can play right away or are not that far from it (and 2 or 3 offensive prospects – why is everyone so high on Pierre Louis?)… KC should be taking Nyarko first and addressing defensive needs with their second 1st rd pick.

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  7. What seems to be interesting is that while there appears to be a number of “usable” picks through the first and maybe the second round, many columnists and coaches have indicated the draft isn’t very deep at all. What does this mean for future drafts if the talent pool is really only good for 10-15 guys and the league continues to grow…. seems like the draft will be best for finding roster spots 23-28. Either the league will have to raise the salary cap to keep the more talented youth players stateside (very good idea), the league will have to raise the number of foreign slots (not a good idea), or teams will have to be allowed to sign more Academy players without fear of being poached (great idea). Call it Darwinism, but the draft is being rendered more & more useless with each passing year.

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  8. Feilhaber to MLS? It would make sense. It was mentioned that Benny was on his way to Tel Aviv. Israeli First Division or MLS. As an American, he probably will choose MLS. At least I would if I were him. Take this for what you may, but I’ve been told by some people close to the Crew front office that they are throwing up a smoke screen by saying they have interest in Maciej ┼╗urawski (Celtic FC). What about The Crew going after Feilhaber? Just a thought.

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  9. Ives, SOCCERNET is reporting that MLS teams have shown an interest in Feilhaber. Have you heard which MLS teams are interested?

    Also, what do you think his salary would be in MLS? Remember that Altidore only made about $110k last season, so wouldn’t it be hard for any MLS team to pay him more than that?

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  10. Count me as one FCD fan that approves of their mock picks. I was thinking that KC would grab Nyarko at number 1 (as many other writers are predicting), but if they pass on him for James, we’ll surely take him (I hope).

    James wouldn’t be bad for FCD either, and if that happens, I could see FCD trading their second 1st round pick since they are not going to get a quality forward there, since that is their biggest need. The only MF I would guess on FCD taking in the first round would be Avila, but I think #2 is too high for him, and I doubt he falls to #8.

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  11. Ives,

    Just in from Brazil…

    Fluminense 17-year old twins sign with Manchester United for US$7 million each.

    Fabio and Rafael play in Fluminense’s (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) youth system and had been to Manchester on trial on a few occasions.

    The two boys caught the eye of Sir Alex Fergunson and Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United has now officially completed their purchase. They’ll move to England permanently on January 21st.

    The link below is in Portuguese but has pictures and video of the kids with AF and CR:

    http://globoesporte.globo.com/ESP/Noticia/Futebol/Fluminense/0,,MUL261186-4284,00.html

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  12. Ives:

    Any word on when the MLS will do the lottery for the S American players …. seems like Sabbatini showed well and would have multiple teams interested in putting in a claim.

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  13. I’m gonna agree with the KC pick. It’ll be a defender . . . they need it after losing those two guys. Good fix from the last draft. However, why would LAG get a left back when they have Mike Randolph? I’m not saying he’s a star, but he certainly looked like he had a bright future (which could not be said about most of the starting 11 last year).

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  14. Matt,
    Yomby William is only 23. He put the wrong birth year down on his form.
    In any case, not sure if you would draft him at 23 either. Not the smartest guy around, eh?
    How do you get your birth year wrong?
    He’s from Cameroon, so maybe he really is 26, and not 23 like his “birth certificate” says.

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  15. I am surprised you are listing the Revs as having few needs.

    They still don’t have a solid attacking midfielder (Ralston is only a stand-in there).

    They are short forwards (supposing Noonan leaves as he may well do).

    They have not replaced Dorman or Clint Dempsey or Cancela (who was effective in his own way for the Revs). Gary Flood and Laurentowicz are limited players. Thompson is not mature in the slightest.

    If Twellman has any injury trouble (he isn’t going to be motivated to play through the pain) they are totally up a creek.

    Their defense declined significantly last season (statistically), as Heaps battled injuries and the improvement in wing play and shooting from distance that really stretches the 352 scheme. Riley and Franchino are pretty shaky, and there are rumors that Avery John is going to be gone, as well. Franchino and Heaps are not young and may be threats for injuries as well.

    The team has no signficant depth.

    Generally the Revs are good for at least a few outstanding picks. But the impact players from the last two seasons drafts/signings (Thompson, Christman, Flood, Igwe, etc) have been nothing like those from years past (Noonan, Dempsey, Dorman, Parkhurst, etc) in terms of making rapid contributions.

    Perhaps the Gambians and other pick-ups in the next few weeks will rectify some of these problems. But I would think that this draft is CRITICAL for the Revs if they want to be able to have any flexibility of the bench.

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  16. KC will only take James over Nyarko if Onalfo has a line on some striker from abroad. Replacing Eddie Johnson is far more important than replacing Nick Garcia. Aaron Hohlbein looked capable of moving up to the first eleven. Nyarko is exactly the time of smart forward that would pair better with Marinelli than Johnson ever did. While Nyarko doesn’t have Eddie’s first step (who does?), he has Eddie’s speed – and a better first touch. I didn’t see Tuesday’s games, but you can’t blame Patrick for his invisibility on Sunday – the white team was stacked and he never got any service.

    If Onalfo is bringing in a high-end striker, then I can see them going after James – maybe.

    I’m a bit dubious on Brek Shea. He’s a project. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall to the second round – or fellow U-17 Alex Nimo squeeze into the first.

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  17. @WJ Marx

    Shea for Mullan? No way indeed! I don’t care if Brek Shea has amazing potential, Mullan is the motor that makes the team run! I’d expect Brad Davis to be delt before Brian Mullan (Brad, of course, is one of the top handfull of crossers in the league, and also plays the left flank) – especialy with Stewart Holden missing a chunk of time next season and the next best option on the right being Jaqua/Mulrooney.

    I actually wonder what would have happened if the Dynamo had decided to file a discovery on Brek (as a High School player with intentions of going pro) before the combine, instead of urging the league include him in the combine and draft. Would have surely been cheaper to get him that way.

    I have a feeling that the Dynamo and Fire have SOME kind of deal pre-hashed if Brek is still on the board for their pick. I doubt it’s the rights to Coralles, but it might be a few years of DP or a veteran midfielder (Davis? Perhaps Corey Ashe and Chris Wondolowski? Not sure I’d like to make those deals for a prospect – no matter how much I like him.), or maybe a fringe first teamer and next years first rounder?

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  18. For crying out loud! Will the Quakes pick an exiting offensive player already! Pierre-Louis has got me stoked. With our only pick, we can’t waste it on someone who wont contribute right away.

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  19. I don’t think Iro would have an immediate starting job. He will have to beat out Sturgis. With the 2 solid D-Mids (Beckerman, Talley) and another 2-way mid (Cordoba) basically on his way here. I think Sturgis will be moved to Center Back (Position played in the U-20s), and will be starting with Mantilla as the other center back.

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  20. WJ Marx, funny you say that. Because there is no way the Dynamo would be willing to trade someone of Mullan’s quality for a 17 yr old risk. Any team would be foolish to turn away Brian Mullen for any pick in the mls draft.

    Ives, why wouldn’t the Dynamo have been able to put a discovery claim on Shea? I guess I really don’t know how that works.

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  21. I hope you are right about Pierre-Louis as well!!! My lord im excited for the draft.
    I need to stop posting nonsense comments like this.

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  22. Ives:

    Shea for Mullan – No way! While I appreciate Mullan,s qualities, Shea may be a star in a few years. With Houston having only picks # 42 & 56 they would have sweeten the deal substantially with another vet or 2 to pry away Shea.

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  23. Just read your pics/comments and im liking them alot better. Im in fact keeping my fingers crossed that we sign Lowry as he seems to be on the a list for alot of the combine reports that ive read…

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  24. Sorry for the mistake with the San Jose pick. I was trying to get the post up and just plain forgot about Joe Cannon going there. I’ve made the correction.

    I also didn’t mean to have Peter Lowry slide out of the first round. I was flip-flopping between Lowry and Avila to Colorado at No. 5 and after finally going with Avila I forgot to consider Lowry for the subsequent picks. I have slotted him in at No. 9 but can definitely see a team trading up to grab him higher, or even a team like Columbus taking a shot at him at No. 6.

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  25. Yeah Ives… Get some rest buddy! Let’s go ahead stick Peter Lowry in that #15 slot shall we? …or expect us to take Cervi and trade a GK back to Chivas for a, umm, yep another proven veteran.

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  26. For the normally thorough job you do – and this mock draft is great – I’m surprised at an oversight on your part: Burpo isn’t the Quakes’ starter in net, they just traded for Joe Cannon, who they’ll have to pay around $200,000 next year. How could they ever justify using their first-ever SuperDraft pick on another GK when they have to fill nearly an entire roster? They can address their 3rd GK position much later, perhaps in the supplemental, especially when there’s a local Stanford kid available.

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  27. Hey Ives,
    You forgot that the quakes have Cannon as their starting gk, and Burpo as the backup. Do you really seeing them getting another goalie now?

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  28. Ives,
    Don’t forget the Quakes have Cannon to start and Burpo to be the backup… Think they’d take Cervi as the 3rd stringer and than possibly move Burpo if necessary though?

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