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2009 MLS SuperDraft (Live commentary)

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By Dylan Butler

Welcome to the Soccer By Ives live commentary for the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. The SBI brain trust is set up inside the ballroom and the there's a lot of discussions going on at the team tables, a lot of BlackBerry checking, surely some last-minute dealing going on.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome. We're about 40 minutes away from the first pick being selected. Will Seattle keep the pick or trade it away? We'll let you know when anything comes up.



1:26 p.m. — With a little more than a half hour to go before the first pick is selected, this is a good time to remind everyone about the procedural rules for the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

There will be a total of four rounds and 60 seletions. Teams will be permitted four minutes to make selections in the first two rounds and three minutes in the final two rounds. Each team is allowed one five-minute timeout. There is a five-minute break between each round.

The Seattle Sounders FC earned the first pick as the latest MLS expansion team. The next six selections are from teams that did not qualify for the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs beginning with the team with the fewest points in the 2008 regular season. The remaining eight positions are ranked by fewest regular season points among the teams that were eliminated in the same round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

As of right now, here is the draft order.

1. Seattle

2. Toronto

3. Los Angeles

4. Toronto

5. FC Dallas

6. D.C. United

7. D.C. United

8. Kansas City

9. Chivas USA

10. New England

11. New York

12. Real Salt Lake

13. Toronto

14. FC Dallas

15. New England

1:45 p.m. — Hey Simon, thanks for checking in. No word on any trades of yet, but judging from past drafts, there is usually a late flurry of activity just before the first pick is selected. There are some conversations going on right now, including one between Steve Nicol and Mo Johnston. Perhaps they are just talking about old times or the happenings around the EPL, perhaps it's more than that.

Steve Zakuani is still projected to go first despite having a lackluster Combine. But then again, he signed his check so perhaps the motivation to impress wasn't there.

1:51 p.m. — We have our first supporters' club chants via the hometown fans who cleverly chanted "All we want is a team of our own" to the tune of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine.

1:55 p.m. — Don Garber is on the podium with some introductory. The St. Louis fans with some "We want a team!" chants to the commish.

2:01 p.m. — The Seattle Sounders are on the clock.

2:04 p.m. — One minute left on the clock. Chris Henderson has already handed in a piece of paper. Is it their pick? A trade? We're seconds away from finding out.

2:05 p.m. — Time is up, Garber to the podium and Seattle's first pick is indeed Steve Zakuani from Akron and Generation adidas.

2:06 p.m. — Zakuani thanked Jesus Christ, Akron and family and friends for adive and encouragement, as well as the Seattle Sounders. Brief comments from the soft-spoken Zakuani. Toronto is now on the clock for the first of three first-round selections.

2:09 p.m. — Well that was anticlimatic wasn't it? Toronto selects Wake Forest midfielder Sam Cronin. Galaxy are on the clock.

2:21pm — LA takes Omar Gonzalez, who is just the type of big central defender the Galaxy needs.

2:21pm — Toronto FC takes O'Brien White with the No. 4 pick. WOW, pretty gutsy.

2:25 p.m. — FC Dallas takes Peri Marosevic, a Gen Adidas forward from Michigan.

2:30 p.m. — Rodney Wallace goes to D.C. United, probably higher than a lot of people expected

2:31 p.m. — To answer an earlier question about the draft pick in the Dema Kovalenko deal, it's a conditional 2011 selection.

2:32 p.m. — D.C. is back on the clock and they select…five-minute timeout.

2:37 p.m. — D.C. picks UCSB forward Chris Pontius. And Kansas City is on the clock.

2:39 p.m. — I've got to say, the first 30 minutes of the draft has been unusually quiet on the trade front. Maybe its the economy, LOL. Nothing like the energy of the 2006 draft when the then-MetroStars made noise by trading up to get the No. 1 pick.

2:50 p.m. — Sorry for the delay, some wireless problems there. Matt Besler, a Notre Dame defender, goes to Kansas City, midfielder Michael Lahoud to Chivas (a bit surprise it's not Frei, they do need a goalkeeper, no?) and Kevin Alston, who I think is the top outside back available, going to New England.

2:52 p.m. — Red Bulls are on the clock and I wouldn't be surprised if it's Jeremy Hall from Maryland. It would be a huge pick for New York. I don't think they thought he'd fall this low.

2:54 p.m. — Indeed it is Hall, who could probably vie for a start for New York. Osorio was a big fan of Hall, who was the highest rated left winger in the draft. Van den who?

3:12pm- Apologies for the delay, doing some interviews. RSL took Jean Alexandre (reach), TFC grabbed Stefan Frei (great pick) and FC Dallas took George John (very solid pick).

3:24 p.m. — Had an interview with Hall. He was seated right next to Osorio on the flight here so they were able to already get a good conversation going. No word on if Osorio's wife works for Continental Airlines.

University of Tampa midfielder Ryan Maxwell was the final pick of the first round, going to the Revs. Wake Forest defender Evan Brown goes to Seattle to open the second round. Indiana's Brad Ring is picked up by San Jose and the Red Bulls are on the clock. 

3:35 p.m. — After a five-minute timeout, which was of course booed by the fans here, Red Bulls take Santa Clara defender Babajide Ogunmade. Also we have a trade — finally — but blockbuster it is not. The two Los Angeles squads made a deal with the Galaxy trading a player to be named later, the fifth pick of the third round and the fourth selection of the fourth round to Chivas for the fourth pick of the second round. Therefore the Galaxy are the clock.

3:44 p.m. — Galaxy take Maryland defender AJ Delagarza. Another trade. The Fire give up a player to be named later and the 13th pick of the second round to Colorado for an allocation and the fifth pick of the second round. So the Fire are on the clock.

3:57 p.m. — Just got back from availibility with Garber in the back, here's a quick update of where we are. Baggio Husidic, a midfielder from Illinois-Chicago to Chicago and Kansas City takes Doug DeMartin, a forward from Michigan State, and Maryland midfielder Graham Zusi.

The Revs are on the clock.

4:01 p.m. — Revs take Creighton midfielder Andrei Gotsmanov with the 24th pick.

4:05 p.m. — Revs select St. Louis University midfielder Denaldin Hamzagic. A golf clap from the fans in attendance.

If your first question is who? You're not the only one, but remember the Revs have a history of some great sleeper picks in the draft.

A few quick notes on Garber's quick presser. He had a lot of nice things to say about St. Louis (of course), said there are some concerns about the stadium situation at Florida International University (turf field), Becks is absolutely coming back (his words) and he believes the same about Landon.

4:09 p.m. — Wake Forest defender Lyle Adams goes to D.C. United, a great grab this low.

4:11 p.m. — FC Dallas selects North Carolina forward Ryan Shriver. Rapids are on the clock with No. 28. Might we see a goalkeeper here? Or perhaps UNLV midfielder Danny Cruz.

4:16 p.m. — George Mason forward Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe is selected by the Rapids. Red Bulls are on the clock with their last selection.

4:19 p.m. — Notre Dame defender Jack Traynor is picked by the Red Bulls.

4:27 p.m. — My bad, Red Bulls have one more selection in the fourth round. Paul Gerstenberer is the final pick of the second round, the Boston College defender going to the MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew.

4:36 p.m. — Jared Karkas from soccer powerhouse Asuza Pacific is the opening pick of the third round and he goes to the Seattle Sounders. I suppose he's a sleeper because Karkas is not on any player lift we've been handed.

4:38 p.m. — San Jose selects UC Davis forward Quincy Amarikwa. Galaxy are on the clock.

4:43 p.m. — Galaxy select Josh Boateng, a midfielder from Liberty and TFC just took a flyer on Duke forward Mike Grella. He's got European aspirations, but if those don't pan out, this is a fantastic selection. But for sure it's a gamble.

4:46 p.m. — Denver forward Kyle Christensen is picked by Chivas USA with the 35th overall pick.

4:50 p.m. — St. Louis midfielder Brandon Barklage is selected by D.C. United. Rapids are up at No. 37.

4:53 p.m. — Well the Rapids get their goalkeeper and its Albany's Steward Ceus. The Revs are up.

4:56 p.m. — New England takes Chris Salvagionne, a forward from UNC Charlotte and Toronto picks up Syracuse forward Kyle Hall. I've got to say I'm liking Mo Johnston's selections today.

5:03 p.m. — Revs get a great pick with Duke defender Darrius Barnes and Daniel Cruz from UNLV and Gen adidas heads to Houston.

5:05 p.m. — Neal Kitson from St. John's goes to Kansas City. He had a great College Cup and a not so great Combine. I've seen a lot of him and I think he could be a good call here.

5:08 p.m. — David Sias, a defender from UC Irvine, goes to Chicago. Red Bulls are up at 44.

5:11 p.m. — Red Bulls take James Madison right-sided midfielder Kyle Zimmerman. 

Comments

  1. Marc, that’s part of what the homegrown academies are for. They’ll eventually allow MLS teams to recruit as many players as they want from their academies, even if those players leave the academy for college for a bit, putting pressure on teams to develop their players.

    Reply
  2. Not for nothing, but these sorts of events are not inexpensive. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars the league has wasted on this. It’s money that could have been spent, for instance, on giving a little bit more juice to the players on the bottom of the wage list. When you’re lowest salaries are in the teens-of-thousands, an extra couple thousand dollars makes an enormous difference.

    From a perceptional viewpoint, by trying to emulate the Big Leagues, the only thing that having a draft does is to highlight how pointless it is for MLS, thus making MLS look even more minor by comparison. 

    The NFL and NBA have big drafts because a top D1 player can legitimately play among the pros, even though many will have a learning curve; as you get lower down the ranks, even among first rounders, it becomes less of a probability that they will contribute immediately.

    MLB and NHL also have drafts, and have made bigger fanfares of them only because of what the other two leagues have done. but in these two leagues, there is an actual necessary learning curve. it is unheard of for an 18 yr old to become a starter, much less a star, in either league. That’s what makes Ken Griffey Jr and Sidney Crosby such rare, exquisite talents.

    Soccer is more like the former than the latter, in that real top talent can come along and play at 18, even 16. But the problem is, as I drone endlessly, that the best years of their formative stages is spent wasted in the NCAA. so long as NCAA seeks to win titles, coaches will coach to win, not to develop.

    So college players are not ready for prime time, and thus the whole point of the draft is useless. It also, ironically, reduces the chances of a club finding a diamond in the rough – why go out and scout your local clubs for young talent when that player could be exposed to the draft? Pointless.

    Reply
  3. “Brad Ring to San Jose. I’m a Quakes fan, but don’t follow college soccer. Can anyone give me some info on Ring?”

    Ring was rated by Buzz at #2 mid…in the country…not sure y he fell…he’s a two time all-american…think mids r just being avoided in general…3 GA mids still left…

    Reply
  4. There were two players from DII teams (both in the Sunshine State Conference) in the first 15 picks. MLS is the only league where you would even imagine a DII player going in the draft much less two in the first 15 picks.

    Reply
  5. This is basically the only site not blocked at work… and apparently Dylan Butler is too busy interviewing that updating the LIVE commentary… any public help is appreciated!

    Reply
  6. “Sutton is getting old, he seems to be aging faster than your average keeper”

    I’m telling this to any Canada fans at Gold Cup…i’m tired of hearing about him from them…haha

    Reply
  7. Good job TFC! Instead of taking him earlier with their two picks, take the chance that no one would need a GK and get him as a steal with their 3rd pick. Congrats to them.

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  8. has sutton fallen seriously out of favor? he’s only 31…according to some on here you’d think toronto had wicks at keeper…

    Reply
  9. Dear God, if only Houston had insisted this pick be included in the DeRo deal! Frei is exactly what the Dynamo need right now. Aaarghhhh!!!

    Reply
  10. Ives, do you think that the Revs may not be picking a centerback because they plan on dropping Lawrentowicz back and make it a 4-man back line with Albright, Badilla, Lawrentowicz and Heaps forming the line? That wouldn’t be half bad. Lawrentowicz is a natural center back anyway.

    Reply
  11. looks like the Revs might be able to pick up two GA’s in the first round! That’d be sick with picks this late in the first round

    Reply
  12. is it just me or is watching alexi lalas give draft advice sort of like watching Isiah Thomas trying to convince Knick fans that Jerome James and Jared Jeffries “yes, sure you guys are worth a combined 100 million dollars”

    Reply

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