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SBI MLS Mock Draft (Version 3.0)

SteveZakuani (ZipsSportsPhotography) 

                  Photo by Zips Sports Photography

Call it a major mock draft shake-up.

Plenty has happened since the last SBI Mock Draft, from word that Ike Opara would be staying in school to the latest news that Baggio Husidic would be available. No, there have been no trades yet, but sources tell me that offers are already flying from teams eager to move up in this loaded draft.

The latest news isn't actually that Husidic signed, but that U.S. Under-20 national team striker Peri Marosevic has also signed his Generation adidas agreement. Sources confirmed that to me today, making the Generation adidas pool that much deeper.

What is becoming very clear is that there will be trades galore before the draft, with the MLS Combine serving as trade central for negotiations next weekend. So why even have mock drafts? We have them to help give you all a sense of what teams and scouts are thinking heading into the draft. That said, once the Combine takes place, and trades start to happen, we will get a much better sense of what will actually happen on Jan. 15.

Here are some other draft-related tidbits, followed by the SBI MLS Mock Draft (version 3.0):

Of the top Generation adidas targets, only two have not signed, Ike Opara and Michael Stephens. MLS was still trying to gauge the interest among MLS teams for Stephens, which is also why it took this long for Husidic and Marosevic to sign their deals. I would put money on Stephens being signed.

As for Opara, he has yet to formally announce a decision on whether to come out or stay in school. So why hasn't he, when all signs are pointing to him staying in school? My theory is that Opara is waiting to see what trades shake out before the draft. I have a sneaking suspicion that if Los Angeles or D.C. United move into the first or second spot, Opara might be tempted to come out. That's completely just a theory, not anything I've heard.

If you are wondering what is going on with Matt Kassel, the last I heard was that he wasn't sold on leaving Maryland and was far from a lock to enter the draft. The hope from the Kassel camp was that the Red Bulls would simply acquire him as a home-grown player, but with the Red Bulls still uncertain about Kassel's ability to contribute any time soon, it is looking like Kassel's path to MLS would have to go through the draft. And yes, it happens to be a loaded draft, with few teams ready to spend a high pick on a player who might still be a full year away from being an MLS contributor (and yes, there is a strong belief that he isn't MLS ready yet). That fact would make it pretty tough for MLS to justify handing Kassel a Generation adidas contract, even if he is considered one of college soccer's best long-term prospects. If I were a betting man I would bet on Kassel staying in school at this point.

I haven't heard a peep about North Carolina freshman Sheanon Williams though there were rumors that he was coming out and trying to sign a Generation adidas contract. If he were to sign he would likely project as a late first-rounder or early second-rounder, which might be why we haven't heard anything definitive about what his plans are. Williams would probably be better served going the Opara route and staying unsigned heading into next fall's Under-20 World Cup.

Now, without further ado, here is the the SBI MLS Mock Draft (v 3.0). Enjoy:

2009 SBI MLS Mock Draft (version 3.0)

1. Seattle Sounders- Steve Zakuani, F, Akron

For the second straight mock draft, Zakuani projects as the top pick. Sources have stated that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid (as well as at least two other MLS coaches) consider Zakuani the top talent in the draft and will select him No. 1 overall.

2. Toronto FC- Omar Gonzalez, D, Maryland

The list of teams interested in moving up to this pick continues to grow because there are a handful of teams eager to grab Gonzalez. TFC isn't convinced in Gonzalez and look very likely to grab the best trade package. Sources tell me offers have already been made and Los Angeles, FC Dallas, D.C. United and New England have all been identified as teams interested in moving up.

3. Los Angeles Galaxy- Rodney Wallace, D, Maryland

The Galaxy need a central defender like Gonzalez and could be willing to send Toronto a player just to move up one spot. If LA can't find a deal, then look for the Galaxy to grab the best Generation adidas defender available, which would be Wallace, a speedy left back who could be considered an upgade over both Ante Jazic and Mike Randolph. Marcus Tracy would be a great acquisition here, but LA can't afford the luxury of adding a rookie who will

4. Toronto- Marcus Tracy, F, Wake Forest

It is starting to look like Tracy, a player most thought would be a lock no. 1 overall pick will fall a few slots. It isn't that teams don't rate him, it is that Tracy loses out to Generation adidas options when teams factor in his salary counting against the cap. There is also a stronger need for defenders around the league, making Gonzalez and Wallace more coveted.

5. FC Dallas- Jeremy Hall, M, Maryland

The Hoops have plenty of attacking options, and more talented young prospect than any other team in MLS, so why would FC Dallas take Hall here? It's simple. He's clearly the most valuable and coveted player available at this spot. FC Dallas could turn to Alston, but Hall has difference-maker speed on the left wing, something that isn't easy to find. Look for the Hoops to push hard for a trade to grab Gonzalez, with a package of two first-round picks and a player (like Adrian Serioux for example) a very enticing potential package.

6. D.C. United-Kevin Alston, D, Indiana

Another team that would love to land a center back in this draft, D.C. will be using high picks for the first time in years and will be in position to boost a roster that needs some new blood. With starting right back Brian Namoff out of contract and unsigned, D.C.could suddenly replace him with a younger and more athletic alternative who wouldn't count against the salary cap. D.C. is trying to move up for Gonzalez, but will gladly grab a pair of young prospects in the middle of the first round.

7. D.C. United- Stefan Frei, GK, California

D.C. United had plenty of issues in 2008, including the goalkeeper position. Zach Wells struggled early and often, then Louis Crayton started well only to struggle late. Enter Frei, the top goalkeeper prospect in this draft and a Generation adidas player D.C. can bring along slowly.

8. Kansas City- Michael Stephens, M, UCLA

The Wizards have been lacking creativity in the middle of the field for some time and while there have been rumors about KC looking for a playmaker in the foreign market, look for the Wizards to grab the versatile Stephens, who is a good two-way central midfielder who ranks second only to Husidic among playmakers in the draft. Stephens' ability to play on the wing also gives him the versatility KC likes in its young players, which gives him the edge over Baggio Hudisic, who is considered a better pure playmaker.

9. Chivas USA-  Baggio Husidic, M, Illinois-Chicago

The best pure playmaker in the draft could wind up going higher depending on how trades shake up the draft order, but at this point you would be hard-pressed to have Preki pass on his fellow Yugoslavian playmaker. Hudisic has a rare combination of size, speed and passing touch that has teams believing he could step in and play right away like Sacha Kljestan for Chivas USA three years ago. That makes sense considering the Goats would be selecting Husidic as some insurance for Kljestan's expected departure to Europe.

10. New England-  Yohance Marshall, D, South Florida

The Revs are among the teams trying to move up in the draft (We believe they covet Omar Gonzalez and Jeremy Hall), but if they stay put they could wind up with the best senior defender of the bunch. Marshall was the Big East's top defender and the Revs have surely gotten a good look at Marshall throughout the fall. A strong and athletic centerback who is also very mature for a rookie, Marshall could step in and play major minutes as New England tries to cope with the departure of Michael Parkhurst.

11. FC Dallas- Peri Marosevic, F, Michigan

We know, FC Dallas doesn't have a pressing need for a striker, especially now that Kenny Cooper is reportedly staying put, but counting on Jeff Cunningham to have two straight good seasons with the same team is never a wise move and the Hoops may be forced to go best available with all the top defenders off the board. Marosevic is a small (5-foot-9) sniper of a forward who scores goals in bunches and is one of the U.S. Under-20 team's top strikers.

12. Real Salt Lake- Sam Cronin, M, Wake Forest

RSL had been projected to grab Mike Grella here, and that is still a very real possibility, but I think Garth Lagerwey and Jason Kreis will be hard-pressed to pass on a proven midfield general like Cronin, who slips to them because the wave of Generation adidas players goes before him. If Real Salt Lake is ready to part with Dema Kovalenko, which is the word in league circles, then Cronin could slide in next to Kyle Beckerman in a double-pivot midfield. Cronin would also make a good fit in RSL's frenetic attack having played so well as the perfect counterbalance in Wake Forest's high-powered offense.

13. Toronto- O’Brian White, F, UConn

Yes, we see this pick happening, with Toronto being the only team ready to gamble a first-round pick on a player coming off ACL surgery. Is it really that much of a gamble? I'm hearing that White will be back in April. One potential issue with this pick is the fact that the lack of interest in White as a first-round pick could lead to MLS not offering White a good contract before the MLS Draft and White just might balk if MLS tries to low-ball him once he is drafted.

14. New York- Calum Angus, D, St. Louis

For the second straight mock, we have Angus going to New York. He stood out as a central defender for SLU, but should be a fullback on the pro level. Having excelled as a midfielder for his PDL team, Angus brings the versatility Juan Carlos Osorio likes. The Red Bulls are very likely to choose between Angus and speedy Wake Forest fullback Lyle Adams and whichever player has the better combine should get the call here.

15. New England- Michael Lahoud, M, Wake Forest

When the Revs let Khano Smith go in the expansion draft, they had to know the 2009 draft would have a few quality left wing prospects. Jeremy Hall is the best in the draft, but he'll be long gone by now, leaving the Revs to turn to Lahoud, a speedster who might not be quite as dangerous as Hall but does have speed and the ability to play centrally if needed. If the Revs address this position with their earlier pick, then Chris Pontius or Mike Grella will likely get the call.

MLS Mock Draft Notes

So where are Mike Grella and Chris Pontius? The two highly-regarded senior strikers fell victim to the wave of Generation adidas players in this draft. Both forwards are great attacking options who could very easily move into the first round, particularly if any of the Generation adidas players fail to impress at the Combine. Could Grella and Pontius force their way into the first round with strong Combine showings? They could, be last year players like Pete Lowry, George Josten and Ricardo Pierre-Louis impressed at the Combine only to fall to later picks.

As many different draft combinations as there could be, and I juggled this mock draft thoroughly just before posting after Husidic was signed, there is a growing consensus that the Top Five players in this mock draft will be the first five players chosen (though I wouldn't hold my breath on them finishing in that order0. Of course, last year the same was said about players such as Patrick Nyarko and Julius James.

One name that has faded a bit is Graham Zusi, which was to be expected once the College Cup buzz faded. A very skillful central midfielder, Zusi has drawn some comparisons to Ohio State standout Xavier Balc, who was a college star that MLS scouts didn't rate at all. It's an unfair comparison because Zusi has a far better work rate and is simply a more complete player than Balc, who went from projected first-rounder to Supplemental Draft pick last year. Zusi will not slip past the early part of the second round, if he isn't grabbed up in the latter part of the first round.

Now, onto the MLS Draft Best XI, with the players considered the best at each position in the draft(And no, we still haven't found a pure right winger to put in, at least not anybody that will come close to being a first-round pick).

MLS Draft Best XI (Version 2.0)

———-Marcus Tracy———–Steve Zakuani————-

———————-Baggio Husidic—————————-

Jeremy Hall———————————–Michael Stephens

————————-Sam Cronin—————————

Rodney Wallace———————————Kevin Alston

————Omar Gonzalez—-Yohance Marshall———–

————————Stefan Frei—————————-


The next SBI MLS Mock Draft will come on Friday, Jan. 9, the day before the MLS Combine. I will be looking to find out what some of the trade offers have been in the upcoming draft, and if I get a good sense of what trades are being offered, I may do a Mock draft including trades for next week. I am also considering making the next Mock Draft a two-round mock. I was planning to do that after the Combine anyway, but may do it a week early so keep an eye out for that.

For now, feel free to share your thoughts on all of these developments and the version 3.0 of the mock draft in the comments section below.    


  1. I understand how you would describe RSL’s attack as “jailbreak” since probably you’re basing it on the games of RSL against NYRBs last year. I would agree that at least in the two games at Rio Tinto that would not be inaccurate. However, I don’t think those 2 games were representative of RSL’s season as a whole. In both those games, RSL went a goal down. In both those games (for different reasons) RSL had a lot of pressure to win the game, which effected their play, especially in the second half. I would call RSL’s attack (especially towards the end of the year after the acquisition of Will Johnson) as inclining towards possession/ball control and some good movement. I think it will continue in this vein next year. They did tend to put the ball over the top too much, especially in the games against the NYRBs.

    As far as you using the term double pivot, I actually think you used it correctly. The double pivot (as I understand it) is basically using a square midfield, with two d-mids on the back of the square and two #10’s (or attacking midfielders) usually in a 4-4-2 formation. In this formation, you posit that Cronin would fit in with Beckerman as one of the back 2 in the square.

    The problem with this (or with your double 5 formation) is that Kreis’ and Garth’s mantra from the beginning of their tenure has been continuity in personnel and the system of play. Kreis has almost exclusively used the 4-4-2 diamond midfield formation with Javi Morales serving as the point of the diamond (#10 position), two pinched in wing halves (normally Johnson and Williams at the end of the year but also Kovalenko) and a D-mid at the back of the diamond (Beckerman or Kovalenko). I don’t see Kreis changing his basic pattern, especially for an unproven kid unless he’s the second coming of Yaya Toure. I don’t see him going to any scheme that Javi Morales isn’t the main “pivot” either. The only thing that might prompt Kries to tinker with the formation is because they would like to play on a wider field at Rio Tinto than they did last year (when they kept Rio Tinto narrow to lessen the transition from Rice Eccles). For this reason, RSL, I think will be looking for for the reasons I pointed out in my previous post 1) a d-midfielder or 2) an offensive wing player who could play wide and provide nice services into the box (actually Vandenberg for NYRBs would be the type of player who RSL could really use). Are there any players in the draft who fit either of those two categories?

    As far as negatives toward RSL, there are a lot of them (as well as positives). As long as the comments are not gratuitous cheap shots (yours was not) and are informed, I have no problem.

    Happy New Years Ives. As I said, your draft analysis is something that you can get on your site and nowhere else and I appreciate it. There are going to be times when there are differences in opinion, but that’s what your site is all about and what makes it interesting. Thanks for the great work. Cheers.

  2. Tim, come on, I wouldn’t get defensive about something you said. I know you and respect you as a friend, but let’s admit that anytime someone says something that could be construed as negative about RSL you do come out of the woodwork to defend your boys. I’d say you’re second only to Dannyc58’s consistent defense of West Ham on the list of SBI’s most protective fans, which is cool.

    A word’s usage in sports terms isn’t always necessarily going to be associated with the most common usage of a word. As a sports fan, I have heard frenetic used repeatedly through the years to describe an attack that is fast and unpredictable. You can choose to disagree but that’s how I would describe RSL’s offense, which is more jail-break than organized system.

    And my mistake on saying Double Pivot, I meant a Double 5, with two deeper-lying midfielders. I think a Beckerman and Cronin combination would be pretty damn dynamic, providing the defensive base that would allow midfielders like Morales, Will Johnson and Andy Williams to focus on attacking while providing their own contributions to the attack. Tim, as a fan of South American soccer you would appreciate the very Argentinian approach.

    And I’m glad you pointed out Dema’s shortcomings. His game has deteriorated over the years. He isn’t the relentless pitbull he once (though some fans are stuck believing he’s still the same player he was four or five years ago. He’s still a solid veteran who can bring something to the table, but not at 200K a year. He went from being a tenacious D-Mid who could also get forward to being a decent d-mid who who has slowed down enough to no longer be a factor offensively. Cronin is no track star, but he’s got a passing eye and soccer brain that would make him great for the RSL midfield.

    Of course, the whole discussion is moot since sources are now telling me Cronin is one of the most coveted players in the draft and is extremely unlikely to be available beyond the top half of the draft.

  3. Ives,

    A little defensive in the new year :-)? My question was merely to find out why you would describe the RSL attack as “frenetic” (not a word I would choose to describe RSL’s attack, with or without its negative connotation.) As to being taken aback because someone might take your comment negatively (I did not), the primary definition of frenetic in the OED is “fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way” not exactly compimentary. While you may not have meant it in that fashion, a logical person could assume you did, since it is a, if not the, primary meaning for the word.

    As far as Eugene’s comments, they are valid. You implied that Beckerman and Cronin would be the axis of a double pivot offense? Beckerman is not a playmaker and thus not a pivot, Javi Morales is the playmaker number 10 and the single pivot in the team. I agree with Eugene that with the loss of Sturgis and if Kovalenko is sent packing, then RSL will be looking for a realiable backup for Beckerman and defensive midfielder , since if Kova goes, they went from 4 deep at the position last year (Beckerman, Sturgis, Kovalenko, Cutler) to 1 (Beckerman).

    And actually, after watching Kovalenko for a year, the guy has very little offensive skills (despite his one important goal he scored last year) and RSL’s midfield lost its ability to create, hold the ball and move forward when he and Beckerman were in the lineup together. The midfield did work when either Kovalenko or Beckerman were the holding midfielder and Morales, Williams and Johnson moved forward.

    I personally hope they free up space by getting rid of Kovalenko, he’s not worth the 200K he’s making with the limited salary cap.

    The kids Cronin does sound like he could fit several niches though for RSL. Thanks for these draft updates, I don’t know the college crowd very well and your info has been great. Keep up the great work!

  4. you’re definitely right eugene. it’s really going to be hard for the seniors to make the roster and probably a lot easier for the GA’s. Some of the teams will probably have 5 or 6 picks and if you’re one of the guys picked up by those teams, it’s going to be even harder to make the team, especially if you’re going to occupy a senior spot.

    I heard that the salary cap is going to increase this year, but we’ll know for sure in a week or two.

  5. GoTarheels,

    You’re missing the point. I believe this year will be worse off for seniors because:

    -Last year teams spent their $2.3 million salary cap on 18 players. This year they’ll hesitate to dilute that money on 20 players rather than concentrating it on the 18

    -Seniors will likely have to make the 18 because if teams are going to use the additional 2 senior slots, they’ll likely bring in more experienced players and internationals

    -Last year if a senior didn’t make the 18, they could take developmental money and teams had 10 shots on goal in the developmental slots paid by the league

    -This year the slots are down to 4, so teams will want to get the most bang for the league buck and will be MORE interested in picking up GAs

    -Last year seniors not picked up in regular draft could be picked up in the supplemental

    -This year no supplemental, so they either get picked up as free agents or go to USL for pro socer

    As a result of all of this, I would predict that half of the guys picked up in the draft could be waived at the first roster deadline. Now its really sink or swim for these guys, be able to make an impact or go to USL.

  6. GoTarheels,

    Check your facts. Senior rosters can range from 18-20 and developmental rosters can range from 4-6. That does not mean every team has to take 20 senior roster players and 4 developmental players.

    For some teams, I would not be surprised to see more than 4 developmental players. Teams have to think for the future, not just for 2009.

  7. Eugene,

    The senior roster went from 18 to 20 this year. that leaves 4 spots for developmental players because the roster was cut from 28 to 24. So this means that the teams who already have developmental contracts will be more inclined to take seniors as opposed to GA’s because of the number of available developmental contracts.


    Cronin is a good player, but what happened to him in the college cup against UNC. He made bad passes, lost the ball and overall he had a bad game. Anybody who watched that game would agree.

    If I was him I wouldn’t even play at the combine because I think it will only hurt his chances. If he plays bad and other players who haven’t been televised as much look better than him it might hinder his chances of being a first round pick.

    There are a good amount of mids and forwards looking to make a name for themselves at this combine and I can assure you that they wont be holding anything back.

  8. GoTarheels:

    Cronin was the captain of the best team in the country for a reason. He was outstanding on the field for four years at Wake. The notion that he is a mediocre player who looked better than he actually is because he was surrounded by superior talent is absurd.

    He was a fantastic destroyer with plenty of goals and assists. He also took PKs for the Deacons and I don’t recall him ever missing one if that speaks to his mettle.

    I’d be happy if DC grabbed him at 6 even if they are deep in that position (Simms). I’m sure they could find a spot for him.

  9. I am confused about the case of Kassel. I understand that he has been developed by NY, but he could get drafted by another team. Or NY could claim him as a development player, but they would not be able to claim another player from their development system for another 3 years.

    How does this system reward teams for developing players? Am I wrong about this?


  10. “the GA premium isn’t so important with the new roster rules”

    Its even more important, as there as less overall slots for players, and more teams will be playing more matches.


    But here’s why it isn’t. The Galaxy already have two GA players. Add a third keeper and there’s only one more dev spot open.

    If the Galaxy try to get two players out of this draft (which is plausible given how bad they are) one of them will have to go on the senior roster.

    Becuase of that, you worry less about GA and more about getting the best player.

    Other teams, like Dallas, are in similar situations.

  11. I agree with onionsack (but not necessarily his attitude) with respect to player development in the US. I don’t think we’ll ever make the ‘next step’ internationally unless MLS clubs start developing players for themselves and the college game becomes obsolete or second choice.

    I’ve always wondered if a hockey type system could be developed (junior hockey and college)

  12. GoTarheels,

    I think you are cherry-picking your examples and when you jump across teams to discuss various players, you have to also consider that different teams had different environments. You have taken three of last year’s best seniors plus Shea Salinas who had more opportunties because he was on an expansion team, and compared them with two GAs, one of which (Shea) was moved around the field a lot and unfortunately got injured.

    Shea is also 18 years old — how do you factor that in? Shea will likely have an additional four years in his pro career. If he’s a starting player at 20, he would still be starting two years younger than these seniors were as rookies.

    “I understand what you are saying, but even if their economical value is 100k, that doesn’t mean they’re worth 100k.”

    In the economic sense, it does mean they’re worth $100k, at least when they signed. A year later, those true economic values may be completely different, but at the moment they sign the GAs are worth more because people believe they have more potential and have more time to reach it.

    I’m not saying that seniors aren’t good players, I’m saying that teams will mostly take their bets on GAs in the first round.

  13. Eugene,

    I understand what you are saying, but even if their economical value is 100k, that doesn’t mean they’re worth 100k.

    What about Sean Franklin, Andy Iro, Shea Salinas and Jon Leathers. They all saw significant playing time and contributed to their teams. Were they GA players? No. Oh and what happened to Chance Meyers and Brek Shea? Meyers lost his job to Jon Leathers, an older and more experienced player and Brek kept getting injured.

    And what about Dempsey? He spent 4 years in college too….look at him now.

    I’m just saying it’s not like they’re going to be paying the seniors much money anyways. Once the second round hits, those kids probably will make around 30-40k

  14. GoTarheels, look at the results of previous drafts and you will see that GAs dominate the first round and high second round.

    Almost all college players will be a project in their first year as a pro, every year there are a few guys that are ready to contribute right away, but teams have a very hard time identifying them.

    If you’re a team and you’re working under the premise that you’ll have to develop your picks anyway, might as well get a guy whose economic price is $100k rather than a guy who is $33k. The GAs tend to be better players with more potential. And the team won’t pay the $100k out of their cap, the league will.

    Without U-17s and without young U-20s, I do see all the GAs going first round. I strongly believe teams don’t want to pay allocation money supporting the salaries of draft picks. Its better to get/support veterans or internationals with allocation money.

    Because there are no reserves, I would expect to see half of these draft picks or more get waived by the first roster deadline.

  15. Ives,

    More than half of your best XI are GA players. Does that mean that you think those players are the best available at those positions, or the best option keeping the salary cap in mind?

    Because there’s no way Stephens and Cronin(and possibly Husidic) are better than some of the other mids available in the draft.

    If Pontius or Seabrook can play outside mid then why would I want a younger, slower and undersized player such as Stephens.

    Cronin may be strong on the ball at the college level, but he better step it up if he wants to make it in the pros.

    Most of these kids know how to pass the ball, so what makes Cronin’s passes better than others? I’m not saying he’s not good, but sometimes we give too much praise to kids on great teams because the other players help make them great. The players in this draft who can produce without the help of a great team….now that is where the true talent is!

  16. Meant to say “since they are NO reserves.” and I meant to add Grella to the list of seniors missing from the draft board.

  17. I know that GA players don’t affect the salary cap, but if I’m owned an MLS team and we didn’t have time or roster spots to develop these players, then I want the best player possible, I don’t care what position he plays.

    Why take a younger guy if he’ll never play anyways? Gostmanov, Jata, Pontius, Zusi…where are they? They all dominated at the college level and they all have the experience needed for the next level.

    There’s no way all of the GA’s are going to be selected in the first round.

    It’s ridiculous to think that. Some of these MLS teams only have a couple of picks and with hundreds of thousands of dollars in allocation money, it wont be hard to pay up.

    Picking GA’s just to save money isn’t going to happen because since there are reserves and the roster went from 28 to 24 MLS teams need players who can produce NOW, period!!!

  18. I gotta say thaat I don’t see Dcu taking Frei there. Having just renegotiated Wells as the backup are they going to use a high pick and a roster spot on a third string keeper who will never sniff the pitch? I see that seven spot ( assuming they can’t package for Gonzalez) on either Marosevic or Husidic, both of whom would fit well. I could see Husidic as an understudy for Jaime Moreno in the ball-control playmaking role and Marosevic as a counterweight to the ever-more leaden Emilio.

  19. Tim, was the comment really that unclear? RSL’s attack is essentially a jail-break offense, which is great when you have the speed they have and creators like they have. Frenetic doesn’t have to mean something negative, it was meant more in the sense of being active and unpredictable. It wasn’t meant as a negative comment, not sure how it would be construed as such.

    And Eugene, the whole “Dema as hard man” myth needs to be put to rest. Dema is a solid veteran, with a good work rate, some good bite to his game and underrated attacking qualities, but the notion that he is some crunching tackler who sweeps things up in the middle is a myth. In fact he played as much on the right for RSL as in a defensive midfield role.

    From what I’m hearing now, Cronin is actually being coveted by several teams and will probably be taken much higher in the draft. He will probably be a Top six pick in the next mock draft.

  20. That’s a good question, isn’t Javier Morales RSL’s midfield general?

    If RSL is looking to part with Dema Kovalenko, wouldn’t it be because they’re looking to pick up a true right wing or a less expensive destroyer?

    I haven’t heard of Cronin particularly mentioned as a hard man that could replace a Kovalenko kind of player.

  21. “the GA premium isn’t so important with the new roster rules”

    Its even more important, as there as less overall slots for players, and more teams will be playing more matches.

  22. I just don’t see Wallace going to the Galaxy. First, the GA premium isn’t so important with the new roster rules. Getting a (potential) inprovement over Randolph at left back is not much of a gain when Tracy and Hall are still on the table.

    While we had defensive problems, left back was not the primary difficulty. And Lewis and Klein are getting old and need to be replaced.

  23. God i hope that we dont trade off a high draft pick for Jazic, serioux is reasonable but jazic? Ech, no thanks. I am confident that Mo is alot more clever than that

  24. Opara not playing for Seattle or Toronto is pure speculation.

    More likely (as was mentioned elsewhere) he’s going to wait until the U-20, increase his stock and forget about MLS entirely.

  25. “So basically Opara won’t play for markets like Seattle or Toronto?? ”

    Yes, because obviously being Seattle effected the endorsement deals that Ken Griffey Jr had in the 90s. Griffey was once the face of Nintendo, Opara could be the face of XBox360.

    Oh well, looks the kid from Akron will have that chance.

  26. As a TFC supporter I would be ecstatic if they could somehow swindle Serioux from FC Dallas for picks.

    He fulfills both a needed centre back role as well as filling a Canadian roster spot.

  27. Ives,

    How about NY trade Jon Conway to San Jose for their spot in the allocation order (high) and their 2nd round draft pick (#17) considering it looks like Joe Cannon could realistically go to Europe.

    SJ gets a veteran starting goalkeeper that’s cheaper than Cannon and NY gets the first youth or senior national team player to come back, plus the #17 pick which they could use to take Adams or Angus, depending upon who they don’t take at #14.

    Anyway that idea could get into the right hands?

    So Buzz is hearing that Zakuani signed the highest paid GA contract, which strongly implies he’s going first.

    For NY, I think it would make more sense to go for Adams at #14 since he’s a left back, which is harder to find here. Especially if he’s the faster player. I think Angus could slide a bit because he would take an international spot.

    I also think DC takes Marosevic at #6-7 because they could use a younger strike prospect while they already have 1-2 decent goalkeepers. Frei more likely goes to Chivas USA at #9. If DC doesn’t take Marosevic than I could see him going to NE at #10 instead of paying full price for a defender who will be a project at first.

  28. DCU last three MLS regular season games with Louis Crayton in net:

    10/12 – Sunday @ Houston Dynamo T, 0-0 (Crayton and Janicki, who was starting his first MLS match were the men of the match)

    10/16 – Thursday New England Revolution W, 2-1 (NE goal was due to a Gonzalo Martinez mistake when the rest of the defense was trying to pull an offsides trap but he fells asleep and keeps two players onside for a breakaway.)

    10/26 – Sunday @ Columbus Crew L, 1-0 (Brad Evans scored a 30 yd wonder goal that got your NYRB into the playoffs and kept DCU out (REMEMBER THAT NYRB FANS, BTW last game of the regular season Fire 5- NYRB 2). DCU were the much better team that day and had 3 or 4 shots that hit either the crossbar or the post.)

    DCU does not need a goalkeeper that early in the draft, no one does. They need speed in the outside mid and fullbacks positions and a young, speedy striker up top.

  29. First off the level of tal;ent required in europe to be on any first team is very high, hense the large wash out rate, lets not kid ourselves to thinking we need players of Rooney quality to make it in MLS first teams.

    Second, many many teams in europe not blessed with a wealth of money rely on their youth systems to provide them with talent. They usually enter the squad and train with the first team and play reseve matches until they have got to a point where they can contribute…they get loaned when there simply isn’t room for them in the first team squad and they want them to get league level matches.

    Finally, college is not even close to being an adaquate level to train professional grade players for so many reasons i could explain here but wont.

  30. Wow! onionsack. quick question how many academy players in europe actually play for their senior teams? I’ll put money on the number being very low because good players want a chance to play not train and watch, this is why players are loaned out to lower level teams to get playing time… ie getting loaned to a college team to get picked up later after they have been playing consistently everyday. This is the same argument we make for freddy adu and jozy altidore it does them no good to train and watch when its playing that makes players better.

  31. Nuvinho-

    First off, Seattle and your Toronto both have astro turf fields. They aren’t very contusive to players enduring long seasons, which Ike Opara will have next season. Then, include the fact that no team can even come close to matching DCU’s history and LA Galaxy’s star power. Now take into consideration that LA and DC are well-known big cities. Sorry but a 19 year old isn’t going to really know what to expect when going to Toronto or Seattle.

    And finally consider that he is from NC, which is very close to DC relatively speaking.

  32. Also, where to people get off calling this a loaded and dep draft? Its terrible. Maybe 7-9 pro prospect level players in the lot. The rest will be like all the other drafts, guys that may stick around as dev players and either be cut in a year or two or be bench fodder at 30K.

    I saw the college cup and there were not many pro level talents there…surprisingly one of the best in that final four…is some kid the red bulls apparently dont rate..yet we want to get all hard for Omar and Zusi. Pathetic.

  33. What the red bulls are doing to their academy players is criminal. What a fuking waste of a great system. Like all things in this micky mouse league this system is going to only serve suberben types looking to get their kids in college and prove absolutly nothing for the team itself…what a huge investment to make zero return on (no pay to play).

    When will people ralize that young players, its not about what they can contribute today its about putting them in a pro level environment to learn and grow and over the course of a season or two be ready mentally and physically to play and contribute…by denying them a chance at their peak growth years of this and placing them in college for 2-3 years ruins this because they are once again going to need a year or two to adjust..thus killing their potential.

    Why do you apologists find this simple concept so hard to grasp…Agoos i am talking to your stupid ass.

  34. So basically Opara won’t play for markets like Seattle or Toronto??

    I think Toronto will try to get White in round 2, as I have a feeling he may fall that low.

    As for LA swapping picks with Toronto, I think we’d like to get Jazic, but his contract is too high.


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