As MLS rookies make their way to training camps and practices across the country, there is still so much to discuss about the 2010 MLS Draft.
Did Philly have the best draft ever? Did FC Dallas sell the No. 6 overall pick too cheaply? Did Columbus deliver the worst pick of the year by selecting Bright Dike in the first round?
There are plenty of questions, and while we won't get real answers about this draft class until the games start coming and the rookies start getting tested, we can definitely still offer up our opinions on what we see for this strong draft class.
Here are my answers to some more of your MLS Draft Questions:
JOHN – What do you think of Chicago's draft?
IVES– The Fire made out like bandits considering the picks it had to work with. Corben Bone was an absolute steal at No. 13, while Kwame-Watson Siriboe could step into the defensive rotations.Drew Yates can offer depth in midfield, Steven Kinney is a nice late-round defensive option and Sean Johnson has the tools to develop into a starting goalkeeper in three years.
FRANK-Could Clint Mathis to LA mean that the LAG expect that Donovan will be sold after the World Cup?
IVES– Not really. LA acquired Mathis because he came cheap and Arena has confidence in Mathis still being a useful player.
JAVIER– 1) of the guys in this year's draft class, which do you think have a legitimate shot at playing on the national team level one day, and which country would you guys they'd be most likely to play for, if you had to GUESS? (i realize that some of these guys play college ball in our country but might prefer to play for their home country. a kid like Tchani who grew up in Cameroon comes to mind..)
IVES– Here are some preliminary projections on players I could see ultimately playing for the U.S. national team:
Potential for 2014
Tony Tchani (if he plays for the USA)
The 2018 players are young guys who have the potential to develop if they given the proper guidance. The 2014 players
RBNY15C– With RBNY acquiring Chris Albright, and Carlos Johnson most likely battling with him for the right back position (assuming Albright is healthy), where do you see Jeremy Hall fitting in this season? Do you think he will move back to his natural position as a midfielder?
IVES– I’d say Hall is likely to play as wing midfielder in 2010, both on the right and the left. I’d say his days at right back are probably over.
IRISHAPPLE21-Conor Chinn was drafted by the Red Bulls and he wasn't covered very much by your pre-draft analysis. All I really know about him is that he went to the University of San Francisco and he was in a Star Kick commercial. What can you tell me about him and does he have a realistic chance of making the Red Bulls squad?
IVES– I thought I had mentioned it in the past but Chinn did impress a number of coaches at the Combine with his size-speed combination. He moves well and brings good physical tools and has an outside shot of being the team’s fourth forward. Right now I’d say he’s the draft pick least likely to make the Red Bulls, but given the amount of dead weight trimmed from the roster, there will be plenty of roster spots to fight for.
JOEL– I know that tchani and mwanga moved here in high school, could we see either representing the U.S. or are they involved with cameroon and congo
IVES– Mwanga said he would like to play for the United States. I’m not as sure as Tchani. Both still have to wait a number of years to secure citizenship, but both are young enough to become citizens and still be capable prospects for the national team.
MIKE IN BALTIMORE– Which GA player do you see having the biggest impact on the league, long-term? Which do you see leaving for Europe the quickest?
IVES– I think Ike Opara and Amobi Okugo are two who could have major long-term impacts. I see Tony Tchani as a player who could bolt to Europe quickly, as could Teal Bunbury, and when I say quickly I mean about three years.
FEDEROV CADMIUS– Do you think DC United got a raw deal in the draft? Do you think that DCU has the chance to get some decent players abroad with the leftover cash that they got?
IVES– I thought D.C. overpaid in the Troy Perkins deal, but coming away with a goalkeeper and clearing Fred’s salary to help pay for it was a positive step. D.C. recently added a forward as well as a winger so the team should have a better 2010 than 2009, but I’m wondering if it will be enough to help D.C. do much more than make the playoffs.
SEAN– Real surprised to not see Mark Blades get drafted yesterday, especially since he is a natural left back.
I know you had him as a player not included in the combine to watch out for. What do you think happened? Any chance he tries out and walks on to a roster?
IVES– The only thing I can think is scouts were turned off by his lack of height. I find that interesting because Korede Aiyegbusi was also a short left back but he was invited to the Combine and wound up being a second-round pick for KC. I have a feeling Blades will get a training camp invite by somebody.
TIMMY U– Will we be seeing the video of Schilawski thanking the wrong team for years to come?
If you were in the Union's shoes at #7, having taken youth with #1 and #6, do you still take Jack Mack?
What does showing up to the draft strong say about a team vs. not showing up to the draft?
Does MLS make too much of the "Superdraft" and try to make it an event, when most people don't follow college soccer. I can't remember extensive coverage of the MLB draft on TV – is MLS trying to compete with the NBA and NFL where their college sports are followed extensively? Reword if this is too messy, but you know what I'm getting at.
IVES– 1. Yes. 2. If I were picking at 7 I probably take Corben Bone but I understand Philly’s desire to establish a collection of young prospects who they can develop to help kick-start their player development model. 3. I don’t think MLS “makes too much” of the draft, or is trying to compete with major sports. I do think MLS tries to promote the draft as an attempt to familiarize fans with the young players coming into the league. Fans do care about it (at least it seems that way based on the stats SBI put up covering the Combine and Draft).
LANDIS– Based on the current post-draft roster, how do you see the Red Bulls lining up on opening day?
IVES– I don’t think the Red Bulls are done building their roster, but as of right now I can see this lineup for opening day:
R. Miller——Goldthwaite—–Petke——–C. Johnson
DAVE FROM NEWCASTLE– Like look into your like crystal ball and like who do you like think will be the biggest surprises of this years rookie class like and more importantly, what about Amiobi like?
IVES– I could see the following draft picks being real surprise revelations in 2010:
JOE G– With four spots on the roster now devoted to LM (Hall, Borman, Oebster, Da Luz), do you think it makes sense to bring in DVDB? Hall can play anywhere on the field, and Borman has become more of a defensive option, but they are all viable options for the position. What says you?
IVES– Of those four players, none has established themselves as a capable starter in MLS so I’m not sure how that collection of players makes Van Den Bergh a player not work acquiring. The team’s pre-season trip to Spain should go a long way in helping new coach Hans Backe figure out if he’s happy with that group or if he should add a proven veteran like Van Den Bergh. Of course, another team could pounce while the Red Bulls wait, so if it were me I would trade for him now.
BOULDER RAPIDS FAN– The Rapids pick of Akpan was kind of shocking to me. Just because I thought the Rapids would try to beef up their defense first, and their midfield second, and their forwards as an afterthought. There's got to be more at play here than just trying to get the best of what's left in the second round, right? Is this an attempt to groom another target man up front, or is this just a case of a hasty snatch and grab?
IVES– Why can’t it just be wanting to take the best talent on the board? It’s the second round of the MLS Draft. I do wonder whether the Rapids are considering dealing Conor Casey, but not because they took Akpan. You need more than two forwards to have an effective roster in MLS so Akpan isn’t a terrible pick.
TODD– When all MLS teams finally use their academies, what is going to end happening to college soccer and the draft? Will it become obsolete?
IVES– Your “When” is still a long time from now, at least five years and probably more before most teams have effective youth academy set-ups. Even when that comes, it won’t mean the end of the draft because 18-20 teams will never be enough to cover the entire country and there will always be players who develop outside of the MLS academy systems.
JAKE– I've seen Michael Stephens play a few times and love his vision and ball skills. He's also pretty feisty in defense, but do you think he can step in and play good minutes as a rookie or does his body need to develop a little more first?
IVES– Stephens is a very promising midfielder, but it will be tough to find playing time on the LA Galaxy in his rookie season. I can see him as a long-term option though, particularly as some of the older players on LA move on.
BRIAN– Last years rookie class produced a good amount of regulars and potential national team players. which players do you see getting plenty of minutes this year? who do you predict being MLS rookie of the year? and which players do you see most likely being at next January US national team camp?
IVES– Rookie of the Year is a tough one to call right now. I’ll go with these five finalists:
As for who will get heavy minutes? I think the five mentioned will, as could Blair Gavin, Corben Bone, Zach Schilawski and Toni Stahl.
Most likely to receive a January camp call-up next year? I’ll say Opara, Loyd and Warner.
BENRED– 1) How is this year's draft different than last year's regarding talent? Is the talent getting better each year?
2) How many goals do you see Danny Mwanga scoring this year for the Union?
IVES– I’d say last year’s first round was more mature and loaded with MLS-ready talent. This year’s draft has more potential and I feel more depth. I feel the latter rounds this year were much stronger than last year’s.
As for Mwanga, I'll set the over/under on goals he scores as a rookie at seven.
MICAH KING– Do you think it was mean or uncalled for for Alexi Lalas to comment when McInerney was drafted and say lets see if this kid turns out to be an Landon Donovan ,or an Freddy Adu.
IVES– Considering his remarks about Adu during the World Cup draw broadcast I’m not sure he needed to throw another dagger at the kid. Also, considering Adu is just 20 and still making pretty good money in Europe I’m not sure it’s fair to use Adu has an example of flop. After all, Adu's already had a more succesful career than about 95 percent of all past MLS draft picks.
PETE FROM CHITOWN– Do you think New York passed up on trading up to get Dilly Duka, because they will most likely get Vincenzo Bernardo from the Allocation Order?
IVES– There is zero chance the Red Bulls use their Allocation Order spot on Bernardo, and I seriously doubt any thoughts of potentially signing Bernardo played any role in what they did on draft day. The Red Bulls would have liked to add Duka, but ultimately they decided that they could get good players with the picks they had.
DANNYC58-What do you think of the NYRB move for Albright? Good value/Bad value? Think he's a factor?
Would you say Ubiparapovic/Sassano have to worry about their jobs?
IVES– It was a small price to pay for a flier on a player who has proven he can play well in MLS when healthy. Ultimately the Red Bulls had too many draft picks (whoever decided that stockpiling seven draft picks was a good idea isn’t too bright) so dealing two wasn’t really much to pay for Albright, who is on a non-guaranteed deal and will only stick around if he’s actually healthy and effective.
IMSYE87– As a red bull fan, tell me why not getting dilly duka in this draft is for the better.
IVES– Your wording is a bit tricky. Duka is a good player so getting him would have been a good thing, but the draft worked out just fine for the Red Bulls. Tony Tchani has the make-up to be a truly dominant central midfielder, Austin Da Luz is a supremely skilled left-winger. Throw in Irving Garcia, who I’m pegging to be a real draft-day steal and I have a feeling Red Bulls fans will forget about missing out on Duka by season’s end.
KID PRESENTABLE– Do you think that trading the number 15 pick for clint mathis was benificial for LA? I know that bruce loves to have experience but was his skill and experience that much better than someone like say da luz?
IVES– LA trades the 15 for Mathis AND the 16. Not exactly a ton of risk there, though I do think Real Salt Lake made a great move to grab Collen Warner when it did. Meanwhile, LA added Mathis AND Michael Stephens, two skillful central midfield options (and Da Luz was already gone when LA picked).
J– How come only 2 keepers were drafted this year?
IVES– It was just a really weak year for keepers. Brian Perk is pretty good but the question is just how much upside does he have. Sean Johnson has great upside, but is very raw. Jovan Bubonja failed to impress this year and saw his stock slide where last year he is probably a second-round draft pick.