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SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (Version 1.0)

With the flurry of trades going on around Major League Soccer in the two weeks since the 2012 season ended, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the 2013 MLS Draft is just five weeks away.

Teams have already commenced improving their rosters via trades, signings and the recent Re-Entry Draft. All this maneuvering will have made doing a reasonable MLS Mock Draft all but impossible, but as we move beyond the bulk of the rush of transactions, we can now start looking at team needs and just how teams will handle the MLS Draft.

As we have done for the past five years, SBI will be providing our own MLS Mock Draft, which we will adjust in the coming weeks ahead of the MLS Combine, and finally on the day before the actual MLS Draft takes place on January 17th.

While it is impossible to project what 19 teams will do on draft what, we will try to do without mock drafts is project selections based on team needs as well as the general consensus of player valuations we have gathered based on conversations with MLS coaches, general managers and scouts, and college coaches and players, as well as our own observations over the course of the 2012 college season.

With all that in mind, here is the first version of the SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (I will update with full breakdowns of each selection very soon, but for now you can feel fre to start discussing our projections):

SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (Version 1.0)

(*-Generation adidas player, #International Player)

(NOTE– The initial Mock draft had some picks out of place, 5-6 and 16-17. I adjusted the draft order, and made some selection adjustments based on those changes.)


*Andrew Farrell, Louisville, Centerback

Best player in the draft. Scouts believe he can step in and start from day one. Athletic and technically-skilled centerback. TFC is entertaining offers for the top pick, and could be tempted to deal this pick and grab Walker Zimmerman at No. 3. With Danny Califf selected in the Re-Entry Draft, there might be less need to take two centerbacks with their high draft picks.



*Mikey Lopez, North Carolina, Central Midfielder

The Goats are in a state of flux and it remains unclear just how prepared they are to handle the draft. If we are to believe Chivas USA’s new head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola,  the Goats want to emphasize and establish a Mexican influence on their roster. Lopez is both a top three talent, and a Mexican-American. Most teams would probably take Walker Zimmerman first, but Lopez fits Chivas USA’s profile better.



*Walker Zimmerman, Furman, Central Defender

If TFC holds onto the top pick, and keeps this selection, this will have an interesting decision to make. Zimmerman is the No. 2-rated talent in this draft, and if he’s available here then Paul Mariner has to seriously consider taking Zimmerman and Farrell. Unless Mariner has has his eye on a forward like J.J. Johnson, TFC



*J.J. Johnson, VCU, Forward

The Revs could are stacked in midfield, and there aren’t any defenders worth taking at this point, so the best forward on the board makes the most sense. Johnson is a powerful striker who has drawn comparisons to C.J. Sapong. He might be the most pro-ready attacking player in the draft pool. Even with Chad Barrett selected by the Revs in the Re-Entry Draft, the Revs would still be hard-pressed to pass on him.



Dillon Powers, Notre Dame, Central Midfielder

The departure of John Thorrington and need for central midfield depth makes Powers a sensible selection for the Whitecaps. He isn’t a pure ball winner, but could play in a deep-lying role, where his passing could be a real weapon.



*#DeShorn Brown, Central Florida, Forward (Jamaica)

The Rapids acquisition of Edson Buddle might make it easier for the Rapids to go in another direction with this pick, but adding a speed option up top like Brown makes sense for what Oscar Pareja wants to do. A 4-3-3 with Brown, Buddle and Omar Cummings could be pretty scary. If you’re looking for someone similar to Darren Mattocks in this draft, Brown is that player.



*#Kekuta Manneh, FC Solar, Forward (Gambia)

After parting ways with some young forwards, Dallas has room for a prospect like Manneh, a Texas-based player they are surely familiar with. He boasts impressive pace and an ability to score with both feet. He’s also young, and has considerable upside, with some scouts believing he could be the star of this draft.



Blake Smith, New Mexico, Left Winger

The Impact re-signed Mapp, but his days in Montreal may be numbered, which makes Smith a smart pick-up. He is regarded as the best winger in the draft, and as a pure left winger he won’t last on the draft board for very long.



#Ashton Bennett, Coastal Carolina, Forward (Jamaican w/Canadian Residency)

If the Crew are looking for some speed at forward, Bennett is the best on the board to provide that element. Bennett didn’t play in the strongest league, but he showed against Maryland in the NCAA Tournament that he can score against top competition.



Erik Hurtado, Santa Clara, Forward

The Whitecaps could use a playmaker like Carlos Alvarez, but sources tell SBI Vancouver might add an attacking midfielder via the international market, which would allow the Whitecaps to grab Hurtado, the best forward on the board. Vancouver did add Paulo Junior in the Re-Entry Draft, but Hurtado could be too good to pass up.



Carlos Alvarez, UConn, Attacking Midfielder

The Fire would be pleasantly surprised to see Alvarez slip this far, which is far from a sure thing. But if the draft does play out this way, you can bet Chicago would pounce on Alvarez, who could provide an exciting playmaking option to a midfield that lacked spark in the middle last season.



Ryan Finley, Notre Dame, Forward

RSL needs some fresh blood in the forward stable, and after dealing Fabian Espindola and losing Paulo Junior, they have room for some strikers and Finley is one of the best finishers on the board.  A pure goal scorer with a nose for goal, Finley is also a good passer as a forward and could work well in RSL’s system.



Will Bates, Virginia, Forward

The Dynamo can use some fresh blood at forward, and with Calen Carr set for a long recovery from a torn ACL, and Brian Ching reaching the tail end of his career, Bates could be a solid  addition to Dom Kinnear’s strike forward. A classic target striker who has spent four years at Virginia honing his hold-up play, Bates is perfectly-suited for what the Dynamo like to do.



John Stertzer, Maryland Central Midfielder

You can never have too many central midfielders, and after losing Roger Espinoza and Julio Cesar, Sporting KC can help add to their depth with the inclusion of Stertzer. More of an attacking midfielder in college, Stertzer could project in a deeper role on the pro level. With a loaded schedule facing Sporting KC in 2013, adding Stertzer to the stable would give Peter Vermes plenty of options in the middle of the field.



Eric Schoenle, West Virginia, Central Defender

The Earthquakes parted ways with Ike Opara, and while they did add a centerback in Ty Harden in the Re-Entry Draft, a highly-skilled centerback like Schoenle would be tough to pass up. San Jose could also consider Tommy Muller.



Tommy Muller, Georgetown, Central Defender

After dealing Jeff Parke, the Sounders can use some centerback depth and Muller could be the best senior centerback in the draft. He is strong, good on the ball and reads the game well. The Sounders could also turn to left back to fill a need, and Taylor Kemp would make sense as well.



Taylor Kemp, Maryland, Left Back

D.C. United can use some defensive depth, at centerback and left back, and with Schoenle and Muller off the board, D.C. can turn to Kemp to help fill the club’s need for left back help. There are a few good left back prospects here, from Kemp to Kory Kindle to Georgetown’s Jimmy Nealis, but we’ll give the nod to Kemp.



Ian Christianson, Georgetown, Defensive Midfielder

The Impact could look at one of the handful of left backs available here, like Kory Kindle, Jimmy Nealis and Greg Cochrane, or Canadian midfielder Kyle Bekker, but we’ll give them Christianson, an impressive defensive midfielder who impressed scouts with his play in the NCAA Tournament.



Kory Kindle, CSU-Bakersfield, Left Back

The Galaxy could be tempted to grab a forward, but none are left that project as first-rounders. That leaves LA with a strong crop of left back options to choose from. Kindle is a speedy fullback who can provide a real attacking threat on the left flank. He might not be as solid defensively as some other left backs, but his attacking qualities make him an intriguing option for the Galaxy.



  1. I’m a bit puzzled about the Brown prediction for Colorado. With Buddle and Cummings up top, I suspect they’d be more prone to switch off with Brian Mullan and Tony Cascio as the third attacker. Colorado’s midfield is pretty well shored up, so I’m banking on them looking for some much-needed defensive help rather than adding strikers at this point.

  2. I don’t see Patrick Mullins on the list anymore. I understand he is still a toss up for a GA. If he doesn’t get it, that’s fine with me. I’ll enjoy watching Mullins carve up defenses again next year as Maryland goes for the Natty!

    • Also, I like your picks of Stertzer to SKC and Kemp to DC. Include Woodberry joining FCD as a homegrown and Maryland has a really good group moving on to the next level. Not only have they been great players for Maryland, but they are fantastic individuals that I’ve enjoyed getting to know. I only wish they could have won the National Championship before their collegiate years ended.

  3. Not sure what the Revs would do in this scenario. They’ve already got four forwards on the roster under the age of 26, and all four of them are internationals. So, picking a forward from Jamaica to be #5 seems unlikely to me. If he’s not going to start over Sene or Bengtson, then he’s just going to take time away from Fagundez and Imbongo, who they like.

    They don’t need any more midfielders, and their aren’t any defenders that are good enough in this scenario to take at #4. They could trade down, but they don’t need more picks. And furthermore, even if Zimmerman is there, they’ve already got three center backs on the roster under the age of 26 who have also shown flashes of solid play at times. And the Front Office says they want to add to the defense, and they’ve got the means to do it.

    Wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Revs traded #4 for a young, established MLS player.

    • Sene could possibly be out until May. Imbongo is not that impressive and Diego still has much to learn. Walter from what I read likes to play behind the forwards but there has been no news about a signing. That said the biggest concern is that backline however Burns will take the best player available be it forward, mid, defender or keeper.

    • Well, Mike, to hear you talk the Revs are all set and should be making a title run this year. I am not a Revs fan and don’t follow them as closely. But, it is surprising to me that they don’t have any needs that could be improved in the draft considering their results this year.

      • i think the revs have a decent amount of talent but they just couldnt win… they have some decent players and if sene is healthy is is good!!

  4. The Revs need help in defense. They have a promising striking duo with Jerry Bengston and Sene and Walter Martinez may be on the way.

  5. I cant see the rapids taking a foward, i bet they either move up for Zimmerman or Ferrel or more likely move down for schonle or maybe alvarez.

  6. Did you see the way Georgetown abused Kemp? I’m pretty sure DCU’s front office did. After that showing, I’d be stunned if they take him.

      • That may be true, but Kemp was/is still coming back from injuries. A healthy Kemp is pretty damn impressive, and he was a GA prospect just last year. I think DC would be wise to take the best player available, and Olsen would be thrilled to get a quality prospect that late in the draft.

  7. I do think you are spot on with the Sounders choosing a LB. there are multiple LB prospects in this year’s draft. Looking forward to seeing how they do at the combine.

    • I think that is clearly a top 3 need for the Sounders, if not #1. Scott is not a LB, Gonzalez is hurt alot and picks up far to many cards, Burch is best left as a fill in.

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing if Dillion Powers can make it in the league, hope he lands in a good spot.

    Hey Ives, I’d love to know the nationalities of these guys when you list them… thanks!

    • I am really surprised that he stayed in college this long. I think he is the only guy from the 2009 under 20 team who didn’t turn pro yet.


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