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The SBI 2015 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0)

Nick Besler MLS Combine 1

 

 By IVES GALARCEP

LAUDERHILL, Fla.– Trying to figure out what each of the league’s 20 teams are planning to do at the MLS Draft is always an exercise in futility, but the MLS Combine usually does a good job of putting the draft pool into focus, and giving us all a sense of just where players are likely to go.

Teams don’t put all their emphasis on the Combine, and some teams put very little weight on the Combine when evaluating players, but it is clear based on recent drafts that teams still put their fair share of attention on the Combine, which is good news for some players, and bad news for others.

Take Ramon Martin Del Campo. The UC-Davis defender generated buzz after reportedly showing well while training against, and playing against the U.S. World Cup team during the team’s pre-World Cup training camp. That led to a snowball effect of buzz for the little-known defender, and he even parlayed that into a senior contract with MLS. The consensus at the Combine is that he doesn’t look the part, and is tumbling down the draft boards of several teams. All that said, it only takes one team to be big fans of his to have Del Campo go in the first round, and the fact he was able to secure a senior contract suggests that there is at least one team that rates him that highly.

Then you have a player like Dzenan Catic, who wasn’t that well known by many MLS teams before the Combine, but who has caught the attention of multiple teams, and could be this year’s version of Tesho Akindele, who went from unknown before the MLS Combine to first round pick, and eventual MLS Rookie of the Year.

The MLS Draft has had some top-rated players fall out of the picture in recent days. UCLA midfielder Leo Stolz and Northwestern goalkeeper Tyler Miller were two of the highest-rated players in the draft pool, but both have decided to try their luck in Europe. That will make them both very unlikely to be selected in the first round of the MLS Draft, and they may not go until the third or fourth round, when some teams could be tempted to take a flyer.

SBI’s second MLS Mock Draft takes into account the performances of players from the first two Combine days, how coaches and general managers are viewing those performances, and how positional battles are shaping up.

Here is the latest SBI 2015 MLS Mock Draft:

SBI 2015 MLS MOCK DRAFT (Version. 2.0)

1. ORLANDO CITY- Cyle Larin, Forward, UConn

Top prospect in the draft goes to a team that can bring him along slowly.

2. NEW YORK CITY FC- Cristian Roldan, Central Midfielder, Washington

Jason Kreis loves skilled midfielders and Roldan has the sort of tools Kreis can mold into something special.

3. MONTREAL IMPACT- Khiry Shelton, Forward, Oregon State

The Impact can use some flank depth and Shelton can play wide in a 4-5-1 or as a striker in a 4-4-2. Count Montreal as a team that could definitely trade up to the top pick to select Cyle Larin.

4. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES- Romario Williams, Forward, Central Florida

Dom Kinnear’s squad can use some depth at forward, and adding a Generation adidas player wouldn’t hurt San Jose’s salary cap situation either.

5. PORTLAND TIMBERS- Nick Besler, Central Midfielder, Notre Dame

The Timbers can use some depth in central midfield and Besler is as polished as they come in this draft.

6. TORONTO FC- Alex Bono, Goalkeeper, Syracuse

TFC can use salary cap relief, and also want to stockpile some young talent, making Bono an easy call on multiple fronts. It doesn’t hurt that Bono recent received his first U.S. national team call-up.

7. CHICAGO FIRE- Axel Sjoberg, Central Defender, Marquette

The Fire have spent the offseason massively overhauling their roster, and one of the areas still lacking some depth is central defense. Sjoberg is a giant at 6-foot-7, but reads the game well and puts himself in good positions to avoid having his lack of pace exposed.

8. HOUSTON DYNAMO- Dan Metzger, Central Midfielder, Maryland

The Dynamo bolstered their central defense with the signing of Spanish centerback Raul Rodriguez, leaving Houston loaded at two positions where this year’s draft is the strongest. One area Houston can use some depth is in defensive midfield, where Metzger can provide quality off the bench and be groomed into a starter down the road.

9. TORONTO FC- Fatai Alashe, Defensive Midfielder, Michigan State

10. SPORTING KANSAS CITY- Tim Parker, Central Defender, St. John’s

11. TORONTO FC- Otis Earle, Left Back, UC-Riverside

12. SPORTING KANSAS CITY- Andy Thoma, Left Back, Washington

13. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS- Conor Donovan, Central Defender, North Carolina State

14. COLUMBUS CREW- Connor Brandt, Left Back, San Diego

15. FC DALLAS- Aaron Simmons, Central Defender, UCLA

16. REAL SALT LAKE- Dzenan Catic, Forward, Davenport (NAIA)

17. D.C. UNITED-  Eric Bird, Central Midfielder, Virginia

18. NEW YORK RED BULLS- Connor Hallisey, Left winger, California

19. COLORADO RAPIDS- Boyd Okwuonu, Right Back, North Carolina

20. SPORTING KANSAS CITY- Miguel Aguilar, Right Winger/Forward, San Francisco

21. LOS ANGELES GALAXY- Andy Craven, Forward, North Carolina

SECOND ROUND

22. ORLANDO CITY- Oumar Ballo, Central Defender, UMBC

23. NYCFC- Anthony Manning, Central Defender, Saint Louis

24. PORTLAND TIMBERS- Jose Ribas, Left Back, Creighton

25. ORLANDO CITY- Ignacio Maganto, Central Midfielder, Iona

26. COLORADO RAPIDS- Akeil Barrett, Left Winger, Tulsa

27. SEATTLE SOUNDERS- Ramon Martin Del Campo, Central Defender, UC-Davis

28. CHICAGO FIRE- Daniel Keller, Central Defender, Louisville

29. TORONTO FC- Sergio Campbell, Central Defender, UConn

30. SPORTING KC- Matt Polster, Central Midfielder, SIU-Edwardsville

31. PHILADELPHIA UNION- Zach Steinberger, Central Midfielder, Butler

32. PORTLAND TIMBERS- Sal Bernal, Forward/Attacking midfielder, UNLV

33. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION- Seth Casiple, Central Midfielder, California

34. PORTLAND TIMBERS- Luke Mishu, Right Back, Notre Dame

35. COLUMBUS CREW- Wes Charpie, Right Back, South Florida

36. HOUSTON DYNAMO- James Rogers, Right Winger, New Mexico

37. TORONTO FC- Andrew Bevin, Forward, West Virginia

38. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS- Shawn McLaws, Right Back, Coastal Carolina

39. NEW YORK RED BULLS- Cameron Porter, Midfielder, Princeton

40. SEATTLE SOUNDERS- Oniel Fisher, Right Back, New Mexico

41. PHILADELPHIA UNION- Emeka Onyonye, Central Defender, Wright State

42. D.C. UNITED- Robbie Lovejoy, Forward, North Carolina

Comments

  1. Porter to the Red Bull seems very likely. Marsch already knows him from Princeton, the kid has quick feet, can dribble in tight spaces, has decent size and led the NCAA in goals and points per game. I would be surprised if TFC might not also have some interest, since Bob Bradley keeps in touch with the Princeton coaches and with his son, they are probably at least aware of Porter.

    Reply
  2. I’ve watched a lot of PDL over the last 11 years. Dzenan Catic can play. He tried his hand in Europe right out of HS which accounts for his circuitous path to the Combine.

    Reply
  3. Given the Revs sudden loss of most of their forward pool and loss of a starting CB in AJ Soares, plus their complete lack of action so far in the silly season, I’m more than a bit surprised that you had them choose a midfielder. Why not a forward or defender?

    Reply
    • Evidently he was diabolically poor today after being simply poor on Day 1.

      Having seen him play a few times, I was really never convinced that he was anything more than a 3rd/4th round pick. He’s slow and turn like a supertanker. He doesn’t read the game particularly well and often is overly ambitious with his passing.

      He is not even close to having the ability or upside of Steven Birnbaum or Christian Dean.

      Reply
      • The answer is “total luck”:

        – He goes to UC Davis, hardly a powerhouse (they did produce Quincy Amarikwa)
        – He plays for San Jose’s U-23 team simply because he’s in the area
        – Klinsmann decides to hold pre-WC camp in Palo Alto
        – The Quakes U-23s are in the area so they play against the USMNT
        – Del Campo does somewhat well and catches someone’s eye (probably Klinsmann or Ramos, neither of which would count for much)
        – Del Campo gets called in to the US U-23 team
        – He gets additional buzz as the Earthquakes, having seen him get called in, try unsuccessfully to sign him as a homegrown player

        It just keeps snowballing and all of a sudden he’s gone from being some random college player to “national team player” and people think he’s a top five draft pick. At least until they see him in person!

      • also slim chance anyone from this website has seen him play live more than once….not just MLS teams that don’t scout 😉

      • I’ve seen him play twice. Once for the Earthquakes U23’s and once for UC Davis. My opinions were based upon those two matches.

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