Monday, January 17, 2011

Not So SuperDraft Preview

On Tuesday, the MLS will conduct the Supplemental draft which will consist of the NCAA players not selected Thursday in Baltimore.  With the rosters expanded to 30 players this is an opportunity for teams to fill their team in with cheap talent who may have a chip on their shoulder for being passed over.  There is always a chance a diamond in the rough could be picked and given the chance to develop in the reserve league and become a regular in a couple of seasons.

Before being eliminated in 2009, the previous four supplemental drafts have produced some talent in the MLS including 2010 Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski.  Other players to come out of this draft include Colorado’s Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago’s Dasan Robinson and Chris Tierney of the Revolution.  The following players are potential picks for the Whitecaps who have the first pick on Tuesday.

Daniel Keat, MF, Dartmouth

The U20 captain for the New Zealand national team was considered a MLS ready player with skill and work rate to be a box to box midfielder.  Although not considered an elite athlete he had an above average combine that seemed to assure his status as a pick in the 20-30 range.  He would be considered an import and thus may been passed for that reason.

Michael Boxall, CB, UCSB

Keat’s fellow countryman, Boxall was also considered a late first or early second round as one of best second tier of central defenders in the draft.  He shows leadership and plays a physical side and while not especially fast he shows enough speed to make a contribution.  Its hard to imagine that his performance at the combine dropped him out of the draft but there may have been more questions that experts did not consider.

Brayan Martinez, F/MF, Seton Hall

The 2007 Gatorade national high school player of the year came into the combine trying to shake a lazy reputation that he acquired in his days at Seton Hall and was unable to shake the moniker.  The left-footed player is creative and can play as a second striker or as a midfield.  He may be worth taking a flier on as he can learn to develop his game in a professional work environment.

Ashley McInnes, F/MF, Tulsa

The Scottish born McInnes is third of the NCAA playing imports that most draft experts had rated highly in the MLS Superdraft.   The forward/winger is an attacking player and possesses great speed and skills but had a poor showing at the combine.  Besides being counted as an import on a MLS roster, another reason he may have been passed over was because of his smallish stature.

Dustin McCarty, MF, North Carolina

Everyone assumed being the brother of Dax McCarty would help Dustin in being drafted in one of the three rounds on Thursday.  The former Tar Heel plays a similar game to his sibling and does a lot of the dirty work needed in the central midfield.  This could be a perfect “chip on the shoulder” pick for the Whitecaps who could use dissapointment to his advantage.

Curtis Ushedo, CB, UAB

The lone Canadian in the MLS Superdraft was a victim of the decrease of the Canadian quota as if there was one the Ontario native would have been drafted in second round.  Ushedo was passed over by the northern clubs a combined total of six times in the 2nd and 3rd round.  He has great size and technical ability but his ability to handle speedy forwards may have been exposed at the combine.

JC Banks, MF, Wisconsin-Green Bay

Banks is another highly rated player who slipped out of the draft as he was consistently ranked in the 2nd round.  The speedy, yet small, right sided midfielder came into the draft period highly rated but did not play well and dropped like combine teammate Ampaipitakwong.  Another reason Banks may not have been drafted were the rumours of multiple football clubs in Scandinavia interested in him.

Greg King, LB, UConn

The Australian fullback was one of the players to actually rise in the rankings because of his impressive play at the combine.  King was the oldest of all the draftees at 24 and it may have played a part in his not being drafted as teams felt he did not have enough of an upside.  He has good attacking abilities coming from the backend in additional to being responsible for the defensive part of the game.

Whitecaps Beat Pick

If management feel they have an international spot to spare on their roster, Daniel Keat would be a no brainer as he is most MLS ready and can play anywhere in the midfield.  An attacking domestic player that is at the top of my list for the Whitecaps would be either Banks or the left footed Martinez.  If they were going defensive then Boxall or Ushedo would be solid young CBs to develop.  The best case scenario for the Whitecaps would be getting an attacking player with the first pick and hoping that Ushedo slides to the second round.

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