Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vancouver Whitecaps SuperDraft Review

One thing was clear from how the Whitecaps went through the selection process at MLS SuperDraft.  They weren't just going to select players just to make the draft experts happy as the management team selected a player who while young, flashes a high upside and spent over a week training with the team last summer.  There were some definite themes in the way the Whitecaps made their draft picks with all four players being able to use the left foot.  Both first rounders are left footed players while the two Notre Dame selections are considered to be two footed players.  Except for Nanchoff, size also seemed to be a factor with the other three players being 6'1" and taller.

At the combine earlier in the week, the Whitecaps stated that they felt they were not looking at any of these players to come in on day one to start for their team.  With the selection of Salgado it gives a definite message that the Whitecaps are going to operate their club on their own terms.

F OMAR SALGADO-1st overall selection

As stated earlier, Salgado trained with the club last summer after he had signed a Generation Adidas contract and shortly thereafter the Whitecaps, who had won the coin toss with Portland, decided to make the first selection in the MLS SuperDraft.  What this tells me is that they wanted the former Chivas academy player all along and the performance of other players did not change their minds.  Some may say that the Nagbe admission of his not wanting to play in Canada took him off the board but we don’t know if he was ever one of their options.  Tom Sohen had said that it was down to two players and those two may have been Salgado and Kitchen.  What the Caps did get is a left footed striker with size and solid pace who oozes potential to develop into a future star.  Especially with his size he will be a target man in the box and is above average in the air.  Having been without a regular team since August, he will have to work on improving his strength for those battles in the box and his overall coordination on the pitch.  While he will be able to train with Vancouver, he can’t join the team, FIFA transfer rules, until his 18th birthday in September.  Look to see him being loaned out until then to a team in United States.

MF MICHAEL NANCHOFF-8th overall selection

With their second pick in the first round, acquired from TFC, the Whitecaps were able to pluck a player from the soccer factory, Akron University.  Nanchoff, a Generation Adidas player, is a left sided midfielder who strikes the ball well.  He does lack a top gear but as Taylor Twellman stated on the broadcast, Nanchoff is a smart player who will get to the right spots to make plays on the pitch.  As a redshirt junior being at Akron for four years and the lack of players on the left side for the Caps, he will be ready to step in and compete for a spot on the starting eleven.

MF/DF JEB BROVSKY-19th overall selection

In the second round the Whitecaps selected their first senior in the draft as Brovsky was selected from Notre Dame.  The Colorado native is versatile as he can play as a drop forward, as an attacking central midfielder, a holding midfielder and as either a right or left back.  Brovsky is a two-footed player with a deft touch with the ball and possesses good vision allowing him to distribute balls to teammates.

DF BILAL DUCKETT-37th overall selection

The Whitecaps went back to Notre Dame to select Brovsky’s teammate, senior defender Bilal Duckett.  The 6-2 Georgia native played the season as a right back but with his size and leaping ability, he could be moved centrally or to the left side on the back line.  He’s also considered to be a great athlete with elite speed who can play the ball with either foot.

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