Kick Off: MLS SuperDraft follows the script, sort of
Someone didn't get the memo. Drafts are supposed to be filled with surprises.
But the 2012 edition of the MLS SuperDraft was as predictable as Brad Davis going to his left foot. There were no trades on the day although the Seattle Sounders tried hard to trade up to land Kelyn Rowe, according to this article by Kyle McCarthy.
It was a simple consideration that led to the Montreal Impact taking Andrew Wenger with the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. “In the end, short term, long term, he’s the best soccer player available,” says Impact manager Jesse Marsch. Don't believe Marsch? Watch the Wenger highlight reel here. (VIDEO)
Although many believe that Wenger projects to be someone who takes on a role in the starting XI, the Montreal Impact don’t see it that way. "We don't think he's going to be [a] starter right away,” says sporting director Nick De Santis.
You rarely hear a manager of any sports team leave open the possibility of a trade of a No. 2 overall pick. But Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie cracked that window open in Vancouver with Jamaican Darren Mattocks: “I would expect him to be there, but you never know. If something comes along that makes great sense for the club, you have to be open-minded to that, but I think he'll be a part of [our squad].” Take a glimpse at the speed that will interest any MLS team. (VIDEO)
For No. 9 overall selection, Louisville central defender Austin Berry, it was an adventure just to get on the stage and make his acceptance speech. He stumbled on the last step and had to assure Chicago Fire fans that it was because he was “too overly excited.”
Don’t attach the “Mr. Irrelevant” tag to Louisville midfielder Kenney Walker, who was taken with the final pick of Thursday’s draft by the LA Galaxy. Bruce Arena apparently didn’t interview him in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., because he never guessed they’d have a shot at him: “He was one of the better players [at the Combine] and I was surprised he didn't go in the first round.”
Few players are happy to drop in any draft but that was not the case with center back Andrew Duran, who went No. 15 to Seattle. He also trained there for a week before the most recent college season: “I fell to Seattle, and I’m grateful for it. They wanted me and I wanted to play there.”
New Chivas USA forward Casey Townsend knows where his bread is buttered. The ex-Maryland striker played alongside LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza. Their relationship is about to change: “They're enemy No. 1 now, I guess.” Townsend should become a nightmare for his former teammates: Watch his goal highlight reel.
Columbus Crew draft pick Kevan George may not have known the Fighting Canaries were about to draft him but he does know a fair share about them, calling them “wholesome”: “They’re not a very direct team. They have very skilled players, especially in the midfield. They’re a wholesome team and I like that a lot. They’re hard-working.” So is Kevon George. Watch his reel here. (VIDEO)
On the international front, New York Red Bulls central defender Tim Ream is moving closer to a move to Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League, according to NYRB sporting director Erik Solér: “I would say that it’s more likely that he could end up abroad than it was before Christmas. So that means that we are in the process of discussions and it’s getting closer.”
Sticking to the international front, the US national team’s aggressive scheduling in preparation for World Cup qualifying matches in June is set to include another game against world powers Brazil right here on US soil. The Brazilian soccer federation announced that its three-game tour will include a fixture vs. the USA in Landover, Md., or Foxborough, Mass.
Lastly, it’s Friday night Mexican soccer later today with Estudiantes Tecos taking on San Luis in league action (9 pm ET, Galavisión).
Special edition of ExtraTime Radio following the SuperDraft in Kansas City
The Throw-In: Has the pressure eased on the No. 1 pick in MLS?
Solér: Cooper fits better in New York than Portland
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