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New England Draft Preview: Revs need striker at No. 4

MLSsoccer.com continues its team-by-team lookahead at the 2013 SuperDraft and the players that will most likely be on each club’s radar. Next up: the Revolution.

New England Revolution manager Jay Heaps readily admits it: This year the club’s SuperDraft strategy is very different. Whereas last year, his first on the job, was about re-stocking the roster with competent players, his technical staff can be a little more targeted for the 2013 edition and focus on improving specific parts of the squad.

With four picks in the two-round SuperDraft, they’ll have ample opportunity to do it.

New England Revolution SuperDraft Picks: #4 (1st Rd), #21 (2nd Rd), #23 (2nd Rd), #36 (2nd Rd)

New England Revolution Depth Chart (22 players):

Goalkeepers (2): Matt Reis, Bobby Shuttleworth

Right Backs (1): Kevin Alston

Center Backs (4): Darrius Barnes, Jose Goncalves, Stephen McCarthy, A.J. Soares

Left Backs (2): Tyler Polak, Chris Tierney

Right Wingers (3): Ryan Guy, Sainey Nyassi, Kelyn Rowe

Central Midfielders (4): Scott Caldwell, Kalifa Cisse, Andy Dorman, Clyde Simms

Left Wingers (2): Lee Nguyen, Juan Toja

Forwards (4): Jerry Bengtson, Diego Fagundez, Dimitry Imbongo, Saer Sene

Internationals slots (7 of 8 used): Bengtson, Cisse, Fagundez, Goncalves, Imbongo, Sene, Toja

New England Revolution SuperDraft Priorities:

With the offseason additions of Scott Caldwell, Kalifa Cissé and Andy Dorman to an already strong midfield unit, New England can lay off midfielders during the 2013 SuperDraft. The needs are others:

1. Filling Up On Fullbacks: Heaps has just two starters to work with between Kevin Alston at right back and Chris Tierney on the left. There are plenty of left backs to choose from in the 2013 SuperDraft, while competition at right back would be ensured if Hunter Freeman, a Re-Entry Draft Stage 2 selection, signs on the dotted line.

Wish List (Left Backs): Jimmy Nealis (Georgetown), Taylor Kemp (Maryland), Kory Kindle (CSU Bakersfield), Dylan Remick (Brown)

Wish List (Right Backs): Joe Franco (CSU Northridge), Tommy Muller (Georgetown), Drew Beckie (Denver), Max Wasserman (Connecticut)

2. Forward Insurance: Jerry Bengtson is going to be in demand for Honduran World Cup qualifying duty in 2013 and Saer Sene is coming off the most delicate of surgeries (left knee ACL tear). Their No. 4 pick can be used on a young impact forward who can probably pick up significant minutes by the time the 2013 campaign is said and done. Keep in mind, they may not want to blow their remaining international slot on a player like Jason Johnson or Deshorn Brown, who are both Jamaicans.

Wish List (Forwards): Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana), Ryan Finley (Notre Dame), Erik Hurtado (Santa Clara), Don Anding (Northeastern)

3. Middle Men: The Revs should have enough bodies to cover the center back positions, but in case the Freeman deal doesn’t come through, it would be in their best interests to pick up a central defender they can bring along. After all, José Gonçalves is on a one-year loan and they may want to eventually try Stephen McCarthy at holding midfielder at some point. However, by the time they get around to selecting again after No. 4 overall, Eric Schoenle of West Virginia and Dylan Tucker-Gangnes of Washington should be off the board.

Wish List (Center backs): Tommy Muller (Georgetown), Trevor Newquist (St. Mary’s), Eric Robertson (Brown)