Best and worst of MLS SuperDraft
who in God's name is? -- but my feeling about the Galaxy's fifth selection is about the same.
Best draft: Chicago Fire. It's one thing to come out of the draft with two players who will push for a starting role at a position where there was need, but it's an entirely different situation altogether when those two players happen to be the ones listed as the top two on your draft board. And then to add an exciting left-sided midfielder like Will John, who plays with the U.S. U-20 national team, and three quality selections in the third round (Chris Rolfe, Gonzalo Segares and Boyzzz Khumalo) simply made last Friday Chicago's day.
"You put together your wish list before the draft and then you simply cross off the names as they're selected," said Chicago Fire head coach Dave Sarachan. "We really, quite frankly, got all the guys we wanted to get. You have to reserve judgment until everyone gets together for the preseason, but we obviously feel that our camp will have a much higher level of talent now and will make for a very competitive situation.
"We got players here that will not only compete for roster spots, but for starting jobs."
Worst draft: Los Angeles. When I asked one head coach which team helped themselves the most -- and he wasn't allowed to pick his own -- he wasn't able to differentiate one or two clubs from the others because of all the trades and player movement that went down. After waffling back and forth, he finally said this:
"I guess I couldn't say who did the best here today, but I can say that L.A. was the team that made the most curious moves," he said. "Maybe it'll work out for them and they have a plan, I don't know. But I was shocked at who they selected and where they selected them."
Player most likely to win Rookie of the Year honors: Kansas City Wizards striker Scott Sealy. The Wake Forest All-American plays with the maturity and smarts of a professional, with the skills to match. It won't be the easiest task to get on the field right away with Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud entrenched in starting roles for Bob Gansler, but he'll certainly see the field right away and will get due time to put on some numbers once Wolff starts leaving for World Cup qualifiers or if injuries occur.
Player most likely to sign with an overseas club rather than stay in MLS: Tony Lochhead (New England). The New Zealand international signed with U.K.-based Proactive Sports Marketing and agent Lyle Yorks, whose primary clients include several of the top Americans playing overseas including Claudio Reyna, Brad Friedel and DaMarcus Beasley. In addition to his less-than-fabulous showing at the Combine, one of the reasons he slipped to the third round was due to teams being wary about whether he would stay and sign with the league or try his hand overseas. At the moment, Lochhead is considering both avenues.
Most curious move: Columbus Crew sending Jeff Cunningham to Colorado for a first-round pick in the 2006 SuperDraft. It's amazing to think that Columbus settled for this deal, considering there are several teams out there that a player like Cunningham would start for. Obviously, cap room was a big issue, and Colorado had the necessary space. This trade leads me to believe it's a precursor to the Crew bringing back striker Stern John, who is currently playing for Coventry City in England. The former MLS scoring leader would have to come back to the league on a transfer since he signed a three-year deal with Coventry last fall after playing for Birmingham City for three seasons.
Steal of the draft: FC Dallas acquiring both Richard Mulrooney and Arturo Alvarez along with draft picks in exchange for Brad Davis and the fourth overall selection. This worked out perfectly for Colin Clarke and his staff since they knew they could get Indiana defender Drew Moor -- the player they wanted all long -- at No. 6 rather than at No. 4, as well as bring in one of the best players in the league over the past few years in Mulrooney along with a young talent like Alvarez. Davis was an effective player for this club the past two seasons since coming over from the MetroStars via a draft day trade in 2003, but it was worth getting rid of him to get a talented player, a proven winner and a likable leader like Mulrooney.
Draftees most likely to push for starting positions: Barrett, Sealy, Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Danny O'Rourke (San Jose), Hunter Freeman (Colorado), Michael Parkhurst (New England) and Jack Stewart (Chicago).
Players who went earlier than they should have besides Ihemelu: Nikolas Besagno (Real Salt Lake), Troy Roberts (Los Angeles), Jamie Watson (Real Salt Lake), Ryan Pore (Kansas City), Nick Van Sicklen (D.C. United) and Jay Nolly (Real Salt Lake).
Players who dropped further than they should have: Stewart, Hunter Freeman (Colorado), Will John (Chicago Fire), James Riley (New England), Khumalo (Chicago) and Tim Merritt (D.C. United).
Final-round selections who could make the first-team roster: Luke Kreamalmeyer (Real Salt Lake), Steve Arias (Chivas USA), Julian Nash (FC Dallas), Guy Melamed (Colorado), Knox Cameron (Columbus), Amir Lowery (Colorado) and Merritt.
Late-round selections who will have a difficult time making the first-team roster: Orlando Ramirez (San Jose), Karim Dietz (Chicago), James Twellman (San Jose), Antouman Jallow (San Jose), Mubarike Chisoni (Los Angeles) and John Minagawa-Webster (Kansas City).
Marc Connolly writes for ESPN.com and several other publications. This column runs each Wednesday on MLSnet.com and Marc can be reached at email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.