Clarke has a handle on SuperDraft
FCdallas.net had the opportunity to sit down with head coach Colin Clarke to ask him about his scouting trip to the United Kingdom, his preparation for the 2005 MLS SuperDraft and his take on the opening of FSEC on June 11.
FCdallas.net: You just returned from the U.K. Were you there scouting and what did you see there that you liked or impressed you?
Colin Clarke: "Yes I was there scouting a couple players in particular. I had the opportunity to see them play, evaluate them and hopefully we'll be moving forward with one of those in the near future. One of the players was a striker and I liked what I saw. He has a lot of good experience over there playing in the Premier League and below. He would fit into what we are trying to do here and he is the right age at 27."
FCdallas.net: Where is the process with the player from Ecuador that you scouted a month ago?
Clarke: "We are negotiating his contract right now and that is the stage that process is in. Between us, the league and his representatives we are doing our best to come to an agreement to get him here."
FCdallas.net: How are you getting prepared for the SuperDraft, which is this Friday, January 14 in Baltimore, after returning from the Combine in Los Angeles yesterday?
Clarke: "As you said, we just returned from the Combine in Los Angeles. I had a chance to see some players, just not under the greatest of conditions due to all that rain. Along with going to Combine to watch them play, what we've seen during the season, our notes we have on the players and watching tape, we feel we have a good handle on what's going on. We're definitely looking forward to the draft. We are sitting four and 12 in the first round, which are two pretty good picks to have."
FCdallas.net: Are there any positions or specific players that you can talk about that you are interested in for the draft?
Clarke: "Yes there are, but I don't want to go into specific names of players. Basically we are evaluating our roster and making decisions on where we are heading into the draft. We have a good representation from Dallas this year in the draft with three very good players that are obviously of interest to us. We'll go from there and see what happens on draft day."
FCdallas.net: Is there anything in particular that you are looking for with the fourth overall pick?
Clarke: "The fourth pick is a good pick to have. This is a draft that contains 12 'Project-40' players in it which makes it pretty deep. We think we have a pretty good handle on what's going to happen in the two or three picks before we select, so we should know what's going to be available at number four. You can always trade your fourth pick and maybe move down if you felt that what you wanted would still be available a few picks down. It's a good pick to have, other teams want it, and we have it right now. I know with that pick we will get a good player, whether it's at four or doing something else."
FCdallas.net: Ramon Nuñez was called up to the U-20 Honduras national team. Will he miss any time with FC Dallas due to this call-up and how do you think this opportunity will affect him?
Clarke: "I think this is great for Ramon. This is great recognition for him and I know they'll get some good games when he is out there. It will only be helping his development process. With regards to him missing time with FC Dallas, he shouldn't miss any time at all. He's going to come back the day we will report, which might make him miss our introductory meetings and physicals, but he won't miss any significant time with us."
FCdallas.net: What is your take on the team beginning the season on the road for over two months with the opening date of the Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center set for June 11?
Clarke: "We are very excited that the stadium is going to happen and we are looking forward to that opening on June 11 and beyond. It's going to be great. About the road matches, we have to go to those away matches at some stage during the season. We just happen to play them at once at the beginning of the season. We just have to make sure we are right mentally heading into those matches. We are really looking forward to this season. We think we are going to have a great team. The start of the season is just around the corner as we start with a big match in Chicago, which is always a fun one. The season is 32 matches and we are looking forward to those 32 matches no matter what order they fall in."
FC DALLAS OWNS TWO OF TOP 12 OVERALL PICKS AT
2005 MLS SUPERDRAFT
FC Dallas President and General Manager Greg Elliott and head coach Colin Clarke head out to Baltimore on Friday for the 2005 MLS Super Draft, beginning at 11 a.m. CT. The SuperDraft, traditionally a six-round draft, will consist of four rounds in this year's edition. As of Tuesday, January 11, FC Dallas possesses four picks. They are slated to draft fourth and 12th overall (from MetroStars) in the first round, 27th (from Chicago) and 28th overall in the third round and 40th overall in the fourth round. The MetroStars informed FC Dallas yesterday that they will give their 12th overall pick to Dallas instead of giving them their first and second round selections next season.