First XI: Bottom's up
who was the Quakes' final pick in the draft. Russell has been an fixture in San Jose ever since.
7. Andy Dorman, New England Revolution, 2004: No. 58 out of 60.
The late rounds are often when teams start selecting local players and that was the case a year ago when the Revolution used their final pick on a Welsh kid who had played college soccer at Boston University. It took a while for Dorman to appear on the scene in Foxborough, but by the end of last season he was providing a much-needed spark for Steve Nicol and looking very much like a player who will shine for the Revolution in '05.
6. Jeff Parke, MetroStars, 2004: No. 60 out of 60.
Parke got a lot of publicity last year for being the so-called "Mr. Irrelevant," as the final player taken in the draft, but that's a bit misleading. The MetroStars already knew they'd be bringing the big Drexel defender into their preseason camp, but figured they'd go ahead and pick him to make him feel a little more welcome. Regardless of whether Parke made the team as a late-round pick or a non-roster invitee, it really doesn't matter. What does matter is that the MetroStars found a kid who was able to step into their backline immediately and play professional defense.
5. Jack Jewsbury, Kansas City Wizards, 2003: No. 43 out of 60.
Bob Gansler, Brian Bliss and Tim Mulqueen obviously do their homework as well as any coaching staff in MLS. Look no further than the selection of Jewsbury two years ago. The Wizards did not own a pick in the '03 draft until the fourth round and ended up with two players -- Taylor Graham and Jewsbury -- who made their roster. Jewsbury, whose injury-time goal propelled the Wizards into the Western Conference Final, made the loss of Chris Klein hurt a lot less. A great pick.
4. Davy Arnaud, Kansas City Wizards, 2002: No. 50 of 70
Kudos, again, to the Wizards, for finding a forward who can score late in the draft. Arnaud was the first pick of the fifth round three drafts ago and though it took him a while to find a regular spot in the K.C. lineup, he's proven to be one of the league's best finishers. Arnaud put up nine goals (and two more in the playoffs) without a penalty kick and caused all kinds of problems for MLS defenders with his speed. He's only 24 years old so don't look for him to slow down any time soon.
3. Kevin Hartman, Los Angeles Galaxy, 1997: 29 out of 30 college picks
Another example of what can happen at the end of a draft. In '97 there were but two picks left on the college draft board when the Galaxy drafted the man who would go on to be their 'keeper for, basically, the next eight seasons. The '99 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. A member of the MLS Best XI in '99. Two college 'keepers were selected ahead of Hartman in the '97 college draft. The Revolution took Indiana's Scott Coufal and D.C. United took SMU's Tom Presthus.
2. Eddie Lewis, San Jose Clash, 1996: 23 out of 30 college picks
You never know where a future national team left-winger might be hiding on draft day. In the case of Lewis, you wonder just how many coaches and GMs look back and kick themselves for passing him up back in 1996. Even Lewis's hometown Galaxy went with a player named Guillermo Jara over him. You have to believe if Sigi Schmid were coaching the Galaxy then, and not coaching Lewis at UCLA, this section in MLS history would've been written a bit differently.
1. Ante Razov, Los Angeles Galaxy, 1996: 27th out of 30 college picks
And we award the No. 1 slot to Razov, not only because he is an example of the type of players that have been lying around at the end of past MLS drafts, but also because, a year later, Razov was tossed aside by the Galaxy only to land in Chicago as a waiver pickup in '98. Needless to say, 77 goals later (only Jason Kreis, Roy Lassiter, Raul Diaz Arce and Jaime Moreno have scored more), we can see clearly that finding talent in MLS is no inexact science.
Goodbye rounds five and six. We may not miss you so much on Friday, but down the road we will wonder what might've been.
Jeff Bradley is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Send your comments and complaints (200 words or less, please) to Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org and he promises to read (but not respond to) all of them. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or its clubs.