Picking apart SuperDraft picks
and fans love to second-guess.
But that's hard to do because the average fan is not always aware of what else is going on. Is there a trade in the future? Did the club have to trade away a player for a reason that wasn't made public? Are they losing a player to a foreign team?
I have to admit, though, second-guessing is fun. If fans couldn't do this, what would they talk about? Opinions -- everyone has one. It is the basis for discussion, and it's a blast to see who is right in the end.
So let's have at it. Primarily looking at just the first two rounds, I will offer my own second-guessing and provide some insights I am aware of. Here we go ...
Real Salt Lake is taking a huge risk with their first two picks. These are picks for the future and with a new franchise winning -- and losing -- can become ingrained early. No. 1 overall pick Nikolas Besagno has talent and a pro's body, but he is young and might struggle asserting himself in the locker room. Jamie Watson is bolder off the field and works hard on it. A locker room of D.J. Countess, Clint Mathis, Rusty Pierce and Watson should lead to some fun stuff. Plenty of fire there.
But I do not understand the trade to pick a goalkeeper (Jay Nolly) with the 22nd pick. First, there were plenty of 'keepers on the board. After Brad Guzan, the differences were slight, if any, and the cash value of an allocation is invaluable with the salary cap. Teams trade players and picks for cap room. Over time, John Ellinger will appreciate how important dollars are to cap flexibility.
CD Chivas USA picked up their backup goalkeeper in Guzan. He could go the Kevin Hartman way and take over, provided he learns Spanish quickly enough, or he could sit all year. A solid pick -- but not team-changing. Christian Jimenez is a talented player with workrate tendencies like Memo Gonzalez. Due to the position of one (Guzan) and the work of the other, it is possible neither will have much of an impact this year.
Chicago surprised people a little with the choice of Chad Barrett with the third pick. I, along with many, thought they would take Jack Stewart and lo and behold they did when he was still on the board at the 10th pick. That was a good first round.
Stewart will help the Fire somewhere in the back this year. He has all the tools -- the challenge will be to keep him focused and motivated if he is sitting behind other players. Second-round pick Will John is a versatile player, but Chicago will have to decide his best spot. Two of the three picks are protected (from the salary cap or senior roster requirements) -- generation adidas players -- and that makes this an outstanding first two rounds.
You can talk about San Jose only if you include the trades. They had to move Richard Mulrooney and lost a lot in the offseason in Landon Donovan, Ramiro Corrales, Dwayne De Rosario and Ronnie Ekelund. But with Wade Barrett potentially returning and adding Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis and Alejandro Moreno, the Earthquakes have gone a long way to rebuilding. Danny O'Rourke is a great pick. I thought he was the player most ready to step in and play against of all the players at the Combine. He is a winner and a fierce competitor. Kevin Goldthwaite is a replacement for the the loss of Todd Dunivant in the trade to L.A. -- he is good on the ball, but his defending needs to improve.
Los Angeles produced the big head-scratcher of the draft. They picked two defenders in the first round (Ugo Ihemelu and Troy Roberts) who are much the same, strong and fast athletes in the C.J. Brown mold. However, at this stage Ryan Suarez could be the playmaker out of the back for the Galaxy because both of those draft choices are limited on offense. Second-round selection Michael Enfield is a very talented player. This past season he moved up front for UCLA and he had his most productive year. But where will he play for L.A.? He cannot do what Sasha Victorine did because defending is not his thing. He tends to get lost in midfield but has surprising speed. The jury is out on this one.
Dallas needed a defender and found a local boy in Drew Moor who is part of generation adidas and therefore protected -- a solid pick. Was he the best defender still on the board? Probably not, but the pick made a lot of sense to Dallas and he will be an OK defender in this league. They also picked up Mulrooney and Cornell Glen through trades which makes them stronger.
Colorado had only one pick in the first two rounds and also went with a protected player. Hunter Freeman is a solid right back who can attack on that side and there is a need for that position in Colorado. They should bring in foreign players and new coach Fernando Clavijo has shown he likes to dabble in the foreign player market.
New England went the same way as Dallas. They needed a defender, found a generation adidas guy, and someone local. Michael Parkhurst is a very smart player who positions himself well. He is not the most physical player but he should help a lot in year one. James Riley was a teammate of Parkhurst at Wake Forest and he is a more athletic defender with pace who could play some this year.
Kansas City did well. First-rounder Scott Sealy is a good back-to-goal forward with some quickness and he should combine well with either Davy Arnaud or Josh Wolff. He needs some toughness but he will get that with K.C. Picking up Victorine is better than any second-rounder they could have picked. This reminds me of the Jimmy Conrad trade the Wizards pulled with San Jose a few years ago. Ryan Pore did not show well at Combine but he is talented and protected. He will be good down the line. Finally, they took a third goalkeeper (Chris Sawyer) if Tony Meola leaves as has been rumored.
The MetroStars traded Glen to get this pick from Dallas. Coach Bob Bradley stayed true to his youth philosophy and picked Tim Ward, a young player out of Saint Louis. He is very versatile and he can play in the back or midfield. Ward has good size and he looks a little like Eddie Gaven in size and hair style. How fast he comes on will depend on the playing time Bradley gives him.
D.C. United had only their pick of the first 24 in the second round. Nick Van Sicklen is a big strong kid who can play up front or midfield. He is a little bit of longshot to have an impact, but remember, so was Josh Gros last year.
Columbus had two second-round picks, and Marcus Storey and Domenic Mediate are similar. They are quick and fast and both play better wide. They can play up front but are not as strong there. They resemble a Brian West of the past, someone who gives them speed wide and who can play up top in a pinch.
The last two rounds always produce a surprise or two. I think C.J. Klaas (San Jose) could surprise at outside back. Tony Lochhead (New England) is a little inconsistent but the Kiwis have done well in this league. Chris Corcoran (MetroStars) could surprise many as a left back or wide left midfielder -- he's fast and a hard-nosed player. Costa Rican Gonzalo Segares (Chicago) can play and is good with the ball in the back. I liked Julian Nash (Dallas) but saw too little of him to be sure -- he's a big striker. John Minagawa-Webster (Kansas City) -- I like the name and liked his play; a longshot but just a feeling.
So there you have it. My water cooler second-guessing. All of us -- including the coaches in MLS -- have our own thoughts. Sometimes we are right and sometimes ... well, we won't talk about that.
Sigi Schmid is one of the winningest coaches in MLS history, having led the Los Angeles Galaxy to four honors in his five-plus years at the helm, including the 2002 MLS Cup championship. Send comments to Sigi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or its clubs.