If there’s one thing Montreal Impact director of soccer operations Matt Jordan dares predict ahead of next month's MLS SuperDraft, it’s unpredictability.
According to Jordan, the class of 2013 isn’t exactly straightforward, with a large group of players still jockeying for a place at the top of team’s draft boards.
“This year, it’s wide open for who could be the No. 1 overall pick,” Jordan told MLSsoccer.com via phone from his Montreal office. “I really believe that.”
One year can make quite a difference. At the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, the North American soccer community pretty much knew what would happen during the first half-hour. It was always going to be about two top prospects: Andrew Wenger (above) and Darren Mattocks.
Montreal took Wenger with the first-overall pick in 2012. They hold the eighth, 18th, 27th and 32nd picks this year.
Come Jan. 17, though, fans can and should expect the unexpected in the first round, according to Jordan, and even teams with picks farther down the board can be optimistic about their chances of making a selection that they will, years from now, be glad they made.
So far, the prospects on most people’s tongues are defenders Andrew Farrell and Walker Zimmerman, as well as midfielders Dillon Powers and Mikey Lopez, to name but a few. With the Generation adidas signings still unconfirmed, an exciting aura of uncertainty hovers above the 2013 first round.
“There’s probably a pool of 10 guys that I feel anyone of them could be that [first overall] pick,” Jordan said.
Yet it seems that all teams do not look at that group of players in the same way. Whereas only one 2012 first-round pick was traded away (Toronto made the 12th overall selection instead of New York), four have already decided to make do without theirs this time around.
Far from looking down on the eligible players, Jordan feels the clubs that do make selections will simply allow themselves more time after the draft to evaluate whether they played their cards well.
“I think that last year, you had a handful of guys that most clubs felt were going to make an immediate impact,” Jordan explained. “This year, there will be opportunities, but I think most clubs will focus on a long-term approach.”