Ahead of the 2014 SuperDraft, MLSsoccer.com is breaking down each team's needs and potential draft targets. The Vancouver Whitecaps can address their biggest needs inside the first half-hour of the SuperDraft:
For a team that was on the verge of making the playoffs for a second straight season, the Whitecaps have some gaping holes going into 2014, namely at three positions: goalkeeper, right back and attacking midfielder.
The good news is that they are in perfect position to fill the gaps in their roster with players that don't count against the team's salary budget (Generation adidas signings). They can then save the cash for the difference-maker at attacking midfielder, who is likely to come from overseas.
Vancouver Whitecaps SuperDraft Picks: #3 (1st Rd), #7 (1st Rd), #30 (2nd Rd), #45 (3rd Rd), #51 (3rd Rd), #58 (4th Rd), #64 (4th Rd)
Vancouver Whitecaps Depth Chart (20 players, incl. Jay DeMerit):
Goalkeepers (1): David Ousted
Right Backs (0):
Left Backs (2): Jordan Harvey, Sam Adekugbe
Center Backs (4): Johnny Leveron, Andy O’Brien, Carlyle Mitchell, (Jay Demerit)
Center Mids (5): Nigel Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie, Matt Watson, Aminu Abdullah, Bryce Alderson
Left Wingers (2): Omar Salgado, Russell Teibert
Right Wingers (1): Erik Hurtado
Attacking Mids (0):
Forwards (5): Darren Mattocks, Kenny Miller, Camilo Sanvezzo, Kekuta Manneh, (Caleb Clarke returns July 2014)
International slots (1 of 10 remaining): Aminu Abdullah, Johnny Leveron, Darren Mattocks, Kenny Miller, Carlyle Mitchell, Andy O’Brien, David Ousted, Nigerl Reo-Coker, Camilo Sanvezzo
Vancouver Whitecaps' Primary Need: Goalkeeper
Ousted is the only goalkeeper on the roster right now, and was simply underwhelming once he arrived in the middle of last season. Marco Carducci, a 17-year-old Canadian youth international from the ‘Caps academy, has a ton of talent, but won’t be ready to challenge for the No. 1 shirt for several years. So they’ve got to get a challenger from the draft.
Target: Andre Blake (UConn)
Vancouver Whitecaps' Secondary Need: Right back
Y.P. Lee finally hung ‘em up after a long and storied career across three continents. Reo-Coker has played the position, but they still need to build some basic depth there. And at No. 7 they can probably snatch the top-rated right back in a draft that is weak at the position.
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