DC focus on taking best available player with seventh pick

As things stand right now, D.C. United have just a single pick heading into Thursday’s SuperDraft.

After an improved season that saw the team fail to make the playoffs, United hold the seventh overall pick for the third time in four years in the two-round edition of the draft.

The team has needs in each position on the field, so they are likely to go for the best talent available instead of looking to fill a certain spot.

“We’ll probably take the best player available,” assistant coach Chad Ashton told MLSsoccer.com. “But we do have some positional needs as well, so we’ll factor in all those things how we pick at seven.”

Depending on who remains on the board, D.C. will have many options. Up front, Maryland striker Casey Townsend could help boost productivity in the goal-scoring department, as could Creighton midfielder Ethan Finlay. A Generation adidas playmaker such as Kelyn Rowe or Enzo Martinez might also be available.

United also haven’t ruled out making any deals, as plenty of moves can happen in a short amount of time during the hectic atmosphere on draft day. That requires making snap decisions, and United feel like they are well prepared in that department.

“As far as us doing our research, you never know what’s going to happen during the draft,” Ashton said. “You have to have as much information and do as much legwork as you possibly can. ... A trade could become available and you want to have information on as many players as possible in the draft. So if you want to move, someone wants to make a deal, you know what you’re dealing with.”

After the SuperDraft, focus will turn to the Supplement Draft, a four-round process scheduled for Jan. 17. Last year, United were one of the few teams to snag a major contributor in the later rounds, and will hope to repeat that feat this time around.

“I would consider we did a good job when you have a guy like Blake [Brettschneider] who was a later-round pick who made the team,” Ashton said.

Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com.