nice Menu SuperDraft2013

MLSsoccer.com's 2013 Mock Draft: Pre-Combine edition

The 2013 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas is one week away (Thursday, Jan. 17, at noon ET) and our draft experts – Simon Borg, Jason Saghini and Matthew Doyle – take their first stab at the two-round affair based on the information gathered from coaches and scouts around the nation. This is only the first of our mock drafts. We'll have more as the MLS Combine gets under way and the SuperDraft gets closer. 

GA = member of Generation adidas 

First Round

Pick Team Simon Borg Matt Doyle Jason Saghini
1

Walker Zimmerman (DF)

Furman / GA

New Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen is the personification of leadership and character. But he'll be stuck on the bench. That's why he takes Zimmerman to be the Nelsen on the field of play. Natural-born leader from the back.

Andrew Farrell (DF)

Louisville / GA

Consensus seems to be that he’s the No. 1 heading into the Combine. He’s wildly athletic, but questions remain about his technique, as well as what position he’ll eventually play. Expect a lot of trade talks about this pick.

Walker Zimmerman (DF)

Furman / GA

He might need a year to adjust to the MLS level, but he's the best prospect down the line and Toronto have set themselves up to be able to give him a year to adjust.

2

 

Carlos Alvarez (MF)

Connecticut

Chelís and Chivas USA announce their intentions to the rest of the league by drafting the son of a former Chivas Guadalajara player with Mexican blood. It's their only pick of the SuperDraft: Mission accomplished.

Mikey Lopez (MF)

North Carolina / GA

Probably isn’t the second-best talent in this draft, but he’s the first-best Mexican-American, which means he fits Vergara's  reimagined Chivas. Some have Lopez pegged as the next Chris Armas, but he didn’t show quite that much bite in college.

Mikey Lopez (MF)

North Carolina / GA

Andrew Farrell is the obvious choice here for Chivas – he even speaks Spanish – but hey, it's Chivas … let's mix things up. My real bet is on a trade of this pick for allocation money and an international roster spot.

3

      

Andrew Farrell (DF)

Louisville / GA

Nelsen wants a hard team? Then the athletic specimen that is Andrew Farrell, who can play both right back and center back, will help the cause. And the fact that he's actually pretty good on the ball won't hurt. Toronto emerge with the consensus two best picks of the SuperDraft.

Walker Zimmerman (DF)

Furman / GA

Zimmerman is slightly bigger and slightly less athletic than Farrell. He also doesn’t have any nagging questions about where his best spot is. TFC don’t really need him, with Doneil Henry and Gale Agbossoumonde already on the roster, but they can’t really afford to pass on him, either.

Kyle Bekker (MF)

Boston College

The left midfielder from BC is going to be coveted by all three Canadian teams, so Toronto don’t have the opportunity to trade down and take him later with Vancouver prowling at No. 5.

4

      

Ryan Finley (FW)

Notre Dame

With Saer Sene coming off injury and Jerry Bengtson likely getting called up by Honduras a fair bit, Finley gives them depth at forward. He can run onto the quality service that the Revs midfield is capable of.
 

Jason Johnson (FW)

Virginia Comm. / GA

Johnson is Saer Sene 2.0, or so the Revs hope. He’s tough holding the ball up in traffic, has a cultured left foot and speed to burn.

Andrew Farrell (DF)

Louisville / GA

Farrell can help out right away as a right back and push Kevin Alston while being groomed to move to centerback when needed. He offers an athletic pairing for the cerebral A.J. Soares in what could be a great partnership for years to come.

5

    

Kyle Bekker (MF)

Boston College

Vancouver have vowed to make a more concerted effort to develop players for the Canadian national team. Here's their chance with this dynamic midfielder.

Eriq Zavaleta (DF/FW)

Indiana / GA

“What’s Zavaleta’s best position?” is one of the big debates heading into the draft. Some see him as a traditional No. 9 with hold-up and goalscoring skills, while others see him as the type of central defender to build a team around. The Whitecaps could use either, or both.

Dillon Powers (MF)

Notre Dame

Adds depth to the Vancouver midfield behind Barry Robson and could probably play any of the central spots if needed.

6

Jason Johnson (FW)

Virginia Commonwealth / GA

The Rapids are a team rebuilding their forward corps and why not forget about Omar Cummings with his compatriot Jason Johnson, who also likes to get involved in the build-up. That's the game Oscar Pareja is trying to implement.

Deshorn Brown (FW)

Central Florida / GA

He’s a pure speed forward, a guy who goes past a static backline onto any through ball the midfield deigns to send. The Rapids could use exactly that. And if he learns to play the flank, that’s a nice bonus as well.

Eriq Zavaleta (FW)

Indiana / GA

Pareja surprised some when he went with Tony Cascio over the GA pick, Enzo Martinez, last year. This year he goes GA with Eriq Zavaleta who moves back to CB and adds some needed depth.

7

Deshorn Brown (FW)

Central Florida / GA

Many want to slot Kekuta Manneh here, perhaps because he lives in Texas. But Schellas Hyndman's team doesn't need trickery and cleverness. FC Dallas need speed and they'll get it with Brown.

Dillon Powers (MF)

Notre Dame

Dallas need depth everywhere, but more than that, they need a few cultured midfield players to team up with David Ferreira. That’s what they’ll get in Powers, who grew up a stone’s throw from FC Dallas Stadium.

Kekuta Manneh (FW)

Austin Aztex / GA

Hyndman can afford to take the youngster with huge upside (who reportedly has already signed with MLS) and get the left back depth he needs with their pick in the second round.

8

Eriq Zavaleta (FW)

Indiana / GA

A Generation adidas player is just what the doctor ordered for a team that wants to make sure as much of its salary budget is available for its European scouting missions. Their new coach can take his time to decide if Zavaleta is a forward or defender.

Ashton Bennett (FW)

Coastal Carolina

International slots are at a premium in Montreal, so that makes Bennett’s Canadian residency worth its weight in gold. He’s a pure goalscorer who can thrive on the kind of service the Impact’s forwards spurned last season.

Jason Johnson (FW)

Virginia Comm. / GA

Montreal have a nice forward pairing in Marco Di Vaio and Andrew Wenger, but could use a speed option to mix in. Johnson is that and more, and the GA tag makes it an easy pick.

9

Mikey Lopez (MF)

North Carolina / GA

Many players have tried their hand at the holding midfield spot in Columbus. Lopez has the best chance to sticking for many years to come.

Carlos Alvarez (MF)

Connecticut

Few players come out of college ready to be a No. 10 in MLS, but Alvarez just might. At the very least he’ll be able to spell Federico Higuaín at times, as well as providing something of an insurance policy. The Crew could also very well trade this pick.

Ryan Finley (FW)

Notre Dame

The Crew could use some depth behind their international pairing up top, and a goalscorer who makes smart runs could pair well with Federico Higuain's vision.

10

Emery Welshman (FW)

Oregon State

Make that two Canadians for the Whitecaps in the SuperDraft. Welshman is a dynamic, explosive player who would add a new dimension to the Vancouver forward department.

Blake Smith (MF)

New Mexico

Smith has the whole bag of tricks on the ball. He’s also got great quickness, very good top-end speed and vision. He’ll need to learn to play faster, but regardless, he looks like a perfect fit for Martin Rennie’s 4-3-3.

Deshorn Brown (FW)

Central Florida / GA

With all of the talent on their front line, you'd think they'd be set, but internaional call-ups will affect the Whitecaps, and you can never have enough speedy goalscorers on the roster.

11

Kekuta Manneh (FW)

Austin Aztex / GA

The veteran-heavy Fire add the young legs of an electric Gambian forward, who is more crafty than Sherjill MacDonald and faster than Chris Rolfe. With the salaries taken on during the offseason, the GA tag will be a welcome one.

Kekuta Manneh (FW)

Austin Aztex / GA

Manneh, like DeShorn Brown, hasn’t officially signed yet, but is expected to. Not a lot is known about him outside PDL circles, but as a second forward, he seems to have the rep and the buzz to be a good understudy for Chris Rolfe.

Erik Hurtado (MF)

Santa Clara

The versatile attacker fits the bill for the Chicago Fire who have a team of interchangeable parts that love to get up the field quickly.

12

     

Blake Smith (MF)

New Mexico

Many consider Smith the best left-sided player in the SuperDraft. His skill, trickery and speed could help jumpstart a new-look Real Salt Lake attack.

Ryan Finley (FW)

Notre Dame

Finely does one thing: score. That should fit RSL’s needs, since they’ve consistently come up one goal short in big games over the past three years. Any attitude questions can be answered while he’s picking the ball out of the net.

Ryan Hollingshead (MF)

UCLA

This would be a gift falling into Jason Kreis' lap. Arguably the top wide midfielder dropping all the way to the 12th pick helps the rebuilding process for RSL.

13

Eric Schoenle (DF)

West Virginia

A center back the way Dominic Kinnear loves them. No-nonsense, tough and exceptional in the air on defense and on attacking set pieces.

Eric Schoenle (DF)

West Virginia

Neither Schoenle nor the Mountaineers had a great 2012 season, but he’s still a big, technical central defender who can provide depth at a spot where Houston needs it.

Jimmy Nealis (DF)

Georgetown

Without many glaring needs, Kinnear takes the best left back off the board to provide some competition for Corey Ashe and depth for CCL.

14

Dillon Powers (MF)

Notre Dame

Dedicated, hard-working midfielder who covers tons of ground in midfield and is versatile enough to man several areas of the field. And he's a technically proficient player. Perfect combination of skill and industry as SKC look to make up for the loss of Roger Espinoza.

John Stertzer (MF)

Maryland

Stertzer has that “never going to be a star, always going to be a contributor” air about him. He’s just a midfield handyman who does everything pretty well, doesn’t give the ball away and walks off the field as a net positive almost every time out.

John Stertzer (MF)

Maryland

Sporting KC go back to the well that once got them Graham Zusi and find a guy who can play understudy to their creator in the middle of the field.

15

Jose Diaz (DF)

UC Riverside

A playmaking center back with whom the Earthquakes are already very familiar. He's cultured enough to be getting looks from Mexico, but he's also physically strong enough to slot into an MLS side.
 

Tommy Muller (DF)

Georgetown

Maybe not the guy they want, as Eric Schoenle is probably a better fit for a team that loves them some set pieces. But Muller is, first and foremost, a solid defender who gives them depth at two positions of need.

Taylor Kemp (DF)

Maryland

Defensive depth is the biggest need and Kemp is a seasoned player who can eat up minutes and provide excellent service out of the back for the Quakes.

16

Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (DF)

Washington

One of the top three centerbacks in the draft and one who the Sounders will have watched closely. He's compared to Seattle native George John, who the Sounders missed out on a few drafts ago. It won't happen again.

Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (DF)

Washington

With Jeff Parke going out, that opens up a lot of minutes in the center of defense. In steps Tucker-Gangnes, who’s dominant in the air and can distribute. That’ll trump concerns about his quickness.

Carlos Alvarez (MF)

Connecticut

Possibly the top central midfield prospect in the draft slips to bottom of Round 1 because of questions about where he fits on the field. It doesn't matter to Sigi Schmid. Too much quality to leave on the board.

17

Jimmy Nealis (DF)

Georgetown

D.C. were forced to improvise way too many times at left back last year not to use this pick to find one. Nealis, who played at nearby Georgetown, has the perfect mix of size, skill and work rate of the deep pool of left backs in this draft.

Jimmy Nealis (DF)

Georgetown

United’s cap space is going to go to attacking help, while their draft picks will go to fullback depth. Nealis is the best this draft has to offer, and could go eight spots higher. He combines well, serves in a nice cross and is tough – on both sides of the ball – in 1-v-1 situations.

Blake Smith (MF)

New Mexico

Another player too good to pass up at this point in the draf. Smith could play as a second forward if needed but can also add depth to the wings for D.C. to allow Chris Pontius to push up the field and get closer to goal.

18

Taylor Kemp (DF)

Maryland

They rave about his left foot and the quality of his delivery as a left back. The technical side of this player's game will make a great fit for the European-style Impact.

Kyle Bekker (MF)

Boston College

Really attracted notice more for his play with the Canadian U-23s, in a deep-lying playmaker’s role, than in college. He could make a good understudy to Patrice Bernier if he’s willing to be patient.

Emery Welshman (FW)

Oregon State

The Impact continue to fill the attacking cupboard with the Canadian speedster, who is dangerous going at defenders.

19

Kory Kindle (MF)

CSU Bakersfield

A third straight left back taken in the first round. Kindle is physically ready to step into MLS right away and will have time to grow into Todd Dunivant's backup. Current backup Bryan Gaul could be shifted to centerback.

Erik Hurtado (FW)

Santa Clara

Will probably play more as a winger or wide midfielder in MLS. How quickly he makes the adjustment to right mid will tell the story of how many minutes he sees for the Galaxy.

Donnie Smith (MF)

UNC Charlotte

Korey Kindle could be the target here, but with LA picking again five picks from now, a quality left back should still be there so they snatch the last of the top tier wide midfielders.

 

Second Round

Pick Team Simon Borg Matt Doyle Jason Saghini
20

Devon Sandoval (FW)

New Mexico

Tall forward who's the perfect target man. Sounds the ideal fill-in for Blas Pérez, when he's off with Panama in World Cup qualifying. He's a more effective version of the Ruben Luna who never panned out.

Greg Cochrane (DF)

Louisville

Has a great engine, and showed game both at left back and left midfield in college.

Devon Sandoval (FW)

New Mexico

Without glaring needs elsewhere, Schellas Hyndman adds a target forward who will excel at bringing their talented midfielders into the attack while offering cover for Pérez.

21

Dylan Remick (DF)

Brown

The Revs have Tyler Pollak, who's still waiting in the wings and working his way to becoming a left back option. But why bypass the opportunity to land a super athlete who can own that left flank? A player they will have scouted carefully in their own backyard.

Kory Kindle (DF)

CSU Bakersfield

Kindle isn’t as polished as Nealis or Cochrane, but he’s got big-time athleticism and, as a converted forward, a high level of comfort pushing into the attack.

Marc Cintron (MF)

Providence

With two of the next three picks and two top left backs out there, Jay Heaps addresses the need for depth at outside midfield first, grabbing the only player in the draft pool that has scored against Spain.

22

     

Erik Hurtado (FW/MF)

Santa Clara

Athletic, explosive right winger who drops to the second round while teams try to stock up on defensive depth, especially left backs. The Red Bulls oblige with a candidate who has a chance to make a claim for a position that has been in flux in New York.

Marc Cintron (MF)

Providence

The Red Bulls couldn’t pass up the chance to draft a local who’s scored against Spain, right? Cintron makes a lot of sense for a team with very little midfield depth.

Sean Peckham (MF)

Lafayette

RBNY need bodies in the midfield and Peckham is a bit under the radar, but very highly regarded as a guy who can fill in several spots and do the right things with the ball.

23

Don Anding (FW)

Northeastern

Speed to kill for the Northeastern product. Think of a faster Antoine Hoppenot. Another forward weapon that adds to the variety available to Jay Heaps.

Donnie Smith (MF)

UNC Charlotte

A pretty straight-forward left midfielder, which always has value. Some think he can be converted to left back as well.

Kory Kindle (DF)

CSU Bakersfield

Heaps has stated he needs more talent at outside back and Kindle is certainly talented. He's a bit of a project, perhaps, but Heaps is a guy who can teach him the defensive side of things.

24

Donnie Smith (MF)

UNC Charlotte

The Galaxy have missed having pure wingers in the past and here they have one of the better ones in the college ranks, who happens to operate on the left. More than a little change of pace from the pinch-in tendencies of Mike Magee.

Ryan Hollingshead (MF)

UCLA

Has skipped the Combine for a religious mission. The Galaxy can afford to wait a bit for a two-footed talent who’ll fit Bruce Arena’s system.

Dylan Remick (DF)

Brown

It seems LA have been looking for an understudy to Todd Dunivant for a while, so they continue to add strength to their left side and finally get their man.

25

Andrew Quintana (DF)

Central Florida

His absolute quality on the ball will fit in seamlessly on a squad looking to play on the ground. Projects to be a right back although he featured at center back in college.

Jose Gomez (MF)

Creighton

Has been everywhere from No. 2 to off the board in pre-Combine mocks. US-born playmakers are pretty rare and looked upon with some suspicion, so he’ll have some proving to do. But he’s a good gamble here, especially in Oscar Pareja’s 4-3-3.

Jose Gomez (MF)

Creighton

Another talented player with questions about where he plays in MLS. Pareja takes a chance and adds some depth to his creative midfield corps behind Martín Rivero.

26

John Stertzer (MF)

Maryland

With Amobi Okugo likely to feature at center back, Zach Pfeffer out on loan and Brian Carroll another season older, it will help to have an all-round midfielder who can do it all.

Dylan Remick (DF)

Brown

Still kind of stunned he didn’t get a Combine invite. Big, athletic and skilled, Remick could be a long-term solution at left back for Philly.

Tommy Muller (DF)

Georgetown

With Carlos Valdés looking like he's heading out on loan and not much depth at center back, Philly take the somewhat underrated central defender prospect off the board.

27

Ashton Bennett (FW)

Coastal Carolina

This draft for the Impact is very much about ensuring the club is not encumbered with players that limit its roster flexibility. Thus the Canadian resident is picked here (no need to use an international slot).

Kofe Opare (DF)

Michigan

Crazy athlete, but not a soccer player yet. Canadian citizen who can learn from the likes of Alessandro Nesta, Nelson Rivas and Matteo Ferrari for a couple of years before being asked to contribute.

Greg Cochrane (DF)

Louisville

Versatile left-sided player adds coverage at left back and left midfield for Montreal.

28

Joe Franco (DF)

CSU Northridge

The Crew are thin at right back and they will wait on the recovering Franco, who was one of the best players at his position in the NCAAs before tearing his ACL.

Taylor Kemp (DF)

Maryland

The Crew need fullback help badly, and if the draft plays out like this then Kemp is the natural pick here. He was hurt in 2012 and didn’t have his best season, but was well-regarded prior to that.

Dylan Tucker Gangnes (DF)

Washington

The Crew are for once a little thin at center back, so the tall, powerful defender fits the bill.

29

T.J. Nelson (MF)

Southern Methodist

Another quality central midfielder who has operated as a deep playmaker for SMU. Although his size is still a question, his quality on the ball and his vision and passing ability make him too good to pass up here.

John Gallagher (DF)

Penn State

If Remick doesn’t work out, then Gallagher will. That’ll be the idea at PPL Park, anyway. He doesn’t have the same upside, but he’s solid and mistake-free.

Ryan Clark (DF/MF)

Monmouth

Another guy who could end up at left back or left midfield, but the Union could use some cover at both, so the versatilitiy helps his cuase.

30

Jose Gomez (MF)

Creighton

The Rapids may already have playmakers on their roster, but Oscar Pareja will look to develop another in Gomez who is expected to raise his game another level with other refined players around him in the pros.

Jossimar Sanchez (MF)

Connecticut

Broke his leg in midseason, but is expected to return to full health by spring. Had outstanding range before the injury, and played simple, connecting passes.

Paolo DelPiccolo (MF)

Louisville

Despite Pablo Mastroeni's return, some depth in defensive mid would help and DelPiccolo would be a good fit in the two-man system.

31

John Gallagher (DF)

Penn State

Real Salt Lake need to get a little deeper at fullback and with quality right-sided players hard to come by, why not pluck one from the long list of left backs in the SuperDraft? We'll see if Gallagher has what it takes to stick at RSL.

Uwem Etuk (MF)

West Virginia

He isn’t skillful enough in possession to get a look at midfield with RSL, but he’s a useful project for a long-term left back.

Will Bates (FW)

Virginia

Late in Round 2, Jason Kreis finds a smart target player to spell Álvaro Saborío when needed.

32

Paolo DelPiccolo (MF)

Louisville

With few real impact players left in the SuperDraft, the Impact gamble their final selection on a player who will probably not show up after being tempted by the Bundesliga's Eintracht Frankfurt.

Paolo DelPiccolo (MF)

Louisville

After picking three Canadians, there’s no way Montreal give up a chance to grab a kid with an Italian last name and a trial in Germany.

Eric Schoenle (DF)

West Virginia

Age and injury concerns at center back should force Montreal to use at least one of their picks on a central defender.

33

Danchrisandre Delgado (MF)

San Diego

They say he's a left-footed genius, a very unique No. 10 player made in California. The Quakes haven't had this type of player on their roster since Geovanni. They take a gamble on Delgado.

Emery Welshman (FW)

Oregon State

Welshman would give the Quakes the speed option up top that they’ve lacked. He also gives head coach Frank Yallop another Canadian to talk hockey with.

Andrew Ribeiro (MF)

Creighton

Although he played centerback out of neccessity for Creighton, he projects to be a solid holding midfielder who can add some depth behind Sam Cronin.

34

Greg Cochrane (DF)

Louisville

The left backs are hot commodities in 2013. The Quakes add one of their own in Cochrane, who performed solidly at the position for Louisville.

Ian Christianson (MF)

Georgetown

His ability to switch the field of play on a dime is worth its weight in gold for San Jose, who do so much damage when they get the ball in stride on the flanks.

Ashton Bennett (FW)

Coastal Carolina

A good goalscorer from a smaller school sounds like something San Jose is familiar with. Bennett gives them another option for a busy season.

35

Kevin Durr (MF)

Air Force

Former Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen youth player is a box-to-box midfielder who can take over a game with a rare combination of athleticism and superior skill.

Devon Sandoval (FW)

New Mexico

He’s a brunette Steven Lenhart. And you remember who brought Lenny into the league, right?

Fernando Monge (MF)

UCLA

Sigi Schmid goes back to the alma mater to find a versatile player who can contribute minutes, although the exact position on the field is still in question.

36

Tommy Muller (DF)

Georgetown

Depth at center back and fullback was one of the Revs' priorities going into Indianapolis and they'll come away with a versatile defender in Muller who can play center back and right back.

Will Bates (FW)

Virginia

Another forward in the Steven Lenhart mold, Bates throws his weight around and is probably more athletic than Sandoval. The Revs could use a bruiser like that.

Paul Wyatt (FW)

James Madison

Jay Heaps picks up another option up in case forward Chad Barrett doesn't sign or they have another injury-plagued season.

37

Drew Beckie (DF)

Denver

Athletic defender who has played extensively at center back and right back. His exceptional athleticism and strength in the air could make him a good asset down the line for the Dynamo.

Anthony Arena (DF)

Wake Forest

A "B" athlete at best, but he can provide cover both centrally and at left back for a team that’s thin in both spots.

Ian Christianson (MF)

Georgetown

With the trade of Nate Sturgis, this gives them another option behind the regulars on the defensive side of midfield.

38

Mike Reidy (MF)

Colgate

He's no Christian Wilhelmsson, but Reidy is a hard-working attacking right winger who whips in a nice ball. Not many right-sided players out there in 2013, so the Galaxy nab one of the few to compete with Hector Jimenez for a bench role.

Jacob Barron (MF)

Penn State

Off the radar a bit, but he plays simple soccer and plays it well. Grew up just minutes away from the Home Depot Center to boot.

Joe Franco (DF)

CSU Northridge

Adding another piece on the defensive side that offers the ability to push Sean Franklin up if needed.