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Chivas USA Draft Preview: One player Goats must have

MLSsoccer.com continues its team-by-team lookahead at the 2013 SuperDraft and the players that will most likely be on each club’s radar. The spotlight turns on Chivas USA.

If there’s a team that looks like it has the potential to be involved in some of the major trades that typically take place at the annual SuperDraft, it’s Chivas USA.

As it stands, they only have one pick – No. 2 overall – but if José Luis Sánchez Solá (Chelis) and his new boss, sporting president Dennis te Kloese, have had enough time to properly evaluate the talent on their existing roster, they may be able to come away with several more picks in Indianapolis.

Chivas USA SuperDraft Picks: #2 (1st Rd)

Chivas USA Depth Chart (23 players):

Goalkeepers (3): Dan Kennedy, Patrick McLain, Tim Melia

Right Back (1): James Riley

Center Back (3): Bobby Burling, John Alexander Valencia, Rauwshan McKenzie

Left Back (2): Ante Jazic, Jorge Villafana

Right Wing (1): Paolo Cardozo

Central Midfielder (4): Shalrie Joseph, Oswaldo Minda, Ben Zemanski, Marco Delgado

Left Wing (2): Miller Bolaños, Laurent Courtois,

Attacking Mids (2): Nick LaBrocca, Marvin Iraheta

Forwards (5): Juan Agudelo, Tristan Bowen, José Erick Correa, Cesar Romero, Casey Townsend, 

Internationals slots (3 of 9 remaining): Bolaños, Cardozo, Correa, Courtois, Minda, Valencia

Chivas USA SuperDraft Priorities

Whether they like it or not, the SuperDraft is going to be the first de facto statement made by the club about the real direction in which the club is heading. Will it attempt to recruit Mexicans and Mexican-Americans? Will it draft creative, skilled players all over the field?

This is a club that needs help in every department, except perhaps goalkeeper, and yet hasn’t made a single personnel move this offseason, except for seeing four players go into the Re-Entry Draft (Danny Califf, Juan Pablo Ángel, Alejandro Moreno and Peter Vagenas). So it’s due for some serious player movement.  

1. Get Carlos Alvarez: For a team that is looking to finally put a stake in the ground about its identity and what it represents, it’s imperative Chivas USA land UConn’s Alvarez, perhaps even using that No. 2 pick to do it. He’s the son of a former Chivas Guadalajara player from East LA who is one of the best playmakers in the college game. This is pretty simple.

Wish List (one man): Carlos Alvarez (Connecticut)

2. Get Mikey Lopez: With Alvarez out of the way, Chivas USA will need to trade for some an early first-round pick to land this next target: North Carolina’s Lopez. He’s a defensive midfielder and that’s the only position he really wants to play, making him the ideal midfield partner for Alvarez in the long-term.

And the fact that the Mexican-American, doesn’t occupy an international slot and is also a Generation adidas player means that Chivas USA will be minimally impacted as far as roster and budget flexibility (he wouldn’t count against the salary budget per league rules).

Wish List (Alvarez’s complement): Mikey Lopez (North Carolina)

3. Backline help: Their talent, upside and roster designation make Lopez and Alvarez top priorities. But there is probably no area of the field that needs more help than the backline. If Chivas USA can maneuver to get another selection, they’ll want to use it on 6-foot-3 Mexican-American central defender and local LA product Jose Diaz, who is not only a tough tackler, but he also can build out of the back. Along with Washington’s Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, he’s the best playmaking centerback in the SuperDraft.

Wish List (a big defender who can play): Jose Diaz (UC Riverside)