2014 MLS SuperDraft Top 5: Right backs good on the overlap, but then what?
This year's crop of right backs ranges from "highly rated" to "total crapshoot," but there's fun for the whole family in between.
The prospects at the position are a mixture of defensive stalwarts, speed demons, service providers and at least one guy that can fire the ball really, really far off the throw-in. Curious? Good. Time to meet the right back prospects for the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
1. Eric Miller (Creighton/GA) - The Generation adidas signing out of Creighton is easily the most highly touted prospect at his position -- and yes, right back is Miller's position despite playing central defense for the US under-20s. Great engine, great speed, great in the air, but his tactical awareness defensively has been called into question. Range: Early-to-mid first round.
2. Marco Franco (UC Irvine) - Though he played centerback for UC Irvine this past season, Franco is a bona fide right back with plenty of attacking flair. Technically clean, composed on the ball, and quick, Franco has a great range of passing and is solid on defense. He ticks all the boxes you need, and is probably more MLS-ready than Miller. Range: Mid-to-late first round.
3. Devante Dubose (Virginia Tech) - Coaches love Dubose's athleticism -- he's fast, and he has good ups. If a team's willing to take some time to develop him, those qualities could suit him well, but they wouldn't be getting a ready-to-go soccer player. Dubose is not the best passer, and is jittery under pressure when he has the ball. Range: Third round
4. Danny Welsh (UC Santa Barbara) - On a team that has as many potential SuperDraftees as the Gauchos do, it makes sense that Welsh would get overshadowed, but the Scottish defender is a tough, speedy player who can beat guys off the dribble with his pace and chase down anyone that comes near him with the ball. Whether those qualities translate to MLS remains to be see, however. Range: Late third to early fourth.
5. Michael Harris (Washington) - You only need one word to convey why MLS coaches are interested in Harris: Flip-throws. Washington's right back can launch a ball 50 yards off the throw-in, making him a potentially valuable offensive option. In the field, though, Harris plays a very simple, conservative game, and most coaches believe it's because he doesn't have enough skill in his arsenal. Range: Fourth round