SuperDraft: From Sean Johnson to Chris Schuler, 11 gems found in late rounds
The big names are gone and already figuring out how to get to their new cities.
But the MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, continues with rounds 3 and 4 on Tuesday afternoon.
Predictably, most experts don't give the guys picked in these later rounds much of a chance. But history refutes often the experts and at least one club is bound to find the proverbial diamond in the rough. Here's a look at few that have been unearthed in recent years (since 2009).
Note: Round 3 and 4 of the SuperDraft in 2014 was the equivalent of Rounds 1 and 2 of the Supplemental Draft in previous years.
Eric Alexander, New York Red Bulls (2010) – A standout for Indiana University, he obviously didn't stand out enough. But since Dallas first grabbed the midfielder (right) with the 44th overall pick, he has made 103 league appearances for three clubs, scored six goals, and earned a call-up to the USMNT.
Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago Fire (2009) – The speedster from UC Davis has had a journeyman's career since San Jose selected him early in the third round in 2009, but he's got 81 appearances and 7 goals to his name, more than all the other forwards taken in the draft that year other than Steve Zakuani.
Darrius Barnes, New England Revolution (2009) – The Duke defender was less known than fellow Revs pick Kevin Alston, but he finished the 2009 season as the only field player in the league to play every minute. Since then, he's made more than 100 appearances in all competitions.
Brandon Barklage, New York Red Bulls (2009) – A sleeper pick by D.C. United and a sleeper roster player for three seasons at RFK, where he made only 11 appearances. But once in New York, he became a regular contributor with 45 appearances, two goals, and 10 assists in 2012 and 2013.
Danny Cruz, Philadelphia Union (2009) – The UNLV midfielder (right) was snagged by Houston with the 41st overall pick and has since made 111 league appearances for the Dynamo, D.C., and Philly. He has nine goals and 11 assists in his career, and within his draft class, only Graham Zusi has better offensive numbers.
Adam Jahn, San Jose Earthquakes (2013) – The former US youth international wasn't heralded as a must-have striker, but when the Quakes frontline was devastated by injuries early in the season, the Stanford product struck four goals in his first nine appearances for the club.
Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake (2011) – Questions about his size saw the 2011 Combine MVP slip on draft day until Toronto FC tagged him with the 49th overall pick. He never stuck at BMO Field but has found a home at RSL, where he notched four goals and eight assists in 29 appearances in 2013.
Andy Rose, Seattle Sounders (2012) – A strong college career at UCLA wasn't enough to make him a blue-chipper, but the Sounders got a great ROI: In 2012, Rose logged more minutes than any other player taken after the second round. He played in 41 games and scored two goals in his first two seasons.
Chris Schuler, Real Salt Lake (2010) – Before he became a sure starter in the RSL defense, the Creighton University center back (right) saw the likes of Toni Stahl and current teammate Kwame Watson-Siriboe go before him. RSL finally called his name with the 39th overall pick.
Ben Zemanski, Portland Timbers (2010) – An regular under Caleb Porter at Akron, Zemanski was picked up by Chivas USA with the penultimate pick in the third round. He has since made nearly 100 appearances in the league.
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire (2010) – In a draft week on keepers, the Central Florida product should've been more celebrated. Instead, he was taken two spots after Brian Perk. But he went on to win the starting job at Toyota Park midway through his rookie season and now he's a potential future starter for the USMNT.