With the real MLS SuperDraft happening this Thursday, the editors of all 20 MLS blogs got together on Friday night and held a mock MLS SuperDraft. Since the Philadelphia Union don't pick until halfway through the second round at number 31, it was a bit of a struggle for me since my knowledge of college soccer is only as broad as the one guy I played against in a rec league a couple years ago who I am like 80% sure played for a local college.
I turned to Matt Ralph, the Brotherly Game's resident expert on college soccer for advice. Since that late in the second round the majority of the players most people would recognize were gone, he gave me three names to select if given the chance: Jose Ribas, Manolo Sanchez, and Alex Shinsky. Shinsky I'd heard of since he was with the Union Academy before going off to the University of Maryland, however the other two were new to me. But in Matt I Trust, so when the draft started, I held my breath.
1. Orlando City SC – Cyle Larin
2. New York City FC – Cristian Roldan
3. Montreal Impact – Khiry Shelton
4. San Jose Earthquakes – Ramon Martin del Campo
5. Portland Timbers – Conor Donovan
6. Toronto FC – Leo Stolz
7. Chicago Fire – Fatai Alashe
8. Houston Dynamo – Oumar Ballo
9. Toronto FC – Alex Bono
10. Sporting Kansas City – Nick Besler
11. Toronto FC: - Romario Williams
12. Sporting Kansas City – Otis Earle
13. Vancouver Whitecaps – Skylar Thomas
14. Columbus Crew – Aaron Simmons
15. FC Dallas – Dan Metzger
16. Real Salt Lake – Eric Bird
17. D.C. United – Andy Thoma
18. New York Red Bulls – Tim Parker
19. Colorado Rapids – Boyd Okwuonu
20. Sporting Kansas City – Andy Craven
21. LA Galaxy – Tyler Miller
Awesome! None of the three I was supposed to look out for were taken. Ok, let's hope the second round goes as well.
22. Orlando City SC – Andrew Wolverton
23. New York City FC – Ricky Garbanzo
24. Portland Timbers – Seth Casiple
25. Orlando City SC – Jose Ribas
Poop. Ok still have the two I'm supposed to look for. Just gotta hope neither are taken
26. Colorado Rapids – Jordan Murrell
27. Seattle Sounders – Dzezan Catic
28. Chicago Fire – Saad Abdul-Salaam
29. Toronto FC – Adam Montegue
30. Sporting Kansas City – Luke Mishu
31. Philadelphia Union – Manolo Sanchez
Come to find out Sanchez is a midfielder with Clemson who had three goals and six assists in 1486 minutes this past year. He led a good Clemson team in assists and points, and possesses good skill on the ball. He's also from Philadelphia and perhaps more importantly - he's not a goalkeeper. Now as long as Shinsky is still there at 41, I'm good.
32. Portland Timbers – Andy Blevin
33. New England Revolution – Sergio Campbell
34. Portland Timbers – Anthony Manning
35. Columbus Crew – Axel Sjolberg
36. Houston Dynamo – Kyler Sullivan
37. Toronto FC – Dennis Castillo
38. Vancouver Whitecaps – Tyler Arnone
39. New York Red Bulls – Connor Hallisey
Please don't pick Shinsky. Please don't pick Shinsky. Please don't pick Shinsky.
40. Seattle Sounders – Spencer Richey
41. Philadelphia Union – Alex Shinsky
Shinsky played at Maryland, and had two goals and two assists for the Terps in 2014 and is in the USMNT U-20 player pool.
42. D.C. United – Akeil Barrett
While the draft that SBN did was two rounds, the first round is (obviously) where the majority of the quality lies. Last year I looked at the statistical differences between the different rounds, and found that second rounders play on average 40.8% fewer games than first rounders. This late in the draft, it's highly unlikely that you'll get someone who will make an immediate impact for a club, so the club will most likely look to take the best available player and look to develop them over the next three to five years.
Who would you have taken? Let us know in the comments section below!