As of now, the Union will wait until pick 31 before taking their first selection in the 2015 SuperDraft. By that time the odds of getting an impact player will have severely diminished. How much you might wonder? Let's get right down to it. Here is a chart that shows the percentage of draft picks that are still on MLS rosters. The dark blue bars show the SuperDraft picks from 2009 to 2013. The light blue bars just look at last year's SuperDraft.
The Union pick at #31
From last year's SuperDraft there are 7 of the 10 players taken between 31 and 40 still on an MLS roster. That's pretty good. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of those players will continue to last more than a few years according to the results form 2009 and 2013. You can find a solid starter in the group, however. Quincy Amarikwa, a forward for the Chicago Fire was drafted in that range, as was the Union's own Raymon Gaddis at #35.
The Union pick at #41
There's not much drop off when picking between 41st and 50th, and the Union pick 41st. Forward Joao Plata, Eric Alexander and the Union's own Danny Cruz hail from this part of the draft. There's a 26 percent chance you can land a long term player here, slightly better than in the 31st to 40th.
The Union pick at #51
The Union also hold the 51st pick in the draft, and this is where it starts to get slim. Just 12% of draft picks between the 51st pick and the Union's next pick at 71st will make a roster spot and that includes the 2014 SuperDraft as well. There were a few notable picks in this section of the draft. Chicago Fire found goalkeeper and USMNT capped Sean Johnson at 51. Some players get drafted late, don't make the cut and are still really good. Miguel Ibarra, a late 2014 USMNT call up, was drafted by the Timbers at #65 and now plays for Minnesota United FC.
The Union pick at #71
The Union actually have two of the four players on an MLS roster that were drafted later than 71st. Leo Fernandes and Antoine Hoppenot were two such finds. Currently just 3% of players taken in the last six years are still employed by MLS.
Adding it all up
So what should the Union and their fans expect? It looks fair to assume the Union should get at least one roster player this season from the SuperDraft. However, there's only about a 60% chance that any one of the players taken will last much longer than a year. And there's less than a 10% chance that 2 or more players will be on the roster long term. If the Union can nab a solid long term bench option or even nab a starter, then Jim Curtin and Chris Albright's first draft will be a success.
Should the Union trade into the first round?
Albright and Curtin dropped a little insight in their press conference this week, suggesting that they might package those picks and try to move up to grab a targeted player. I wouldn't work too hard to do that however. If they do, that won't actually increase their odds of getting an MLS roster player. Just 46% of players taken between 11 and 30 in the last 6 drafts are currently playing. That's actually lower than adding the odds of the 31st and 41st pick together. Historically, the quality of player doesn't drop off too much between 11 and 50, so it's slightly better to keep the two picks rather than just have the one.