SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0)

AmobiOkugo (ISIphotos.com)
AMOBI OKUGO

Photo by ISIphotos.com

What a difference one decision can make.

Danny Mwanga's decision to sign a Generation adidas contract and enter the 2010 MLS Draft served to set off a string of dominos throughout the first round of SBI's MLS Mock Draft. With Philadelphia coveting Mwanga with the No. 1 overall pick, several top players have moved down the first round.

That is music to the ears of several teams who will watch players they covet fall to them. Kansas City scores the striker it needs, D.C. United gets the top defensive midfielder it covets and the New York Red Bulls land the hometown prospect they knows so well.

Here is how the SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft shakes out this week:


SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft

FIRST ROUND

1. Philadelphia Union- DANNY MWANGA, F, Oregon State

Ike Opara is regarded by many as the top prospect, but with Philly already boasting Danny Califf and Shavar Thomas (and the club linked to a Colombian defender), the Union will go with Mwanga, the most dangerous forward in the draft. Teal Bunbury had been believed to be the choice here, but that was before Philly pressed the league to sign Mwanga.

2. New York Red Bulls- IKE OPARA, D, Wake Forest

The Red Bulls' defense was awful at times in 2009 and doesn't boast a single shutdown defender. Enter Opara, who some regarded as good enough to be a Top Three pick in 2009. He had shaky moments in the Under-20 World Cup, but Opara is a top-notch defender who should be able to step in and start from year one.

3. San Jose Earthquakes-  CORBEN BONE, M, Wake Forest

The Earthquakes under Frank Yallop are notorious for not being big fans of the draft, but if they keep this pick it will be a tough call between Tony Tchani, Teal Bunbury and Corben Bone. Having lost Darren Huckerby (and Shea Salinas), and with last year's top pick, Brad Ring, expected to return in central midfield, we see San Jose going with Bone over Bunbury.

4. Kansas City Wizards- TEAL BUNBURY, F, Akron

The Wizards will be overjoyed if this scenario plays out and the son of a former Wizard becomes the first son of an MLS player to join MLS. Alex Bunbury's career in Kansas City was brief, but former teammate Peter Vermes will be hoping Teal's career with the WIzards is longer and filled with more goals.

5. FC Dallas- TONY TCHANI, M, Virginia

The word around MLS circles is that FC Dallas is looking to package these two picks to move up (with Opara making sense as a target). Dallas has enough young players, and Generation adidas players at that, but Schellas Hyndman will be hard-pressed to pass on a talent like Tchani, who could go anywhere in the Top Five.

6. FC Dallas- ANDRE AKPAN, F, Harvard

Dallas-area fans will be happy to see the hometown product returning to Texas, but Akpan is more than just a homer pick. He's arguably the best forward in the pool, and could be this draft's Chris Pontius.

7. D.C. United- TONI STAHL, M, UConn

D.C. United lost Ben Olsen to retirement and Andrew Jacobson to the MLS Expansion draft, so landing a defensive midfielder as good as Stahl makes perfect sense. Stahl is regarded by some as the best senior in the draft and a player capable of stepping in and starting in MLS right away. D.C. could also go after California striker Andrew Wiedeman.

8. Columbus Crew- ANDREW WIEDEMAN, F, California

The Crew hasn't had the best track record of drafting forwards in the first round, but it will be tough to pass on Wiedeman after losing Alejandro Moreno to the expansion draft. Wiedeman is a quality goal-scorer and mature player who should be able to contribute immediately.

9. New England Revolution- ZACH LOYD, M, North Carolina

The Revs always do well in the draft because they take proven and mature players. Enter Loyd, a player who could step in and replace Jeff Larentowicz if he leaves this winter as expected. Loyd can play defensive midfielder, but also proved this year that he can slide into a central defense role if needed.

10. Chivas USA- LUIS GIL, M, U.S. Under-17

The Goats don't have any glaring needs, though Jonathan Bornstein's potential departure could hurt Chivas USA in the back, where the club could use some depth. Martin Vasquez can take a chance on a long-term prospect in Gil, who has the ability to potentially be the best player this draft produces. Only 16, he's technically gifted and someone who could develop into a franchise player under the right guidance. Now, if Gil doesn't sign with MLS, Chivas USA could turn to Amobi Okugo or Dilly Duka.

11. Seattle Sounders- AMOBI OKUGO, M, UCLA

The Sounders are another team that doesn't have any glaringly obvious needs, so Sigi Schmid can go with the best available player here. Okugo is a first-rate central midfield prospect who looked mature beyond his years in the NCAA Tournament. Schmid's UCLA ties have surely allowed him to have a good scouting report on Okugo, who gets the nod here ahead of Duka.

12. Columbus Crew- BLAIR GAVIN, M, Akron

Having addressed the need at forward with its earlier pick, the Crew can go for a talented product in central midfield. Gavin is skilled, young and full of potential. He might not be as MLS-ready from a physical maturity standpoint, but his upside is hard to ignore.

13. Chicago Fire- OFORI SARKODIE, D, Indiana

The Fire enter the draft with several needs as a load of departures have depleted a once-deep roster. With Gonzalo Segares leaving and Brandon Prideaux retired, fullback is a need position and Sarkodie is regarded by some as the best fullback in the draft. The Fire could also select Zach Schilawski or Duka here.

14.  New York Red Bulls- DILLY DUKA, M, Rutgers

Red Bulls fans will be overjoyed if this scenario plays out and Duka lands at No. 14. Duka was a largely unknown quantity as recently as a year ago, and despite his impressive showing with the U.S. Under-20 team, there are clubs who still aren't sold on him. He's still a supremely skilled midfielder that a handful of teams could pounce on in the Top Ten, but with the Generation adidas midfield class being so deep, Duka could definitely slip to his hometown team. If Duka is taken, the Red Bulls would find a nice consolation price in Austin Da Luz.

15. Los Angeles Galaxy- AUSTIN DA LUZ, F, Wake Forest

With Eddie Lewis coming to the end of his career, and with David Beckham gone for half the season on loan, the Galaxy can use some depth in midfield. Enter Da Luz, one of the most skillful players in the draft and a player who can add depth in a playmaking role and on the left flank.

16. Real Salt Lake-JACK McINERNEY, F, U.S. Under-17

The champions head into 2010 with all its key players set to return so there's not much on the need list. Adding a 17-year-old prospect as highly-regarded as McInerney makes the most sense, assuming McInerney slides this far. RSL could use a goalkeeper, but taking one here would be a reach.

SECOND ROUND

17. Philadelphia Union- KYLE NAKAZAWA, M, UCLA

The Union look for more attacking talent and find one in Nakazawa, who was a standout on the 2005 U.S. Under-17 World Cup team coached by Philly assistant John Hackworth.

18. New York Red Bulls-KWAME WATSON-SIRIBOE, D, UConn

Red Bulls already landed Opara, but you can't have too many central defender prospects and Watson-Siriboe gives New York the two best in the draft.This is assuming some team in dire need of a central defender doesn't grab Watson-Siriboe in the first round, which is entirely possible.

19. San Jose Earthquakes- ZACK SCHILAWSKI, F, Wake Forest

After making the tough call of choosing Bone over Bunbury, the Earthquakes are rewarded by having a first-round forward talent fall to them at 19. Schilawski and Bone worked very well together at Wake and should carry over that connection to a San Jose attack that could use the boost.

20. Kansas City Wizards-SEAN JOHNSON, GK, Central Florida

The Wizards grab the best talent on the board in Johnson, the most highly-rated goalkeeper in the pool and a potential replacement for Kevin Hartman.

21. FC Dallas- CHRIS SCHULER, D, Creighton

After landing Tchani and Akpan, FCD can focus on some defensive depth and grab the 6-foot-4 Schuler, a tough and mature centerback. Nick Cardenas and Phil Edgington are other options, but we see Dallas grabbing the player considered the strongest of the three.

22. Colorado Rapids-MICHAEL STEPHENS, M, UCLA

The Rapids won't mind landing Stephens here. A year ago Stephens was nearly a Generation adidas signing and someone who was considered a first-round talent. This year, Stephens has been lost in the shadow of all the underclassmen and could wind up slipping this far.

23. Colorado Rapids-NICK CARDENAS, D, San Diego State

The Rapids will be tempted to grab a left back here to help cover for the loss of Jordan Harvey, but they will be hard-pressed to pass on hometown product Cardenas, a Colorado native who's a 6-foot-5 centerback adept at heading home set pieces.

24. Toronto FC- PHIL EDGINGTON, D, Louisville

Anyone who watched TFC fall short in its hunt for a playoff spot knows the team's defense failed badly. Edgington is the best defender on the board, and as much as some TFC fans might think of Andrew Boyens when they see a tall centerback from New Zealand being drafted, Edgington was one of the more impressive central defenders in college last season.

25. New England Revolution-JOVAN BUBONJA, GK, Illinois-Chicago

The Revs always find a way to make out on draft day, don't they? After losing back-up goalkeeper Brad Knighton in the expansion draft, New England enters this draft needing to find a new one. How do they? They only land a goalkeeper who some scouts thought might be a first-round pick if he left school a year ago.

26. Chivas USA-NELSON BECERRA, M, St. John's

After drafting a teenage prospect in the first round, first-year coach looks for someone who can help more immediately here and he finds a good talent in Becerra. Adept at the sharp pass and dangerous shot, Becerra is a sleeper who could surprise some people at the Combine and catapult up these rankings. The Goats could also go for one of the quality left backs available, such as Ryan Peterman or Tim Ream.

27. Seattle Sounders-COLLEN WARNER, M, Portland

If the Sounders are hoping to find some attacking talent late, it could do worse than Warner, a dynamic midfielder who has the speed to move up top as well. The question is whether he will play himself into a higher position on draft boards at the Combine.

28. San Jose Earthquakes- ROSS LaBAUEX, M, Virginia

The Earthquakes can afford to go for the best available player here and LaBauex's versatility (he can play defensive midfielder and could be converted into a right back) as well as his work rate and athleticism makes him an easy pick here.

29. Chicago Fire-DREW YATES, F/M, Maryland

While Sarkodie helps offset the fullback losses, Yates could become Chicago's answer for the loss of Chris Rolfe. Though not as fast as Rolfe, Yates is a quick and versatile attacker who can play up top as well as on the wing.

30. San Jose Earthquakes- BARRY RICE, D, Kentucky

Having grabbed quality striker, attacking midfielder and defensive midfield prospects, the Earthquakes go for a central defender and find an athletic standout in Rice, who was inexplicably left out of the MLS Combine but who is still highly-regarded by some teams. San Jose could also grab one of the many promising left back prospects in the draft as well.

31.New York Red Bulls-RYAN PETERMAN, D, San Diego

The Red Bulls will look to help address their left back needs by grabbing Peterman, one of the best fullbacks in the pool. Left back is surprisingly deep this year so the Red Bulls could grab any number of prospects (including St. Louis' Tim Ream and Creighton's Seth Sinovic). Combine performances could ultimately decide who the Red Bulls grab here.

32.Real Salt Lake- BRIAN PERK, GK, UCLA

The champs traded back-up goalkeeper Chris Seitz to Philly, but land a quality prospect in Perk, who is cut from the Nick Rimando mold as a quick and aggressive shot-stopper (who also happens to come from goalkeeper factory UCLA).

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What do you think of these rankings? Like the players your team ended up with? Who would you want your team to take in this draft?

Share your thoughts below.

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29 Responses to SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0)

  1. Shmenge says:

    Ives,

    How can you say Chivas USA doesn’t have any glaring needs?

    They lost Shavar Thomas in the expansion draft, Claudio Suarez is finally gone, Yamith Cuesta is 18 or 19 years old, and they spent much of the season with Bornstein or Carey Talley playing badly out of position at CB.

    Chivas USA could use TWO solid CB prospects, not just one. They are desperate at CB.

    (SBI-Well, it’s a need, whether it’s glaring is up for debate. Suarez was a non-factor last season and Thomas had lost his job by the time the playoffs rolled around. Here’s the question. Who can they get in the draft that will step in and start for them? I’m not sure I’d say Bornstein and Talley played badly in 2009, I thought both played well, and Cuesta was a very promising revelation. If they stay at ten they won’t get Opara, the one centerback who can step in and start. Kwame Watson-Siraboe is a possibility for them, but taking him at 10 would be a reach. I will agree that I should have Chivas USA taking a defender in the second round, though all the top centerbacks are gone by that pick. Then again, Chivas USA might be one of the teams after the Colombian defenders MLS signed.)

  2. GY says:

    Maybe a little bias, but I think that David Walker(UCSB) ranks higher than Yates. I think he might be the fastest player in the draft and pending a good combine could move into the 2nd round…maybe even the first especially if Gil doesn’t sign.

  3. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I had pushed it out of my mind that we gave up Salianas…now I get to be upset all over again with the reminder…

    (SBI-Sorry Tony. LOL)

  4. ELAC says:

    Martin Vasquez was quoted as saying that one of his first priorities was attaining TWO veteran CB’s. Preki traded Burling, dumped Vaughn, and realized that Curtin was useless. He also said that Cuesta is not ready to play 90 minutes right now. Our defense is in major need of help.

    Don’t forget that Cuesta made two costly gaffes that helped the galaxy beat the goats.

    (SBI-Smart move to grab two veteran centerbacks. Will be curious to see where Vasquez gets them from. Letting Bornstein go back to left back will be big. That said, as many big centerbacks as there are in this draft, only Opara is considered a first-year factor guy. I could see Watson-Siraboe also doing that, but that’s pretty much it. Chivas USA is better off dealing for CBs and drafting from a very deep pool of midfielders.)

  5. afrim says:

    im expecting a lot of movement on draft day. I just dont see Dallas holding on to both picks. Trader Mo also might come of the woodwork as well. As a RB fan if we walk out of philly with Opara and Duka i’d be on cloud 9.

  6. Kevin in Denver says:

    Cardenas would be a homerun for the Raps. No brainer.

  7. BrooklynFC says:

    Ives if the redbulls pull this off it would be a wet dream……..

    but even better would be if we could get 5 and 6 from dallas for number 2 and still get Duka at 14

    We could draft tchani and stahl….. our starting midfield would be set….

    RWM-richards

    RCM-tchani

    LCM-stahl

    LWM-duka

    Angel and Kandji would get amazing service from a very young midfield and if we got one of the young columbian defenders i would think garber pulled a david stern when he got the knicks ewing

  8. tonytdc says:

    if rbny get 5 and 6 for #2, i can’t see them passing on duka @ 6. i could see the picks becoming -
    5- tchani
    6- duka
    14- watson-siriboe
    18- stephens or shuler

    or if garber makes sure things go reeeally well -
    5- tchani
    6- duka
    14- da luz
    18- watson-siriboe

  9. BrooklynFC says:

    I guess I was hoping for the ultimate great awesome wonderful scenario…… The midfield I mentioned would be great for years to come or until europe came calling

    But ur scenario would be great

    Especially the second scenario…… I def feel dallas will be on the phone with new york if and when philly takes mwanga
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  10. jim bo says:

    you all are overlooking an important player that you will definitely notice after the combine.. kwaku nyamekye

  11. Juan Camaney says:

    I am near SDSU and although C├írdenas is pretty good, I can’t help but think that Jamel Wallace was the best player on the team by far. Coach would use him in the attack when goals were needed and in the back to secure the leads. Although this versatility may have cost him since he was always moved around and didn’t get the opportunity to truly excel at one position….

  12. OmarVizquel says:

    Any idea why Barry Rice was left out of the combine? What a career he had at Kentucky…

  13. jumanji says:

    If Barry Rice is taken, how does MLS account for that as he is not invited to the combine. I would put Tierney and Blades in this category potentially as well. Would they be considered Discovery Picks?

  14. Freegle17 says:

    Ives you mentioned that Larentowicz and Bornstein might be moving on this winter. Any ideas where? Thanks.

  15. Orville says:

    Teal Bunbury was in Toronto recently watching a Raptors game at the ACC. Bunbury to Toronto is a done deal.

  16. Austin says:

    ^

    haha, not unless he goes 24

    he was at the raptors game because he is canadian

  17. marc says:

    Heh, like Mo’s not going to have a first round pick….

    And a high one at that.

  18. Retro says:

    Pro sports is about rivalries and marketing. Wouldn’t it be great if Philly draft Mwanga, and the Red Bulls take Bunbury? Thoughts?

  19. Alex says:

    there is no way that the Red Bulls would take Bunbury. Sure, it would be a great rivalry, but with the horrible and hurting defence of the New York Red Bulls, they need a top prospect in the back like Ike Opara. Bunbury would be an excellent addition to the Red Bull offence, but Angel and Kandji will be solid with good feeds from the midfield. If they pull off getting Duka, the team will surely be a much better contender next year for a suprising playoff run.

  20. Retro says:

    Alex good point, but remember Opara is a cb, not a libero. I good libero is essentially a mid. If Opara had that skill set, i would say, go for him.

    In addition, Bunbury could be in the mold of Jozy. Angel and Kandi does not create match up problems for defences that Bunbury could.

  21. gerald says:

    I can’t see Duka sliding to the red bulls at 14

  22. Phil M. says:

    DC does not need a DM like Stahl. The team did not play 3-5-2 last season and Onalfo is not likely to change his ways and move away from 4-4-2. With Simms at DM, there are many other needs than a back-up DM, such as forward or center-back. While it is too early to grab a center-back at pick #7, it makes sense to grab a forward (i.e. Wiedeman or Akpan) who will probably be available or perhaps even a midfielder able to play a few positions (i.e. Duka).

  23. Lucy says:

    Done deal!! If you see a guy watching an NBA game in any MLS city, he is DESTINED to play there. Good Lord….where is my rolleyes face from BigSoccer when I need it.

  24. Charles says:

    “Da Luz, one of the most skillful players in the draft ”

    IF that is the case, please let the Sounders take him 3-4 picks earlier. I don’t want to go to anymore 0-0 ties where the Sounders should have scored 2-3 goals.

    (SBI-Creating chances hasn’t been Seattle’s problem. It’s been the finishing.)

  25. Charles says:

    Yeah, if he is not a finishing foward, please don’t add him to the stack.

  26. Richard says:

    What about Jonathan Villanueva from Virginia. Is he not draft worthy or is he looking at leagues outside the MLS?

  27. brandon says:

    dukas not falling all the way to 14, he played too well at the 20′s wc in book. does he warrant a #2 overall pick is another question you have to ask (god knows if the redbulls will ask this considering all the underlying factors)

  28. DClee says:

    Interesting pick for DCU.

  29. Alex says:

    The red bulls need a good center back, not Duka as #2. If the red bulls can pull off the trade with dallas for 5 and 6 for #2 maybe with luck they can get Opara and Duka. But with Duka’s recent performances, he will be way gone by pick #14