SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft (Version 3.0)

Dilly Duka (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 MLS Draft is less than a week away, and the MLS Combine is just a day away, meaning the prospects in this year's draft will soon have their chance to improve their stock and are just days from learning their professional fates.

This weekend's Combine will go a long way in determining where players will be drafted, especially players such as Dilly Duka (pictured), who has been out of action for months. A strong Combine could catapult Duka into the Top six or seven, while a bad Combine could see him slide down to the Red Bulls at 14.

The top of the draft looks set and is unlikely to change regardless of the Combine performances. Danny Mwanga, Ike Opara, Corben Bone, Teal Bunbury and Tony Tchani are widely regarded as the cream of this draft's crop and the only real question regarding those five is what order they will be drafted in.

Here is the final SBI MLS Mock Draft before the Combine and the final one before our ESPN.com Mock Draft on Wednesday:


SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft (v 3.0)

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. As much of a no-brainer as this pick appears, the Red Bulls may actually wind up having to make a tough call between Opara and Tony Tchani.

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, the Earthquakes are in dire need of an attack-minded midfielder. As tough as it may be for Frank Yallop to pass on Teal Bunbury, I see San Jose going with Bone over Bunbury in a very close call.

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

With the recent signing of Ghanaian defender Aziz Ansah FC Dallas appears less likely to deal up to draft Ike Opara. Schellas Hyndman can focus on the best available player at this point and Tchani is the easy call. A big central midfield who some believe could evolve into a Shalrie Joseph-type player, Tchani isn't really a ball-winner, but a strong creator who can also score goals on his own.

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. FC Dallas could also flip this pick in a deal for allocation money or a veteran player.

7. D.C. United- ANDREW WIEDEMAN, F, California

The Curt Onalfo era in D.C. is supposed to feature plenty of attacking soccer, so look for Onalfo to grab the best attacking player on the board in Wiedeman, a proven goal-scorer on the college level. He's only 20, but is mature for his age. A Pontius-Wiedeman partnership could be a dangerous one once Jaime Moreno has moved on.

8. Columbus Crew- AMOBI OKUGO, M, UCLA

The Crew could have used a forward here, but with the four best off the board, Columbus could deal this pick to one of the teams that covets Ukogo or Zach Loyd. If Columbus stands pat, look for Robert Warzycha to go with the youngster with tons of upside over the older senior roster picks in Zach Loyd and Toni Stahl.

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

The Revs always do well in the draft because they take proven and mature players. In this instance, Steve Nicol has two solid options to choose from in Loyd and Toni Stahl. You would think Stahl has the edge here considering he played at UConn, but Loyd's versatility gives him the edge. If Jeff Larentowicz departs for Europe as expected, Loyd could step into a central midfield role. If Larentowicz stays, Loyd could replace retired defender Jay Heaps.

10. Chivas USA- TONI STAHL, M, UConn

The Goats could be tempted to go with one of the young attacking talents on the board in Jack McInerney or Dilly Duka, but Martin Vasquez goes with a talented defensive midfielder in Stahl, arguably the most MLS-ready player left on the board.

11. Seattle Sounders- JACK McINERNEY, F, U.S. Under-17

The Sounders missed out on the top forwards available, but land a top prospect who could ultimately better than them all in McInerney. He didn't have the best Under-17 World Cup, but McInerney impressed scouts at the recent Under-20 national team camp and is considered one of the brighter prospects in the U.S. youth national team system.

12. Columbus Crew- DILLY DUKA, M, Rutgers

Having secured a young standout in Okugo, the Crew couldn't be blamed for looking for a more experienced pick in one of the seniors available, but Duka is a very promising attacking midfield talent who could develop into a special player.

13. Chicago Fire- KWAME WATSON-SIRIBOE, D, UConn

The Fire could use a left back, but with so many available in this draft, Chicago is better off bolstering its centerback stable with Wilman Conde heading into the final year of his deal and C.J. Brown coming close to the end of his career. Watson-Siriboe is

14.  New York Red Bulls- BLAIR GAVIN, M, Akron

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. Red Bulls fans will be disappointed to see Duka gone, but Gavin could wind up being the better player. It should also be noted that the Red Bulls could certainly move up from this spot in order to grab Duka.

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- ZACK SCHILAWSKI, F, Wake Forest

With Yura Movsisyan bound for Europe, the defending champions could use some reinforcements at stiker. Schilawski is good value at the end of the first-round. He's quick, good on the ball and is a steady finisher.

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- MICHAEL STEPHENS, M, UCLA

Red Bulls fans were hoping to land a smallish attacking midfielder in Duka, but they get a decent consolation price in another smallish attacking midfielder in Stephens.

19. San Jose Earthquakes- CHRIS SCHULER, D, Creighton

The Earthquakes could use some depth in central defense and the 6-foot-4 Schuler is one tough and physical force.

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

The Wizards grab the best talent on the board in Johnson, the best long-term goalkeeper prospect in the pool and a potential replacement for Kevin Hartman.

21. FC Dallas- OFORI SARKODIE, D, Indiana

With a midfielder and forward already in the fold, Dallas can turn to adding some defensive depth, and the versatile Sarkodie gets the nod. His stock has dropped some as teams question his attacking qualities at fullback, but he's strong and steady and can play on either side of the defense.

22. Colorado Rapids- COLLEN WARNER, M, Portland

One of the draft's true sleepers, Warner is a popular player among West Coast teams familiar with his profile. A skillful, fast and strong player who can create and score on his own, Warner could wind up being a relative unknown who plays himself into the first round off a strong combine.

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- TIM REAM, D, ST. LOUIS

Martin Vasquez is going to need to bolster his defense, and while he is expected to add some veteran defenders, he can also find good talent in the second round. Ream is a left-footed centerback who can also play left back.

27. Seattle Sounders- DAVID WALKER, F, UCSB

While McInerney is a good long-term prospect, the Sounders immediate need for some forward help could lead them to Walker, a speedy striker who offers a bit of a dynamic element up top.

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

With the defense being bolstered in the first round, 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. The Fire could also grab one of the left backs on the board, such as Ryan Peterman and Seth Sinovic.

30. San Jose Earthquakes- RONNIE BOUEMBOUE, F, North Carolina State

The Earthquakes could use a speed option up top and Bouemboue is one of the fastest forwards in the draft. If San Jose settles on Bunbury in the first round, look for them to grab one of the many left back prospects available here.

31.New York Red Bulls- RYAN PETERMAN, D, U. of 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 Creighton's Seth Sinovic). Combine performances could ultimately decide which let back prospect 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 Rimando's alma mater, 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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32 Responses to SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft (Version 3.0)

  1. over there says:

    This is a damn deep draft. Loving it.

  2. Nicolas Cage says:

    Sure 1st rounder: Ossie Hamrick from Belmont Abbey.

  3. Pappajohn says:

    Is Danny Mwanga a US citizen? Is he a possibility for the US Men’s National team?

  4. over there says:

    I don’t think he is, unfortunately. Congolese or Nigerian I believe.

    Anyone else bummed about not being able to see the African Cup of Nations?

  5. otergod says:

    13. Chicago Fire- KWAME WATSON-SIRIBOE, D, UConn

    The Fire could use a left back, but with so many available in this draft, Chicago is better off bolstering its centerback stable with Wilman Conde heading into the final year of his deal and C.J. Brown coming close to the end of his career. Watson-Siriboe

    Ives, it is being reported that Klopas is picking up a 22/23 yr old Polish LB

  6. Steve C says:

    Mwanga is from the DR Congo.

    As for not seeing the African Cup of Nations.. not really bummed, since it has NEVER been on TV here in the states. The CAF really needs to do something to increase the viewing power of that tournament.

    Also makes me wonder if theres a guy in the Czech Republic asking… “Any chance we’ll get to see the Gold Cup on tv?” =P

  7. dub says:

    kid from Vancouver signed with West Brom

    link to wba.co.uk,,10366~1926576,00.html

  8. Dannyc58 says:

    Would love this draft. Ives do you know if Babajide Ogunbiyi might come to NYRB for a trial or anything this coming season?

  9. swansuite@gmail.com says:

    Ives, I’d love to get some clarification on this list. A week ago you had Gil listed as the 11th pick going to the Sounders (which I was all for!!!!), now he’s off the list entirely, not even listed in the 2nd round? What the heck? Mind ‘splainin’?

    (SBI-Gil hasn’t signed and it’s pretty late in the game. if he winds up signing then he’ll be included in next week’s Big Board and Mock Draft.)

  10. JohnC says:

    not to put words in Ives mouth but Gill hasn’t signed yet and it is getting pretty late for him to be a real option.

  11. fubar says:

    Any idea what is happening with Stephon Jerome? Seems that he has more upside than MacInerney and maybe more than Gyau. What’s the deal there? Europe?

    And some others – Earl Edwards (GK), Carlos Martinez and Shaquille Phillips???

  12. over there says:

    Well, I’m sure everyone in Prague is dying without seeing Grenada’s all-star lineup. The CAF is really up there with the Euros as far as being a high-level tournament. I would love to see almost every one of those matches.

  13. over there says:

    I have to agree with you Ives, it is a lock that Loyd or Stahl go to the Revs. The only way I see this changing is if a top striker freefalls.

  14. madmax says:

    Two events that could throw this draft helter/skelter, combine and trading up. Ives, do you know if any teams have been aggressively trying to move up? Can you name them?

  15. fischy says:

    Hmmm — in past years the Nigerian Television Authority has televised it. It’s always a lousy feed with an awful droning noise on the line, but it’s always been on my cable system. Look for it on yours.

  16. fischy says:

    As I posted above — I have watched the last 2 African Cups on my TV here in the States. Look for the channel with the Nigerian Television Authority.

  17. BAJ says:

    Has Da LUZ gone to Galaxy in all of these mock drafts. I really want him in L.A. but I have a feeling all these mock drafts are just getting my hopes up.

  18. fischy says:

    Having watched the U17s in Africa, I’m not sure what upside you see in Stefan Jerome – at least not why you’d say it’s higher than McInerney’s.

    These guys are all way too young and inexperienced to take an MLS roster spot right now.

  19. fischy says:

    It is a deep draft. Makes me wish United still had a 2nd round pick, but hopefully they get a decent player in the 3rd round….

  20. Duka's Mom says:

    Ives, i have to ask. Why do you rate Duka so low, yet always feature him as the pictured player in these mock drafts?

    (SBI-Wait, I thought you were Duka’s dad based on your consistent lobbying for him on Metrofanatic? (Kidding) In all seriousness though, it’s about who I have photos for. The database I have to work with doesn’t have a ton of college photos so I’ve been running youth national team shots of players such as Perk, Okugo, McInerney and Duka. This is the second time I’ve run a Duka photo, not sure how that constitutes me “always” featuring him. Also, it isn’t me “rating him so low”. Scouts aren’t sold on him being rated much more highly right now than he has been, which has been around No. 10 in terms of value. If he has a great Combine he’ll move up, but right now that’s about where he sits.)

  21. Aljarov says:

    Chivas have more defensive mids than most of the rest of MLS put together with Marsch, Nagamura, Saragosa, Victorine and Harmse. I’d be surprised to see them take one in the first round. They need defensive help more than anything else…(and a good, young GK for a back up).

  22. Brian says:

    Question: how come the Galaxy don’t have a 2nd round pick? did they trade it to RBNY? For what/who?

  23. gerald says:

    Mike Mcgee trade if I’m not mistaken

  24. Brian says:

    thank you sir.

  25. Dinho says:

    Ives,

    No love for Irving Garcia? Kid can play.

  26. DC Josh says:

    Our thinnest position in DC is certainly forward. We’re going to have to bring in someone other than in the draft. Khumalo is a super sub, Pontius will move up top, probably next to Jaime, but Jaime won’t last all season. It’s going to take 2 years to build a decent squad. Ugh.

  27. Charles says:

    You should mark which players are GA.

    The Sounders and probably other teams with money value them a LOT more.

    I would be shocked if they drafted non-GA in the first round.

  28. Joe says:

    The new Fire coach wants one of his players that is a Winger/Forward and was a stipulation to him signing to be the Fires coach. They are also close to signing a Polish left back.

  29. madmax says:

    Is Barry Rice, D, Kentucky in the draft?

    (SBI-Yes, he is, but unfortunately (and inexplicably) he’s not at the Combine. He’s not hurt and didn’t turn down an invite. He wasn’t invited (his coach told me so). I’m sure he will be drafted, but it’s tough for him because he won’t be here to impress while others will be. I joked with Frank Klopas that they were trying to stash him (he was part of their PDL team). Wouldn’t shock me if Chicago took him with a second or third-round pick.)

  30. Darwin says:

    Ives I Love these posts! One request. Can you please continue to put up the photos of these prospects like you have in other posts.

    -Thanks

  31. SrySnffy says:

    I want Da Luz at RSL.

  32. I remember a few years ago, it was said that college kids just were not talented enough or ready to contribute in MLS during their first to second year. In the past 3 years, it seems like every rookie class is being billed as “very deep” and has rookies that are “great”. Is this because the talent is being diluted due to having more MLS teams and the fact that the “cream of the crop” goes to Europe? I feel the quality of play in MLS has gone down the past few years. It’s hard on the eyes at times.