Your MLS Draft Questions Answered (Part 1)

Tony Tchani (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 MLS Draft will be remembered as the Philadelphia Union's first, and may be seen as the expansion's best draft for a long time.

Between Philly's impressive haul, Chicago's surprisingly strong class and the New York Red Bulls drafting of Tony "The Franchise" Tchani, these are just some of the stories to discuss coming out of the draft.

The first part of the MLS Draft Q&A features questions about players who slipped, which players should surprise and also who will wind up being the cream of the 2010 crop.

Now, onto your MLS Draft questions:

JEFF IN KC-Can you discuss the Jimmy Conrad trade talk. I know Peter Vermes said he wasn't shopping Conrad around, but do you think there's a chance Conrad gets traded?

IVES- The sense I got from my interview with Vermes is that he was upset with the notion that the Wizards were actively trying to deal Conrad and offering him up to various teams. The Washington Post and ESPN reported trade talks between Kansas City and New York and I have reason to believe those reports are accurate.

It should be noted that officials from KC and New York were seen getting together for what looked like some intense meetings the evening before the draft.

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ISAAC- What is your 2010 MLS Draft Best XI?

IVES- Are we talking best team for 2010, or best team long-term?

Here are two best XI-

2010 MLS Rookie Best XI

———Zach Schilawski——–Danny Mwanga————-

—————————Tony Tchani—————————-

Corben Bone————————————-Collen Warner

—————————-Toni Stahl——————————-

Seth Sinovic——————————————-Zach Loyd

————–Ike Opara——-Kwame Watson-Siriboe——–

—————————-Brian Perk——————————-

2010 Rookie Class Futures Best XI

———–Danny Mwanga—–Teal Bunbury——————–

—————————–Tony Tchani——————————

———-Corben Bone——————-Dilly Duka—————

——————–Blair Gavin—–Amobi Okugo—————–

Zach Loyd—————–Ike Opara—————–Zach Herold

—————————–Sean Johnson——————————

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KYLEBURKHOLDER- Which of last year's elite MLS teams (LAG, CLB, RSL, HOU, etc) gained the most through the draft?

IVES- I think Real Salt Lake added a player who can help right away in Collen Warner while LA added a useful midfielder in Michael Stephens and an accomplished veteran in Clint Mathis.

Chicago had the best draft among 2009 MLS playoff teams. Not even close.

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EVAN- Whats the buzz on next year's draft class–or is too early to tell who will be available? What players could Vancouver or Portland draft first?

IVES- It is pretty early, but here are some names to think about for 2011:

Luis Gil, M, U.S. Under-17

Casey Townsend, F, Maryland

Zac McMath, GK, Maryland

Kofi Sarkodie, D, Akron

Darlington Nagbe, F, Akron

AJ Soares, D, Cal

Michael Farfan, M, North Carolina

Colin Rolfe, F, Louisville

Gil might wind up elsewhere between now and 2011, but the rest of these should be in the mix. Sarkodie and Nagbe are two players who should draw plenty of buzz in next year’s draft.

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JOSH D- Who of the 2010 draft has the best chance of making it to World Cup 2014 – US of course? Can be more than one.

IVES- I’ll go with Ike Opara, Amobi Okugo and if he can gain citizenship, Tony Tchani.

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MICHAEL F- Who, if anyone, has a chance of making the US WC Roster for 2010?

IVES- Realistically? I can’t see anybody contributing in 2010.

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TIMCHAP- What players do you see making the biggest impact? Is the draft getting progressively better and more consisent?

IVES- Players who could have big impacts in year one include:

Danny Mwanga

Tony Tchani

Zach Loyd

Collen Warner

Toni Stahl

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TREX-Why did Watson fall so much? And NY passed on him for Ream. Is Ream realistically capable of holding down a starting CB spot come opening day?? Is he the answer or just more depth?

IVES- I think there were concerns about the head injury he suffered at the Combine, but I also think that since he only played a little more than a half for the entire Combine that left several teams still unsure about him as a prospect. I happen to think Watson-Siriboe did well in the limited action he saw.

As for Tim Ream, he’s a very skilled central defender who may not quite be physically ready to start, but the truth is I doubt New York selected him when it did with the plan of starting him on day one. He’s not a left back, he’s a central defender and played center back in school this past season. He has played left back in the past but showed at the Combine that he’s not likely to play there as a pro.

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RICKKANE- I've seen some arguments stating that the SSFC front office was "lazy" for selecting Estrada in the first round rather than either a. waiting to select him until a later round (2nd/3rd) and/or b. trading down. Is there any truth to this, or do your really believe that Sigi though that this guy was the best player available for the Sounders system?

IVES- I don’t know if lazy is the word. Here’s what it boils down to. If Seattle really liked Estrada, and didn’t want to risk losing him to some other team that might have been interested (like the Galaxy for example) then you can understand reaching for a player who projected as a second-round pick.

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BLAKE- Thanks to the losses of Rolfe and Blanco, is Corben Bone going to be an opening day starter for Chicago?

IVES- I absolutely think he could be. Of course, this depends on whether the Fire land a playmaker on the international market. I’m hearing that Chicago has targeted an attacking midfielder who would count as a Designated Player. Either way, I’m pretty sure we will see plenty of Bone this season in Chicago.

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JON JONES- Is there any chance project players like Irving Garcia or Jack McInerney get loaned out in order to pick up minutes? If so, where could they go?

IVES- I’m sure that can happen, with USL-2 a possibility, and even USL-1 depending on the arrangements made between MLS and the new USSF-backed league that was just formed.

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PAUL- Erik Soler said that while RBNY are worried about Albright's injury, even if he's not fully fit they worked the deal so that they won't be in a bad position. Is there something more to the trade than meets the eye? Do RBNY have some rights that kick in if Albright can't play?

IVES- No rights are kicking in. What it boils down to is that the Red Bulls won’t be tied into any large guaranteed contract with Albright. He will be on a deal that New York can end if he’s not working out. That’s what makes the deal a low-risk, high-reward deal. If Albright is healthy and can play like he’s capable of, then the Red Bulls will have gotten a steal. If he can’t recover, it will have cost NY two picks in a draft where it had seven draft picks.

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INKEDAG- Do you think RBNY should or could have done more to deal with Dallas for Dave van den Bergh?

What happened to Trader Mo? He seemed silent this year.

IVES- Who said the Van Den Bergh to NY deal is dead? From what I have heard, it will take a small allocation to acquire Van Den Bergh, and right now I think New York’s new head coach is still trying to sort out what is on the roster and what the team’s remaining needs are. A Van Den Bergh deal could very well still happen.

As for Mo Johnston, the word I get is that he made several big offers but teams weren’t listening. Could it have been backlash for last year, when Johnston talked trades with everyone but made deals with nobody? It’s very possible.

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RICHARD, UK- Which undrafted players do you see getting trials or picked up elsewhere? Which players surprised you by not being drafted?

Also, any reason as to why Brian Perk and Sean Johnson fell so low? Teams like Kansas City, Los Angeles, Chivas USA, New England and Columbus could do with a decent young backup keeper to train up. Seems odd.

IVES- I was surprised to see Phil Edgington (Louisville defender), Barry Rice (Kentucky defender) and Ryan Peterman (San Diego defender) not taken. Two-Boys Gumede is another player I had heard plenty about so I figured someone would grab him at some point in the draft.

As for the goalkeeper situation in the draft, I think teams were simply not impressed with this year's class and didn't see any players who could help any time soon. There are serious questions about Brian Perk's upside and some saw Sean Johnson as too long-term a project. I still think Johnson winds up a quality goalkeeper a few years from now, but it wasn't totally shocking that all the goalkeepers slipped.

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DIEGO- Amazing that you didnt even mention SJ picking Beitashour the first non-combine invitee selected…is this because you are ignorant about the kid or is it that you think that only the best players go to the combine, and everyone else couldnt possibly be good…are you aware that teams often sandbag local kids??

IVES- I didn’t mention the 30th player taken and the fourth player taken by San Jose and that’s “amazing”? I don’t know a thing about Beitashour and as far as I can tell not many people outside of San Diego had heard much of Beitashour. This leads me to wonder why the Earthquakes felt compelled to grab him late in the second round. You sound pretty worked up over a marginal draft pick not being mentioned in an article. If he makes the team I’ll gladly mention him.

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DOM- Who is Brian perk behind at Philly? What's a realistic timetable for him?

IVES- Chris Seitz and Brad Knighton are the keepers in Philly and I have to say I’m not sure there is a timetable on Perk because the two keepers he is behind are both young and have good upside. I’m not convinced Perk is going to be an MLS starter in the near future, and probably not with the Union.

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AHM- Did the revs reach with their pick of Schilawski? I feel like Corben Bone would've been better value there and you could either hang onto him or swap him to a team like Chicago for their pick (where you take Schilawski) and an extra asset. Were other teams waiting to pounce on Schilawski if he slid by the Revs in their spot?

IVES- As valuable as Bone is, the Revs needed Schilawski more. Their striker needs are well-documented and I know of at least one other team that was ready to pounce on Schilawski in the first round if New England hadn’t.

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SETH- Ives – Great site. I visit it multiple times a day. When Dilly Duka was drafted by the Crew, he started by saying he was happy to be drafted by columbus. I thought that it was common knowledge that he wanted to play for his home club (the new york red bulls).
1. Do you think he'll thrive in columbus or will this be a danny szatella situation?
2. Do you think the red bulls will try to trade for him?
3. Would it have been better for him to go to a team that really needs help in the center of the midfield where he might have had more opportunities to play?

IVES- 1. I don’t think Duka’s situation can be at all compared to Szetela’s. Duka is a 20-year-old kid who has put in a few years of college soccer and is much more mature and ready for the pro game than Szetela was as a 16-year old. Also, in the end I don’t think Columbus itself is why Szetela didn’t reach expectations. I think injuries played a key role in Szetela never quite becoming the player so many had hoped he could be early on in his career.

2. I don’t see the Crew being in a rush to deal him and I doubt New York would make anywhere close to the type of offer it would take to get him.

3. I’m not convinced that Duka is ready to be thrown into the deep end as a starter in MLS in year one so he’s probably better off in Columbus, where there will be less pressure on him to play right away.

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MARK FRIEDMAN- Ives, Are there any academy players that are close to as talented as SuperDraft players past, present or future as you see it? Why does it feel like the academies are non factors for most MLS clubs, whereas their European counter parts rely on them to obtain young talent?

IVES- MLS academies aren’t anywhere near where they need to be in order to be compared to European academies. It’s still the early stages to be honest so we shouldn’t already be expecting MLS academies to be cranking out talents. With time, and as teams devote more resources to them, I’m sure we’ll see MLS academies begin to play the type of role we all hope they will play in the process of developing players.

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KAR- Who is your initial rookie of the year prediction?

Any established veterans (esp. suprises) on the trade block based on draft results?

IVES- Collen Warner with Real Salt Lake. He’s a player I think could step in and start and be a real revelation. Toni Stahl is another who could have a strong first year.

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JOE- Why did Corben bone fall so far?

IVES- I think it boiled down to a lot of teams not being convinced that he was capable of leading an MLS attack. The history of American playmakers coming out college hasn’t been a great one and most teams look internationally for their attacking midfielders. Bone’s performances in the College Cup and MLS Combine might have put enough doubt in MLS coach’s minds to send him sliding to Chicago.

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21 Responses to Your MLS Draft Questions Answered (Part 1)

  1. Eric says:

    Any Idea who Chicago is eyeing for the DP?

  2. Freddie Footballer says:

    Danny Mwanga told Leander Schaerlackens that he wants to gain citizenship and play for the USA. Mention in comments section: link to soccernet.espn.go.com

  3. John says:

    Ives, when Vancouver and Portland join MLS, who gets the first draft pick? How is that going to work?

  4. baquito alyeska says:

    Is that actually Schaerlackens or just commenter trolling?

  5. ahm says:

    thank you getting to my question ives, i know it wasn’t as exciting as some of the other questions so i really appreciate it

  6. south says:

    I don’t think that guy who made that comment is actually the author of the piece.

    I tried viewing the profile and its been deleted. I hope I am wrong though.

    That said, I really hope an answer gets out soon as to Mwanga and Tchani’s citizenship opportunities and what national team program they would like to align themselves with.

  7. A.J. says:

    I’m actually wondering about that to how will that go down.

  8. Austin says:

    Ives said attacking mid, but from what ive seen….Collins John, Ramon Morales, and Carlos Bocanegra have been linked with Chicago as big name players.

    There are alot of Defensive players and strikers available on the market at the moment, but if they are looking for an attacking mid i dont see who.

  9. JohnC says:

    His family left in exile and his father was killed for being part of the previous leadership- this revelation doesn’t seem to surprising. Does anyone know if because he has a political asylum visa he can gain citizenship faster?

  10. Sal says:

    Any idea on who the DP Attacking Mid that Chicago is looking into, Ives?

    Could Chicago be the team that FINALLY gets Veron to MLS?

  11. Austin says:

    Mark Van Bommel’s contract is up in 2010. Maybe Klopas is trying to bring in a European like himself. Hannover 96 midfielder Jacek Krzynowek would be available in 10′ as well, but i dont know how productive he would truly be in MLS to be offered Dp money. Van Bommel would be nice, but he isnt really much of a attacking midfielder.

  12. Austin says:

    Veron is more of a holding mid at this stage in his career. There isnt much “attacking” to him anymore. Chicago already has Pause and Thorrington so they have to get somebody really attack minded through the centre.

  13. WK says:

    Re: Bone to Chicago and the losses of blanco and rolfe, chicago last year drafted santa clara product peter lowry (also an attacking CM type) who played in 9 games- two young, promising american MF’s might be one more than they need especially if they’re targeting another int’l. I wonder if a trade may be in the works…

  14. Sal says:

    Not to mention Husidic…

  15. Hincha Tim says:

    Austin,

    Actually, not true. If you’ve watched Veron with Estudiantes, he’s very much been part of their attack. With the national team or a big European team, he might go to a more holding type player, but in the MLS he would be an attacking mid. However, from what the Argentine papers are saying, he’s staying with Estudiantes through the Copa Libertadores.

  16. Austin says:

    12 goals in 66 appearances isnt much for an attacking mid in the argentine league. Im sure he still can attack, i just see him better at holding the ball and distributing it square and diagonally putting in long balls occasionally in a league that is more physical than argentina.

  17. Myles Buck says:

    You have to look to the NASL/USL teams for quality acadamies. Well, pretty much Vancouver. The just sold Marcus Haber to West Brom, who could be a Premier League striker next season!

  18. Hunt says:

    yeah Bone and Husidic are similar, but both look to have valuable qualities. i was amazed that bone fell to 13. with mcbride, nyarko, pappa, and a healthy justin mapp, i think the fire will be okay in the attacking third. the watson-siriboe selection could determine how their season plays out

  19. Ken says:

    As a big NY RedBull Fan I love Jimmy Conrad but just hope they do not trade there number one pick Tony Tchani for him who I love more and midfield is what we really need. I think he is our future great midfielder. What do you guys think.

  20. John says:

    Let it be Portscum. Bitches first, after all

  21. Dominghosa says:

    Geez. I can’t believe Michael Farfan is still playing in college.
    I remember when he and his twin brother were given free reign at Cal State Fullerton. They put on shows with their dribbling skills but that didn’t amount to much wins.
    Glad to see he could be a high draft pick next year. Apparently, his brother, Gabriel, has spent or is spending some time at Club America.
    Both are US citizens but have a Mexican passport, I believe.