Montreal takes Charlotte’s James with first pick in MLS Supplemental Draft

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Montreal Impact wasted little time in making it known who they would take with the first pick in Tuesday's MLS Supplemental Draft.

With their selection, which is akin to the first pick in the third round of the SuperDraft had the main event not been shortened, the Impact took Charlotte winger Evan James, a skilled, Canada-born midfielder who performed well at the combine after helping the 49ers to the NCAA championship game. The Impact announced their pick via social media about an hour prior to the scheduled start of the draft.

Vancouver followed suit by being the first team to select one of the foreign prospects invited to the combine, taking Mexican left back Gienir Garcia.

Here are other highlights from Tuesday's four-round draft (pick-by-pick recap can be seen here):

MLS SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT NOTES

  • Real Salt Lake had UCLA defensive midfielder Andy Rose fall to them with the sixth overall pick, a pick acquired in an offseason trade with San Jose for midfielder Jean Alexandre. The fact that Rose, an England native, needs to occupy an international roster spot likely led to his not being picked in last week's SuperDraft, but the former Bruins captain showed extremely well at the combine and was one of the top remaining college prospects available.
  • The Houston Dynamo landed two U.S. youth internationals in the first round in Virginia forward Brian Ownby and UCLA left winger Eder Arreola. Ownby's career has been beset by injuries, but his potential — and Houston's need at forward — makes him an interesting project for Dom Kinnear.  
  • FC Dallas continues to stockpile centerbacks with George John on loan — and perhaps transferring for good — to West Ham, adding Maryland's Alex Lee into the fold after taking North Carolina's Matt Hedges in the SuperDraft and signing Colombian U-23 centerback Hernan Pertuz. Injuries cost Lee a chance to perform in the NCAA tournament and at the combine, but he was the leader of the Terrapins' back line and has the tools to make FC Dallas' roster.
  • Chivas USA, in need of goalkeeping depth behind starter Dan Kennedy, landed UCLA netminder Brian Rowe in the second round.
  • The Seattle Sounders made intriguing back-to-back picks in the second round, taking UCSB centerback Tim Pontius (younger brother of D.C. United winger Chris Pontius) and English winger Jason Banton with the 33rd and 34th picks, respectively.
  • Toronto FC built off its strong SuperDraft by adding even more well-regarded talent. After landing Luis Silva and Aaron Maund in the SuperDraft, Toronto grabbed 2007 U-17 World Cup standout and Santa Clara right back Mykell Bates and Southern Methodist attacking midfielder Arthur Ivo.
  • Along with Garcia and Banton, foreign combine invitees Emiliano Bonfigli and Benjamin Ubierna (RSL), Kohei Yamada (Colorado), Yuri Gorentzvaig (Los Angeles) were also selected. Aldo Paniagua was the lone foreign invitee not picked.
  • The Galaxy made two notable moves with their fourth-round picks. They used the pick acquired from Chivas USA for Juan Pablo Angel to take San Diego forward Stephen Posa. With the final pick of the draft, the Galaxy took San Diego State defender Justin Davies — younger brother of Charlie Davies.
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24 Responses to Montreal takes Charlotte’s James with first pick in MLS Supplemental Draft

  1. AJ says:

    I would also say Colorado getting Kohei was interesting as him and Kisuke (sp) would be two Japanese internationals on the same team. If they can develop this right the Rapids could easily start do better in the long rune.

  2. Jason says:

    Kosuke Kimura. And yeah, this is almost too coincidental given MLS’s past history of pushing players to certain teams. Colorado didn’t have a pick in this draft until the 3rd round and Yamada stayed on the board despite his good combine until their pick?

    Though given the reported language barrier (I guess Yamada only knows Japanese) the rest of the teams may just have not wanted to deal with it.

  3. JJ says:

    Banton’s downside? Looks like loads of potential to me, but I only know of 2 minutes of his work.

  4. The Imperative Voice says:

    Occam’s razor. Is it more like that (a) a team with a decent Japanese player decided to take a flyer on another in the late supplemental rounds, despite many teams’ trepidations about drafting international players this year or (b) that MLS conspired to force teams to leave him available until the fifth round (effectively) of the draft?

    I think it says more about the teams’ combine/scouting assessment of the international pool that Paniagua went unpicked, Garcia lasted to the supplemental, Bonfigli was last first round supplemental, Banton (from Leicester) was second round supplemental, and Gorentzvaig was after Yamada. The appearance is not so much that the league was conspiring to sandbag player picks as that the teams did not rate the players high enough to waste a regular draft pick on someone who they might cut because they want a better player filling an international slot.

  5. MC Pharaoh says:

    How on earth was Aldo Paniagua not picked??? Performed as one of the best internationals at the combine.

  6. Kasey says:

    SSFC for Buju !!!

  7. dave says:

    amen. shame. go MLS.

  8. abc says:

    “Comment From dan: best talent not taken in the superdraft?
    Andy Rose is, for my money, a quality defensive midfielder who would have been a first-round pick if he weren’t an English international.”

    Taking into account draft position, did RSL just clean up across both the Super and Supp Drafts?

  9. abc says:

    Simon Borg praised him, which drove away the interest.

    But seriously, was he the one who scored really low on all the combine fitness tests? If so MLS teams care wayy too much about sh*t like that.

  10. Dizzo says:

    Possibly. It depends how the unknowns they took in the late 2nd round of the Superdraft pan out. There was plenty of good talent (including Andy Rose) they passed over.

  11. MC Pharaoh says:

    So true. I wasnt much of a fan of their commentary at the combine & I have listened to their podcast before. Some things they say are pretty stupid imo, but all I know Paniagua was bright in the games. There has to be a reason we dont know about. Fitness could very well be it.

  12. Jimmy says:

    It could be an indicator of poor work ethic or poor physical projections overall. MLS summer games can get pretty hot – you gotta be fit.

  13. frank says:

    Ives picked the perfect picture for this article. It shows the first pick, Charlotte’s Evan James, and in the background you’ll see Akron’s Luke Holmes bald head slowly fading from view. Holmes must have had a bad combine because I thought someone would give him a shot. MLS teams must have thought him a step slow and an inch short to take a chance. The kid has some great skills and knows how to work in tight spaces and create some good shots on goal.

  14. The Imperative Voice says:

    He showed well enough where you let him show up for camp and work on his fitness, and/or prepare to use him as a spot player. Valderrama, B. Davis, and Preki were never the fittest, fastest players. Plus, I don’t even have to start him — likely won’t as a rookie — so he only needs 20-30′ of late game fitness.

    I think this reflects the mainstream MLS thought process where players tend to fit coach’s molds and often can be mediocre lunchpail types. Particularly in the case of Houston — who only rarely used dynamic subs like Dixon (who beat RSL) and seemed to prefer lunchpailers late — there is little tactical change from one shift to another. I don’t know how teams expect to win late other than by luck if it’s basically more of the same tactically.

    Now I’ll grant that fitness and speed are useful qualities. In fact, I’d prefer a uniquely fast player late. Houston used to bring Holden and then later Cameron off the bench late behind Mullan, which I thought was dumb but effective because they were gamechangers. Without that element I think you struggle to win games after 70′ that you shouldn’t already be winning.

    In that sense, I understand the complaints about Paniagua’s limitations, but don’t understand why the right team didn’t draft him to work on his fitness as a reserve and deploy the significant skill he did show late in games. The international thing matters, yes, but I thought he was the best of that lot and far more useful than most of the mediocrity drafted in his stead. If a guy ain’t a first day starter I think at least some of your bench should be 1-D types who can offer you a lot of “x” factor, speed, skill, something. The next lunchpail down the draft list will never give you that, will be lucky to make your team, and won’t add a thing but reserve team filler.

  15. Soccer_subj says:

    Ha. Yeah the picture is perfect. What’s the deal with no team picking up Holmes? I liked him at Akron and thought he played well with Findlay on Sunday.

  16. David St. Hubbins says:

    yes. Enzo should have been taken in the top 7 picks overall and Rose had 1st rnd talent and should have been taken in the top 38.

  17. Ivor says:

    The challenge with RSL’s drafts, while they were able to get some decent players, is that most of their players (Martinez, de Almeida, Rose, Bonfigli, Ubierna) require an international roster spot so just 2-3 of them may actually make the team. Kupe is a US citizen and Velasquez likely has a green card since he moved to the USA from Colombia when he was very young.

  18. Air Jordanz says:

    Will more than 2 actually make the squad?

    They could always trade for a 10th spot, too.

    I think the Dynamo, for example, only have 8 spots since they traded one away as part of the Moffatt deal.

  19. Fan says:

    Dear MLS,

    Please expand the number of international slots so we can improve the play.

    Sincerely,

    Fan

  20. Neruda says:

    I was worried about that too but RSL has been so quiet in the international market that I don’t think they plan on picking up any more international players this year. They’ll still be a good team and only need two to three players from the draft to pan out. Martinez (will get a green card so he won’t count as intern player and because he’s a GA doesn’t count against the cap) and Rose should fit in nicely in back-up roles this year.

    I hope they at least keep one international spot open in case they can land someone good this year.

  21. JJ says:

    Rose traded to Seattle.

  22. bart says:

    No Paniagua…ridiculous

  23. Oliver says:

    LA should have went after Banton or Arreola

  24. Mario says:

    Montreal does the best in this draft also…