SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0)

By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 MLS Draft is officially just a month away, and teams all across Major League Soccer are preparing their draft boards and doing their final scouting ahead of the MLS Combine and draft.

The draft class is beginning to take shape as the Generation adidas class comes into focus.  As we reported on Thursday, MLS has signed several GA targets, and are closing in on some others. As things stands, only Maryland standout Patrick Mullins has outright rejected a GA offer. Indiana star Eriq Zavaleta is looking more and more like a good bet to be offered a deal and sign one, which is why we have included him in the latest SBI MLS Mock Draft. UConn goalkeeper Andre Blake is another player who has been mentioned as a potential GA target, but he is a long-shot at this point.

On the senior player front, MLS has already signed UConn playmaker Carlos Alvarez, Notre Dame midfield standout Dillon Powers and Maryland midfield ace John Stertzer to senior contracts. Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley has also been offered a senior contract but has yet to sign.

The latest mock draft features the second round as well, and you will notice a few seniors missing from the draft who we had been projecting to be taken. Louisville midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo is heading to Germany for a trial with Eintracht Frankfurt and is expected to miss the MLS Combine. With that in mind, we haven’t included him in the two-round mock draft. Also, UCLA midfielder Ryan Hollingshead is skipping the MLS Combine and will be going on a religious mission. With Hollingshead putting his pro playing career on hold, we have also dropped him off the board.

We will be dropping one final SBI MLS Draft Big Board before the New Year, and will reveal our final pre-combine MLS Mock Draft in the days before the MLS Combine. Our final Mock Draft and Big Board will run on Jan. 16th, the day before the MLS Draft.

Now, without further ado, here is the SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0):

SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0)

(*-Generation adidas player, #International Player)

FIRST ROUND

1- TORONTO FC 

*Andrew Farrell, Louisville, Centerback

TFC’s recent acquisition of Gale Agbossoumonde makes it that much more likely they deal the No. 1 overall pick (or the No. 3 pick). Whether TFC keeps the pick or trades it, Farrell is a good bet to the player taken here. He is widely regarded as the best player in the draft. Scouts believe he can step in and start from day one. Athletic and technically-skilled centerback. Interest in Farrell is driving the trade market.. Trading down and securing some allocation money makes the most sense. Whatever Toronto does, the chances are very high that Farrell is the first player off the board.

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2- CHIVAS USA

*Mikey Lopez, North Carolina, Central Midfielder

The Goats are in a state of flux and it remains unclear just how prepared they are to handle the draft. If we are to believe Chivas USA’s new head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola,  the Goats want to emphasize and establish a Mexican influence on their roster. Lopez is both a top three talent, and a Mexican-American. Most teams would probably take Walker Zimmerman first, but Lopez fits Chivas USA’s profile better.

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3- TORONTO FC

*Walker Zimmerman, Furman, Central Defender

If TFC trades the top pick, Zimmerman is the pick here. Even with the addition of veteran Dan Califf, Toronto FC would be crazy to pass on a talented Generation adidas player like ZImmerman. Now, if Toronto selects Farrell with the No. 1 pick, the club could entertain a trade to move down in the order. Teams interested in Zimmerman and Jason Johnson just might pony up something decent for a chance to move up to this spot.

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4- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

*#J.J. Johnson, VCU, Forward

The Revs could are stacked in midfield, and there aren’t any defenders worth taking at this point, so the best forward on the board makes the most sense. Johnson is a powerful striker who has drawn comparisons to C.J. Sapong. He might be the most pro-ready attacking player in the draft pool. Even with Chad Barrett selected by the Revs in the Re-Entry Draft, the Revs would still be hard-pressed to pass on Johnson. Another possibility could be UConn goalkeeper Andre Blake if he were to sign a GA deal, but at this point we don’t see Blake signing.

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5- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

*Eriq Zavaleta, Indiana, Centerback/forward

The Whitecaps can use a talented young centerback prospect to groom as an eventual replacement for Jay DeMerit and Zavaleta has the tools to be a big-time defender. Most observers familiar with Zavaleta know him as the target forward who scored so many key goals for national champion Indiana, but the general consensus among pro scouts is that Zavaleta’s best position is central defense.

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6- COLORADO RAPIDS

*#DeShorn Brown, Central Florida, Forward (Jamaica)

The Rapids acquisition of Edson Buddle might make it easier for the Rapids to go in another direction with this pick, but adding a speed option up top like Brown makes sense for what Oscar Pareja wants to do. A 4-3-3 with Brown, Buddle and Omar Cummings could be pretty scary. If you’re looking for someone similar to Darren Mattocks in this draft, Brown is that player.

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7- FC DALLAS

Dillon Powers, Notre Dame, Midfielder

The retirement of Daniel Hernandez and potential departure of Julian DeGuzman leaves Dallas short on defensive midfield/central midfield options, even with the addition of Peter Luccin. Enter Powers, a skilled two-way midfielder and Dallas native. He isn’t a Generation adidas player, which is something Dallas might want to try and land to help their salary cap situation, but Powers could be a good fit in the Dallas midfielder. Young Generation adidas forward Kekuta Manneh is another option at this pick.

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8- MONTREAL IMPACT

Blake Smith, New Mexico, Left Winger

The Impact re-signed Mapp, but his days in Montreal may be numbered, which makes Smith a smart pick-up. He is regarded as the best winger in the draft, and as a pure left winger he won’t last on the draft board for very long.

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9- COLUMBUS CREW

*#Kekuta Manneh, FC Solar, Forward (Gambia)

The Crew don’t really boast a pure speed option at forward, and adding a young prospect like Manneh as a GA could be too tempting for Robert Warzycha to pass up. The 18-year-old forward boasts impressive pace and an ability to score with both feet. He’s also young, and has considerable upside, with some scouts believing he could be the star of this draft.

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10- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

Erik Hurtado, Santa Clara, Forward

The Whitecaps could use a playmaker like Carlos Alvarez, but sources tell SBI Vancouver might add an attacking midfielder via the international market, which would allow the Whitecaps to grab Hurtado, the best forward on the board. Vancouver did add Paulo Junior in the Re-Entry Draft, but Hurtado could be too good to pass up.

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11- CHICAGO FIRE

Carlos Alvarez, UConn, Attacking Midfielder

The Fire would be pleasantly surprised to see Alvarez slip this far, which is far from a sure thing. But if the draft does play out this way, you can bet Chicago would pounce on Alvarez, who could provide an exciting playmaking option to a midfield that lacked spark in the middle last season.

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12- REAL SALT LAKE

#Ashton Bennett, Coastal Carolina, Forward (Jamaican w/Canadian Residency)

RSL needs some fresh blood in the forward stable, and after dealing Fabian Espindola and losing Paulo Junior, they have room for some strikers and Bennett is the kind of speed option they don’t currently have. Bennett didn’t play in the strongest league, but he showed against Maryland in the NCAA Tournament that he can score against top competition.

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13- HOUSTON DYNAMO

Ryan Finley, Notre Dame, Forward

Finley is one of the best finishers on the board.  A pure goal scorer with a nose for goal, Finley is also a good passer as a forward and could work well in Houston’s system. The Dynamo could also consider Will Bates with this pick.

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14- SPORTING KANSAS CITY

John Stertzer, Maryland Central Midfielder

You can never have too many central midfielders, and after losing Roger Espinoza and Julio Cesar, Sporting KC can help add to their depth with the inclusion of Stertzer. More of an attacking midfielder in college, Stertzer could project in a deeper role on the pro level. With a loaded schedule facing Sporting KC in 2013, adding Stertzer to the stable would give Peter Vermes plenty of options in the middle of the field.

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15- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Eric Schoenle, West Virginia, Central Defender

The Earthquakes parted ways with Ike Opara, and while they did add a centerback in Ty Harden in the Re-Entry Draft, a highly-skilled centerback like Schoenle would be tough to pass up. San Jose could also consider Tommy Muller.

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16- SEATTLE SOUNDERS

Tommy Muller, Georgetown, Central Defender

After dealing Jeff Parke, the Sounders can use some centerback depth and Muller could be the best senior centerback in the draft. He is strong, good on the ball and reads the game well. The Sounders could also turn to left back to fill a need, and Taylor Kemp would make sense as well.

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17- D.C. UNITED

Taylor Kemp, Maryland, Left Back

D.C. United can use some defensive depth, at centerback and left back, and with Schoenle and Muller off the board, D.C. can turn to Kemp to help fill the club’s need for left back help. There are a few good left back prospects here, from Kemp to Kory Kindle to Georgetown’s Jimmy Nealis, but we’ll give the nod to Kemp.

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18- MONTREAL IMPACT

Emery Welshman, Oregon State, Forward

The Impact could use some depth at forward and Canadian-born Welshman has the speed and technical ability to provide some good depth at the spot. Montreal could be tempted to go after one of the quality left back options on the board, but a solid forward who happens to also be Canadian is too good to pass up here. Fellow Canadian, and Boston College midfielder Kyle Bekker could be a dark-horse pick here as well.

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19- LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Kory Kindle, CSU-Bakersfield, Left Back

The Galaxy could be tempted to grab a forward, but the recent signing of Gyasi Zardes to a Homegrown Player deal makes that less likely at this pick. That leaves LA with a strong crop of left back options to choose from. Kindle is a speedy fullback who can provide a real attacking threat on the left flank. He might not be as solid defensively as some other left backs, but his attacking qualities make him an intriguing option for the Galaxy. It would also re-unite Kindle with former college teammate Zardes.

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SECOND ROUND

20- FC DALLAS

Jimmy Nealis, Georgetown, Left Back

21- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Greg Cochrane, Louisville, Left Back

22- NEW YORK RED BULLS

Ian Christianson, Georgetown, Defensive Midfielder

23- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Dylan Tucker-Gagnes, Washington, Central Defender

24- LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Marc Cintron, Providence, Right winger

25- COLORADO RAPIDS

Will Bates, Virginia, Forward

26- PHILADELPHIA UNION

Uwem Etuk, West Virginia, Left Midfielder

27- MONTREAL IMPACT

Kyle Bekker, Boston College, Central Midfielder

28- COLUMBUS CREW

Machael David, UCSB, Defensive Midfielder

29- PHILADELPHIA UNION

John Gallagher, Penn State, Left Back

30- COLORADO RAPIDS

Anthony Arena, Wake Forest, Central Defender/Left Back

31- REAL SALT LAKE

Donnie Smith, Charlotte, Left Midfielder

32- MONTREAL IMPACT

Chris Thomas, Elon, Forward

33- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Jose Gomez, Creighton, Attacking Midfielder

34- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Devon Sandoval, New Mexico, Forward

35- SEATTLE SOUNDERS

Joe Franco, Cal-State Northridge

36- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Larry Jackson, Goalkeeper, Santa Clara

37- HOUSTON DYNAMO

Paul Wyatt, James Madison, Defensive Midfielder

38- LA GALAXY

Fernando Monge, UCLA, Central Midfielder

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52 Responses to SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0)

  1. DDT5583 says:

    I can’t remember, but why don’t the Fire have a 2nd round pick this year?

  2. Ramon says:

    Funniest play on words “the Canadien born Welshman.” Uhhhhh what?

  3. TomG says:

    Nice to see some high upside American CB talent at the top of the draft given our recent inability to produce good players at that position.

  4. MLSsnob says:

    Something tells me 18th pick runs like a Welshman, doesn’t he? Doesn’t he run like a Welshman?

  5. Ramon says:

    I don’t get why DC would take a left back. From my understanding Woolard was cleared to play and Korb was a solid backup. You would think they would take a more offensive threat or a center back.

    • Josh D says:

      Rumor has it we’re in for another DP striker and we’re dropping our current “failure.” We must have the worst track record with DPs.

      I hope Najar isn’t stuck at RB again this season. While it worked wonders at times, his defensive inexperience cost us a couple times. I think he’s far more useful out wide or maybe at some point, through the middle. Russel shouldn’t be considered.

      I was never a fan of Korb or Woolard. I think we can do better. We also need another CB which is why I am surprised we weren’t after Boss or Fehr.

      • Ramon says:

        Other than speed Woolard is solid and has an excellent left foot. That seems to be the only thing we disagree about. I think Shanosky may be next in line as a center back and that’s part of the reason they passed on Boss and the Fehr.

        • Jake says:

          Dudar is next in line at CB.
          I also like Woolard and think he can step right back in if healthy. Najar is a great outside back and Korb played just as well down the stretch once he got comfortable.

  6. beto says:

    LAG to only pick southern california players?… how long until their entire roster is SoCal players + global dps?

    • Um, yeah says:

      They have a lot of key domestic talent that isn’t from SoCal and/or didn’t go to college in SoCal, so I think it’ll be a while.

      Colin Clark – Colorado/Southern Methodist
      AJ DeLaGarza – Maryland/Maryland
      Todd Dunivant – Colorado/Stanford
      Bryan Gaul – Illinois/Bradley
      Omar Gonzales – Texas/Maryland
      Will Hesmer – North Carolina/Wake Forest
      Mike Magee – Illinois/N/A
      Tommy Meyer – Missouri/Indiana
      Kenney Walker – Ohio/Louisville

    • Dinho says:

      If it ain’t broke…

  7. timothy says:

    the rapids cut half their defenders, so why would they wait til the 3rd round to pick one up?

    • Mike in Missouri says:

      There is no 3rd round. Only 2 rounds and then a supplemental draft later.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      They also got rid of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey so they need a forward and there’s strong forward options at their first-round pick. If the team is going to address defensive needs I’d bet on them doing so in the international market rather than the 2nd round of the draft.

  8. Stubbs says:

    Natural goal scorers are the hardest thing to come by in soccer.. Not sure why you would convert Zavaleta, an up and coming target striker into a center back. Big athletic center backs are a dime a dozen in the NCAA. The guy scored 18 goals in 24 games and almost all of Indiana’s big-time goals on route to the national championship. Seems like that scoring prowess would just go to waste..

    • Parzival says:

      He was a CB until he went to Indiana, so it’s not like it would be new for him. Agreed on the difficulty of finding a real forward though.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      You can’t just look at goal totals and think it will translate, and you can’t just look at a goal total and call someone a “natural goal scorer.” Zavaleta is, above all, an impressive physical specimen, with imposing size and athleticism. The college game is still one where you can be a dominant forward relying on size and athleticism rather than strong technical ability as a forward. A look at Zavaleta’s goals shows him to be someone who relied far more on traits that won’t necessarily carry over as he makes the step up to the pros. He isn’t a forward who is beating a defender on the dribble, or combining with playmakers and scoring from distance. A lot of his goals were simple headers. Yes, several were clutch and in late-game situations, but he played with a strong midfield and more often than not he was a better athlete than the defenders he went up against. That ceases to be the case on the next level. This is why big forwards with high goal totals tend to be busts, and why teams put less stock in target forwards who relied more on their size to dominate the college game.

      Andrew Wenger was seen as more of a worthwhile forward project after making the positional switch because he relied on speed and technical ability to score a lot of his goals. He is an excellent technical player so there was a much better chance of that translating.

      Zavaleta could go to MLS and maybe be a marginal forward, an option off the bench, a Cam Weaver type, or he could be a standout centerback, an all-star caliber player at that position. Only one of those is worth spending a high first-round pick on.

  9. Dimidri says:

    Ives, is it possible for you to do a big board that includes a) who you normally include b) all the HGPs who have signed so far/will probably sign before the draft and c) any players who either are going to Europe from college or just barely missed the cut for a GA deal and are staying another year?

  10. Mike says:

    Why on Earth would the Revs use the 4th pick in the draft on a foreign-born forward? They’ve got four foreign-born forwards on the roster under the age of 26 already. Johnson’ won’t start over Sene or Bengtson, which means he’ll just take time away from Fagundez.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      You’re asking why the Revs would make a bad choice?
      While we don’t know WHY it will happen, we can be confident that it will happen.

  11. jloome says:

    Can’t see TFC taking a centre back at this point, now that they’re four-deep with decent talent there. They don’t want Agboussomonde, Henry and Zimmerman competing for reserve minutes.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      How about we have a friendly wager on TFC having either Farrell or Zimmerman on their roster after the draft?

      • John says:

        theres no doubt that at least one of them is with TFC next year, i wouldnt be overly surprised to see both of them there either. their defense sucked, and Califf and Boss arent exactly what i would call reliable re-enforcements.

      • jloome says:

        Yeah, Ives, I’ll take that one.

        I might be wrong as there’s talk they like Zimmerman but we’ll see. How about we extend that to “on their roster at training camp?” and take trade bait out of the equation.

        • jloome says:

          Oh by the way, Merry Christmas dude, you’re doing an awesome job, as always.

          I have recently joined the indie ranks after being downsized. I’ll send you a link to the revamped news site for your curiosity in a couple o’ weeks.

          • Ives Galarcep says:

            Thanks man. Same to you. Shoot me an email (soccerbyives@gmail.com) and let me know what you’re up to these days.

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          However you want to do it. One of those players will be on their team in 2013.

  12. Kevin says:

    Could someone refresh my memory as to where DCU’s second rounder went? Was it the Robbie Russell trade? Brandon MacDonald?

    Thanks.

  13. Good Jeremy says:

    What’s the ful story with Hollingshead? Mormon?

    Also, your explanation of Chivas’ pick is exactly why they have been a gigantic failure both on the field and in the stands.

  14. Cole Anton says:

    Tons of Jamaican attacking talent in this draft, with Jason Johnson, Deshorn Brown, and Ashton Bennett. Very interesting to take into account; add in Mattocks from last year and you have a very talented Jamaican contingent in MLS from the last couple years.

    • sly says:

      I hope. Jamaica is exporting a lot of forwards and they’re a few midfielders doing work overseas. Usually we’re weak defensively. Hopefully won’t bite us too much in the hex.

      MLS has done more for Jamaican football than its done for American football. NCAA has also helped out. Perhaps its not the best system to raise “Messi’s” but for a 3rd world country 100 miles away having to not send our best players to Norway and Turkey is a big lift.

  15. HopeSo says:

    Red Bulls trade Kenny Cooper to get into the 1st Round?

  16. Crisbo says:

    I like the Kindle pick for L.A. Dunivant is aging and they could use a speedy left-sider. Blake Smith would also be a nice fit.

  17. Henry says:

    shocking that in 2012 MLS still has silly drafts. When will these NFL guys running MLS go away?

    • Kevin says:

      It’s a good system for the way MLS operates. If players coming out of college could just enter as free agents, we’d see the best teams stockpiling young talent and ruining the parity of the league.

    • Northzax says:

      How else should a single entity distribute new talent? What’s your suggestion?

  18. gtcb says:

    Im thinking the Rapids trade up to #1 overall with the #6 pick and allocation…

    Always love the work Ives, but a young LB for the Revs, early in Round 2, 2 years in a row?

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Tyler Polak played 30 minutes, didn’t exactly establish himself as a player who can’t be tested or challenged and the fact that Kevin Alston had to move over to left back during the season suggests they’re not exactly deep at the position. Throw in the fact Cochrane could also help as a wing midfield option and I could see New England grabbing a player who’s a great value at that spot. New England has three second-round picks, I’m not sure why anyone would honestly think it’s completely out of the realm of possibility that New England wouldn’t take a player at a position where they don’t have a single proven natural left back, especially when they have THREE second-round picks. They’re already loaded in midfield, they take a forward in the first-round of our mock draft, and they can take a goalkeeper later in the second round.

      Not guaranteeing that New England will take a left back, but it’s more possible than you seem to be suggesting it is.

      • gtcb says:

        Thanks for explaining. I was just thinking that with all the other possible LB options on the roster already(Alston, Tierney, Polak, & possibly Freeman), somebody would be losing out on developing/PT if another LB was brought in. And we certainly have enough middies. If a CDM type was picked in that spot, Id be all for it.
        I do like the Dylan Tucker-Gagnes pick :)

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          Of those four, Alston and Freeman are natural left backs, Tierney isn’t really a good defender at LB, and Polak is unproven and still green. I get what you’re saying, and maybe New England decides it isn’t a pressing need, but the fact they don’t have one proven natural left back on the roster makes me think its entirely possible they try and find one. You know who’d be a good option right now? Seth Sinovic.

  19. Robert says:

    Ives, is Kyle Venter of New Mexico available for this draft? I know he just completed his Junior year at New Mexico, and I thought that he was considered one of the better defenders in college not to mention a top Centerback prospect. He has great size at 6’4″, I believe, and athleticism, so I was hoping the Revs would come away from the draft with him and/or Walker Zimmerman.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Venter is not in the draft. He is only a junior and did not garner much consideration for the 2013 Generation adidas class. He will be one of the top prospects in the 2014 draft pool. New England would be thrilled to land Zimmerman with their pick, but chances are he won’t be around by then.

      • Robert says:

        I’m a little surprised with Venter not getting a GA offer. Well, let’s hope the Revs trade-up to get Zimmerman. Thank you for the information.

  20. Matt W says:

    I had mentioned a couple potential Indiana-born sleepers in a previous post (Sanner and Sass) and asked for others to share a few of their own sleepers, so I’ll do it again here. We can all mix and match the top 50 or so players, but every draft seems to have a dozen later round (supplemental) picks who make a difference. What unheralded names are people hearing who might surprise everyone?

    I agree with Ives that Zavaleta may be best at CB, although I am more impressed with him up top than Ives apparently has been. He is smart, confident and talented. Even if he leaves school, IU will be loaded next year, as their top juniors are all staying and they added a good freshman class and Mares as a transfer. Could be the beginning of the second Yeagley Dynasty!!!

    More sleeper predictions anyone???

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Matt, I never said I wasn’t impressed with Zavaleta at forward. I just haven’t seen enough to lead me to believe that will translate to the next level. SCouts/GMs agree with that observation, which is why you can safely assume he will head to an MLS camp as a CB (unless the team drafting him suddenly has a desperate need for a warm body at forward).

    • Robert says:

      Residing in Massachusetts, I have read that MF Kyle Bekker of Boston College could be an intriguing prospect. I believe that he has been invited to the MLS Combine, so he may be considered a sleeper.