By IVES GALARCEP
Just five days after the 2013 MLS Draft, the league’s 19 teams will have another chance to add from the incoming college talent pool by taking part in today’s MLS Supplemental Draft (2pm).
The New York Red Bulls have the first pick in today’s four-round draft and the Red Bulls will have several good options to choose from with that top pick. West Virginia centerback Eric Schoenle, Coastal Carolina forward Ashton Bennett and Virginia forward Will Bates are just some of the top players who slipped out of the regular draft into today’s supplemental draft.
While you may think the Supplemental Draft won’t have much talent to choose from, you must remember that the shortening of the regular draft to two rounds means there will be more talent available in the supplemental draft than ever before. Here is the draft order for today’s draft, with Chivas USA, Vancouver, Seattle and Philadelphia all holding multiple picks in the first round.
Who are some of the better players left on the draft board? Here is a look at how today’s first round could go in the draft, a one-round mock draft that should help give you a glimpse of the better talent available today:
2013 MLS Mock Supplemental Draft
1. New York Red Bulls- ERIC SCHOENLE, West Virginia, Centerback
Red Bulls could find it hard to pass on the skilled centerback, even though questions about his lack of strength caused him to drop out of the regular draft.
2. Chivas USA- JOSE GOMEZ, Creighton, Attacking Midfielder
The Hermann Award finalist wasn’t regarded as nearly as solid a pro prospect by MLS teams as by some observers, but the Goats could see value in bringing in a skilled playmaker for a look.
3. Portland Timbers- ASHTON BENNETT, Coastal Carolina, Forward
The Timbers will have a tough time passing on the speedy Jamaican forward, even if his age and international status scared teams off in the regular draft.
4. New England Revolution- JOHN GALLAGHER, Penn State, Left Back
The Revs find some quality depth at left back after choosing to ignore that position with their four selections in the regular draft. Gallagher is athletic, fast, and one of the better defensive left backs in the draft pool.
5. Seattle Sounders- WILL BATES, Virginia, Forward
The Sounders will be thrilled to land a talented forward in Bates who dropped out of the draft after questions about his surgically-repaired knee. Bates was on the fringes of the Generation adidas conversation in 2011, before a torn ACL sidelined him. He came back to post a solid senior year, and could be a tremendous bargain for somebody today.
6. LA Galaxy- JOE FRANCO, Cal-State Northridge, Right Back
A torn ACL dropped Franco from potential first-round pick to draft afterthought. He remains the most talented right back prospect in the entire draft pool (not counting Andrew Farrell) and a team could find a real gem if they are willing to wait for him to recover.
7. FC Dallas- UWEM ETUK, West Virginia, Left Midfielder
Dallas could use some left wing depth with the imminent departure of Brek Shea, and while Etuk may not be ready to play heavy minutes he is talented enough to provide some depth on the flank.
8. Montreal Impact- ANTHONY ARENA, Wake Forest, Left Back/Centerback
The Impact have done their homework during the college season and if they scouted thoroughly they will find that Arena is one of the more talented defenders available here. A centerback who can also contribute as a left back, Arena just might be able to make the Impact roster.
9. Columbus Crew- JORDAN GAFA, North Carolina, Right Back
The Crew need some depth at right back and snag a player in Gafa who was the best (if the only) natural right back at the MLS Combine.
10. Vancouver Whitecaps- BRENTON GRIFFITHS, South Florida, Centerback
His international status (Trinidad & Tobago) scared teams off in the regular draft, but Griffiths size and solid passing skills make him a steal at this spot. He could battle for a roster place with Vancouver preparing to part ways with Martin Bonjour.
11. Vancouver Whitecaps- MARC CINTRON, Providence, Left Winger
Cintron is an athletic and technical winger who boasts an international goal against the Spanish national team on his resume (he scored it while playing for Puerto Rico).
12. Philadelphia Union- CHRIS THOMAS, Elon, Forward
The Union have other areas they could address but they find it tough to pass on a promising forward in Thomas, who is coming off a monster college season and a very good Combine.
13. New York Red Bulls- MACHAEL DAVID, UCSB, Central Midfielder
The Red Bulls are looking for defensive midfield, and central midfield depth, and while they addressed it in the regular draft, they’ll find it difficult to pass on a chance to bring in the athletic and tenacious David into camp.
14. Sporting KC- STEFANO PINHO, Brazil, Left Winger/Forward
Yes, we know, Sporting KC has as many forwards as any team in MLS, but the Brazilian who impressed at the Combine could be worth a look in camp as a left wing option. His versatility could be well-suited for KC’s attack.
15. San Jose Earthquakes- ADAM JAHN, Stanford, Forward
The Earthquakes don’t need much help at forward, but they’ll jump on the local product Jahn, a target forward who was one of the best in the Pac 10.
16. Seattle Sounders- JAMES BELSHAW, Duke, Goalkeeper
Bryan Meredith’s departure means there could be a good competition for the Sounders’ third goalkeeper spot and you can definitely argue that Belshaw was the best goalkeeper in the entire draft pool. His international status (Belshaw is British) dropped him out of the first round.
17. Philadelphia Union- LARRY JACKSON, Santa Clara, Goalkeeper
The Union could use another goalkeeper in camp and John Hackworth goes with a netminder he is familiar with from his time as U.S. Under-17 national team coach.
18. Houston Dynamo- YANNICK SMITH, Old Dominion, Forward
Dom Kinnear loves his athletic forwards, and while he already has plenty of fast strikers, he’ll be tempted to take a flier on Smith.
19. Chivas USA- JOSE ALTAMIRANO, San Diego State, Central Midfielder
If the Goats are scanning the college player pool for potential diamonds in the rough, they could do much worse than snagging Altamirano a skilled playmaker from nearby San Diego.
OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR
GKs- David Meves (Akron), Scott Goodwin (North Carolina)
DEFENDERS- Dan Wenzel (Wake Forest), Jossimar Sanchez (UConn),
MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bustamante (Boston), Ryan Clark (Monmouth), Alex Isern (Winthrop)