Mock Draft #1...
2009 Mock SuperDraft by Bonji
#1 - Seattle Sounders FC: Omar Gonzalez, D, 6' 5", 200 lbs - Yeah, those stats are more likely to appear next to a goal keeper than a field player but that is what is putting Omar Gonzalez at the top of my draft. Add those to the fact that Gonzalez is generation adidas and a skilled player and you've got a solid prospect for the future. With proper coaching from one of the top coaches in the league, Sigi, and Gonzalez could find himself holding down the American back line at the 2014 World Cup. Seattle finds themselves with a top keeper, midfielder with flair and forward who can score against MLS level defenses so why not take a gamble on the best defensive prospect in the bunch?
#2 - Toronto FC (from San Jose): Stefan Frei, GK, 6' 3", 200 lbs - Look around the internet and most everyone who has seen Frei play are big fans. Toronto has two early picks, in my mind that gives them license to take top talent, not just need. Many people out there think Frei will be another American schooled keeper who is sold from MLS to a foreign league, meaning when he leaves you get allocation money, not just a wave goodbye. He has a Swiss passport and has played for Switzerland's national youth national team, so going to Europe will be easier than it was for Brad Guzan. While Toronto does have Brian Edwards on the books, they could easily use him as trade bait with another team looking for a prospect/backup.
#3 - Los Angeles Galaxy: Sam Cronin, M/F, 5' 10", 165 lbs - Anyone you read who covered the blog called Sam Cronin the most ready to go player in this draft class. LA on the other hands needs young players who can come in and contribute. Last season was a mess in midfield once you looked past David Beckham. Sam Cronin could be a great player to come in and stabilize the action behind Becks and provide the link between defense and the Golden one...that is of course if Beckham returns. Cronin is said to be a student of the game and a quality individual. His addition could be a positive influence on LA LA Land.
#4 - Toronto FC: Steve Zakuani, M/F, 6' 0", 170 lbs - Depending on who you listen to Zakuani is either the real deal of the next over hyped. A coach who's opinion I trust tells me he's likely to not make an impact for a couple years, if ever. Through a secondary source I've heard other coaches love him. He learned from Arsenal as a kid and then came over here for college of which he's completed two years. In those two years he's helped propel Akron to national prominence. Again, Toronto has a lot of first round picks and can take a chance. He's also GA so he isn't a salary cap hit. Plus, he's British...does the Queen still appear on Canadian stuff?
#5 - FC Dallas: Peri Marosevic, M/F, 5' 9", 160 lbs - According to the bloggers I read Peri helped himself out a lot at the combine. FC Dallas can use some attacking power since Kenny Cooper appears to want out of Big D, or to get paid like Landycakes, and they just traded a useful attacker, Dominic Oduro. Marosevic was the top scorer at the combine and showed he can handle the ball. Generation adidas status will make him more attractive.
#6 - D.C. United: Kevin Alston, D/M, 5' 8", 150 lbs - Alston plays as a fullback and I've read he likes to get forward. That reminds me of Jonathan Bornstein. Alston has a ton of youth national team experience in youth world cups and the like and will not make a dot on the salary cap due to GA status. DC United's defense is somewhat in transition with the departure of their raft of South Americans signed last off-season so Alston could be put in a sink or swim environment. His combine reviews were good so I think he'll be a higher pick in the first round. Plus they've got back to back picks...they can stretch to a talented player as opposed to the perfect player.
#7 - D.C. United (from Colorado): Jeremy Hall, M/F, 5' 11", 160 lbs - Hall is another kid with a lot of quality youth experience having been through the US National Team Residency program. He learned in college from one of the best college coaches out there at Maryland. DC United can grab another talented youngster and give him time to develop because he's GA. Hall likes to run forward and try to score goals. He should be able to use speed down the flank and could probably learn a trick or two from Fred or Moreno. DC is deep at this position so maybe they trade. We'll see.
#8 - Kansas City Wizards: Rodney Wallace, M/F, 5' 11", 155 lbs - Wallace is a talented player who exceled at Maryland. Another GA kid would help the Wizards keep him in a learning role from a great attacking mentor Claudio Lopez. He also could probably be used in a central or flank midfield role.
#9 - Chivas USA: Chris Pontius, M/F, 6' 0", 170 lbs - If Pontius were a generation adidas player he'd probably be a top four pick after his combine performance. To many observers he showed versatile qualities by playing on the left flank and up top during the combine. A player like that is special in MLS because tight salary cap and roster rules mean players who can play in multiple positions add more to a team. That factor increases when we're talking about left sided players who are at a premium in MLS. All that said, Pontius will be a full roster spot player. He's a California boy and Chivas USA could be a good fit.
#10 - New England Revolution: Ryan Maxwell, M/F, 5' 10", 160 lbs - Maxwell came out of nowhere for me. He's a Jamacian player who started at junior college and then transfered to the University of Tampa. At the combine he impressed with great speed and attacking skill. Since the emergence of Dane Richards people are looking for players who can run fast and dribble down the flank and with Steve Ralston moving on in years, Maxwell could fill a hole down that side. He can learn to cross the ball...right?
#11 - New York (from FC Dallas, San Jose, Houston): Brad Ring, M, 5' 10", 165 lbs - Another midfielder with a great soccer pedigree this guys should be able to work his way into the league. He's an astute passer who grew up in the Indiana system which has produced good soccer players. Starter as a rookie? I doubt it, but he should be able to earn a spot on the bench.
#12 - Real Salt Lake: Graham Zusi, M/F, 5' 10", 165 lbs - This kid has been a productive attacker for Maryland and he should be able to work his way onto a team looking to find the final piece to the puzzle. He's a hard worker who showed some quality through his college career and at the combine.
#13 - Toronto FC (from Chicago): Kyle Patterson, M/F, 5' 9", 160 - Patterson snuck up on some people during the combine but I've been watching him since 2006. He's a quality kid from a good St. Louis program. Toronto loaded up on some generation adidas so I think if they actually make this pick they'll go with someone a little more mature who can compete for a spot.
#14 - FC Dallas (From New York Red Bulls): Baggio Husidic, M/F, 6' 1", 170 - A generation adidas player who slipped after the combine. A lot of people were calling him a playmaker coming into the draft but I'm not so sure American Colleges actually create any of them. Playmakers seem to be born on South American streets, not college campuses. I think Dallas could take a chance on him because he's not going to show up on the books for a couple years, but he'll have to come in and show he can get forward on the wings to stay on that team.
#15 - New England Revolution (from Columbus): Babajide Ogunbiyi, M/F, 6' 4", 205 - This is a big attacking player who could benefit playing on a team with a work horse striker like Taylor Twellman and a crosser like Steve Ralston. He impressed some people at the combine and I think that could be enough to garner some first round attention from a team that doesn't need much and is making their second pick.
Labels: MLS SuperDraft 2009