From College to the Pros - The US soccer ladder

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Former #1 Pick Available On Waivers...

As I am a Colorado Rapids fan you can assume this post has a component of bias in it. On the other hand, is there any bias? Doesn't Real Salt Lake deserve some heckling for taking Nikolas Besagno first overall in their first MLS SuperDraft? Hindsight is always 20/20 but at the same time most outside observers knew RSL was taking a big risk. After all, Brad Guzan, Chad Barrett, Michael Parkhurst, James Riley, Chris Rolfe and other current MLS players were available in this draft and there to help the expansion club.

At the time Besagno was 16 years old and coming straight from the US U-17 residency program. While some players have come from the residency and flourished, a seemingly equal number have struggled. To give RSL credit, 2005 was one year after Freddy Adu was drafted and drew big numbers to see the young phenom...but did RSL actually think Besagno was another Adu? That is the judgment I fault. The club was clearly trying to pick another youngster with tons of potential that could grow into a starting role. But with 16 year olds how can you really judge professional potential. Foreign leagues are riddled with former phenoms who never quite panned out.

It looks like another young American who didn't live up to his promise will be headed to the USL to try and resurrect his career as Nikolas Besagno was waived by RSL yesterday and is available in today's waiver draft. If another club doesn't take him, he'll be looking for work elsewhere.

Here are the other players available in the waiver draft with the club they're leaving in parentheses:

Kai Kasiguran (Chicago Fire)
Tyler Kettering (Chicago Fire)
Kraig Chiles (Chivas USA)
Anthony Hamilton (Chivas USA)
Roberto Nurse (Chivas USA)
Keith Savage (Chivas USA)
Brian Grazier (Colorado Rapids)
Justin Hughes (Colorado Rapids)
Kwame Sarkodie (Colorado Rapids)
Cesar Zambrano (Colorado Rapids)
Sean Bucknor (FC Dallas)
Andrew Daniels (FC Dallas)
Jamie Watson (FC Dallas)
Chase Wileman (FC Dallas)
Pat Carroll (D.C. United)
Ryan Cordeiro (D.C. United)
Craig Thompson (D.C. United)
Rod Dyachenko (D.C. United)
Mike Zaher (D.C. United)
Stephen Wondolowski (Houston Dynamo)
Vardan Adzemian (LA Galaxy)
Charles Alamo (LA Galaxy)
Michael Gavin (LA Galaxy)
Mike Munoz (LA Galaxy)
Sam Brill (New England Revolution)
Brandon Manzonelli (New England Revolution)
Brandon Tyler (New England Revolution)
Joe Germanese (New England Revolution)
Gary Flood (New England Revolution)
Nik Besagno (Real Salt Lake)
Kevin Reiman (Real Salt Lake)
Brennan Tennelle (Real Salt Lake)
John Cunliffe (San Jose Earthquakes)
Michael Ghebru (San Jose Earthquakes)
Ned Grabavoy (San Jose Earthquakes)
Kilian Elkinson (Toronto FC)
Derek Gaudet (Toronto FC)
Joey Melo (Toronto FC)

Above I highlighted some players I think could end up back in MLS. I think this list has more quality than in the past due to the elimination of the reserve league. MLS teams are having to discard "project" players for those who can play on the first team and contribute now. That is a mistake in my opinion because not all players reach their full potential in the first three years in the league. Unfortunately at this time the USL will become the player development grounds, outside of MLS' control. If these players improve after a season or two in the lower divisions, hopefully they'll be able to pop back up to the big leagues. Time will tell.

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  • Ahhh... memories! I remember discussing Ellinger picking Besagno with you back when it happened. You were right back then, it was a waste of a pick. Ellinger needed to build a team that could produce results before he could take chances on kids that might not play for a year or three. Off the top of my head, I don't remember any of Ellinger's draft picks panning out. Did any actually make in the MLS?

    By Blogger Allen, at 10:57 PM  

  • hey what a big coincidence, my friend who is a pay per head bookmaking writer and I discussed about the bad pick

    By Blogger joseph burrell, at 8:52 PM  

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