So 2014 is upon us and, once again, we're all collegiate soccer aficionados. Amazing how that timing works out every year.
But seriously, in looking ahead to the 2014 MLS Draft and looking around at mock draft boards there's one player who Sporting may consider themselves lucky to land; that player is VCU's Romena Bowie. Romena "Ziggy Stardust" Bowie, as I want to call him... but won't, because that might be rude. He might not even like David Bowie (a stretch, I know, but possible!).
Bowie is a 6'1" Midfielder/Defensive Midfielder from Saint Mary, Jamaica. He's been on the Jamaican national team radar since being called in to the Senior National Team camp in 2010 and trained with the Jamaican Olympic Qualifying team. A top prospect coming in to the year, his stock may have fallen some after battling injuries and missing 8 games. Technical and smart, good with the ball at his feet and a presence in the air, he might best be compared to a mashup of Oriol Rosell and Lawrence Olum, and while a D-mid may not seem like a pressing need for Sporting, Peter Vermes has shown patience with developing his draft picks in the past, and a guy like Bowen, thought to be a late first or early second round pick, would fit well in Sporting defensive system.
Romena Bowie 2013 Virginia Commonwealth University (via Travis Morris)
Injuries are always a concern when working players up to "Sporting Fit ®", and scoring options and left and right back depth may be a priority for the technical staff, but if Bowie is available with the last pick of the second round, it's hard to see Sporting pass him up. One other potential hiccup would be his citizenship status. While many college athletes in the draft from outside the US or Canada have green cards, some, like Dom Dwyer, do not. At this point I've not been able to find out what Bowen's status is, and while international spots aren't always hard to come by if a team needs one, it could still be added weight to his selection.
What Does Sporting Really Need: Coming out of 2014 with a big brand spankin' new trophy and the core of the team so far staying put, there doesn't appear to be urgent needs outside of more depth, but if there are better left or right backs available or some one who could come in and score a few goals in their first year a la CJ Sapong, they would certainly be welcome. Look for Vermes to select the best available player, regardless of position.
Who do the Experts Think We'll Land : Ives has us landing Jacob Bushue, a midfielder/defender out of Indiana who's scored a handful of goals in his time. Bushue appears similar to Bowie, but a more attack minded. Top Drawer Soccer has Alex Hernandez winding up at Sporting. Hernandez is a midfielder/forward out of NC State with one goal and 3 assists in 2013.
Full Mock Draft results (click on player names to see the profiles)
|1. D.C. United||Black and Red United||Patrick Mullins|
|2. Philadelphia Union||Brotherly Game||Steve Neumann|
|3. Vancouver Whitecaps||86 Forever||Andre Blake|
|4. Columbus Crew||Massive Report||Steve Birnbaum|
|5. FC Dallas||Big D Soccer||Christian Dean|
|6. Union||Brotherly Game||Marlon Hairston|
|7. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Damion Lowe|
|8. Chicago Fire||Hot Time In Old Town||Grant Van De Casteele|
|9. San Jose Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Eric Miller|
|10. Montreal Impact||Mount Royal Soccer||A.J Corrado|
|11. Colorado Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Schillo Tshuma|
|12. New England Revolution||The Bent Musket||JJ Koval|
|13. Seattle Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Aodhan Quinn|
|14. LA Galaxy||LAG Confidential||Fifi Baiden|
|15. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||AJ Cochran|
|16. Houston Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Mamadou Diouf|
|17. Portland Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Reinaldo Brenes|
|18. Real Salt Lake||RSL Soapbox||Ben Sweat|
|19. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Marco Franco|
|20. Chivas USA||The Goat Parade||Enrique Cardenas|
|21. Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Taylor Peay|
|22. New York Red Bulls||Once a Metro||Pete Caringi|
|23. Crew||Massive Report||Pedro Ribeiro|
|24. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||Joey Dillon|
|25. Union||Brotherly Game||Jared Watts|
|26. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Kevin Cope|
|27. Union||Brotherly Game||Kyle Venter|
|28. Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Mackenzie Pridham|
|29. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Jimmy Ockford|
|30. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Nikita Kotlov|
|31. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Victor Chavez|
|32. Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Kristopher Tyrpak|
|33. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Rafael Diaz|
|34. Red bulls||Once a Metro||Alex Martinez|
|35. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Zach Bolden|
|36. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Mark Sherrod|
|37. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Michael Calderon|
|38. Sporting Kansas City||The Daily Wiz||Romena Bowie|