Now that the dust has settled, the scarves have been put away and New York City has some actual history that doesn't involve a reluctant Englishman, it is time to grade the draft. There are plenty of sites out there that have issued grades so we will follow suit, but only for Sporting Kansas City's draft day. Go here to see SBNation's ratings for all of the MLS teams.
Sporting Kansas City selected three players in the first round of the 2015 MLS Draft; midfielder Connor Hallisey (10th), right back Saad Abdul-Salaam (12th) and left back Amadou Dia (20th). Manager Peter Vermes then sent their second round (30thoverall) pick to Houston for the rights to Servando Carrasco.
Overall I think this is probably an average draft, so I'm going to vote "C". Nothing really "wowed" me with these guys resumes. As said, seems like all of these guys will be more "projects" and depth than immediate impact players, and I'm not sure I've watched enough college soccer (or any!) to comment on the abilities of any of them. OF them all I think I like the Saad pick the most as I like having a big, physical guy who we can develop into our system. Based on all the mock drafts out there the Amadoi Dia pick seems like an odd first rounder, so I guess I put my faith in the coaching staff on this one. Overall, 3 first round picks is probably a good thing since I think Peter has a pretty good eye for draftees, but I'd probably withhold full judgment until the end of the 2016 season.
We got some positions we needed to fill (like wingers) but nothing really wowed me.
Trying to grade an MLS draft is next to impossible. The bottom line for almost all media people is that college soccer is not something that is on our radar. We do not know who these kids are, we don't know how they play, and all we get is a combine and some YouTube clips to make up our minds. I can't do that. My BS bottle isn't uncorked so easily. The hope is that by the time the season comes that one or two of the players acquired will still be around, and that they show some promise in USL-Pro. Peter Vermes in discussion with The Kansas City Star's Sam MacDowell indicated that anybody that was drafted would be considered a long term project, which this in mind declaring success or failure just seems premature.
Ultimately the goal is to get useable players out of the draft, and the perfect situation is to get one which can contribute immediately. Trading away a pick for the rights to Servando Carrasco was interesting and might result in something tangible quickly. A combative holding midfielder might have a part to play while we figure out the troublesome situation with our DM spot. It might not be an ideal situation, but on paper at least Carrasco is an upgrade over Olum (as depth) in the same spot, and at worst a cheaper Nagamura. Houston were actively negotiating with him. With almost 60 MLS starts to his credit he could be one of those useful players Peter Vermes has a knack of finding where we least expect him to.
Grade: Ask me in 2018.
Filled their needs and we didn't expect any immediate starters anyways. Projects that have time to develop with good upside and hopefully some time to work in either OKC or under Sporting KC's current starters. Defensive depth is fairly strong now.
Hard to judge the picks before they ever put on the jersey but the team addressed their needs. Although these guys won't see much time now.. depth was added where the it was needed. "In PV draft picks I trust..."
It is hard to grade these draft with any sense of certainty but Vermes came into the draft looking for depth. He stated that there was not anybody, at least where his picks were at, that was going to start and make an impact right away. When looked at from the point of view that it was a draft full of projects, Vermes got the raw materials to turn into good, maybe very good players. Don't overlook that he also got the rights to a serviceable number six in Carrasco for a 30th pick, a spot where potential is spotty anyway. If Vermes can get him signed and some serious minutes, that will have upped the grade considerable.
For comparison sake, Top Drawer Soccer, the best site for ranking college players gave Sporting KC a "B" and had high praise for SKC's first two picks. Not much love for Dia from Top Drawer though.
NBC's ProSoccerTalkliked Vermes' picks and gave a "B" also.
How would you grade Sporting KC's selection?