If you are anything like me then you have no idea about basically anything related to college soccer. That said, there is something about a draft that gets everyone excited. There is just something about drafting a player who could be a future star (or at least consistent contributor).
Sporting Kansas City have quite the track record in finding quality starters in the draft. They drafted players like Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, CJ Sapong, Roger Espinoza, Teal Bunbury and Chance Myers. That said, Dwyer was the most recent of all those picks and he was selected in 2012.
Since then there have been some contributors: Mikey Lopez and Saad Abdul-Salaam, but no consistent starters (yet). The draft could be a thing of the past before too long, but let’s cross our fingers and get excited about the possibilities.
First, let’s look at the picks Sporting KC have for the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
- Round #1, Pick #13
- Round #1, Pick #18 (from Portland)
- Round #4, Pick #82
First, the Portland Timbers pick is part of last years Lawrence Olum trade. The second round pick was dealt in the unique trade right before the MLS Expansion Draft for LAFC that allowed Sporting KC to protect one more player (though it ultimately was still one too few — we miss you Latif). The third round pick went to the Houston Dynamo as the final piece of the Brad Davis trade.
Now for the mock drafts. The the MLS Combine still going on, these predictions are likely to change as info keeps coming in, but we have six mock drafts to work from. Only three players were listed in multiple drafts. Danny Musovski (Forward — UNLV), Rafael Andrade Santos (Midfielder — VCU) and Wyatt Omsberg (Defender — Dartmouth). Musovski and Santos were projected at the #13 pick, so let’s look at them first.
Danny Musovski - F
“He banged in just about a goal per game as a senior, improving over very productive sophomore and junior years (and he was nearly part of last year’s GA class). This clearly fills a need for SKC, and given Peter Vermes’s history of trusting the draft, this would be a pretty good landing spot for the kid.”
In 16 games Musovski had 15 goals and six assists. Even if he can’t get on the field for SKC, the Swope Park Rangers could use a goal scorer like that.
Rafael Andrade Santos - M
Top Drawer Soccer and Draft Utopia have Santos going to SKC at #13. I want to quote Draft Utopia but they incorrectly reference Benny Feilhaber as “Fellhaber” which is unacceptable. Here is what TDS had to say.
“After dealing Benny Feilhaber to LAFC, SKC could take a flier on Santos, a Brazilian attacking midfielder that could slot in as a No. 10 or as an outside forward in a front three. He comes with international status, though there should be no doubting his quality.”
SKC are flush with international roster spots since they are so darn good at getting green cards for players (too good since that contributed to Latif Blessing going unprotected in the Expansion Draft). Midfield depth is a real need and he had 12 goals and five assists as a Senior.
Wyatt Ornsberg - D
Both Bleacher Report and Top Drawer Soccer have Ornsberg going with the #18 pick to Sporting KC. BR gives no analysis, but TDS, the top college soccer website had this to say.
“Without obvious holes on the field, Sporting can look to bring in players capable of seeing minutes right away in USL. If Omsberg’s still here at No. 18, the mammoth central defender is a strong candidate to end up getting picked.”
Most of the analysis I’ve seen while looking at draft coverage seems to show that the SuperDraft is capable of finding defenders and midfielders and maybe a few forwards at the very top of the draft. With teams increasingly spending more and more on their attacking players, defense and midfielders seem like a good direction to go with mid to late picks.
Other than those picks, there was no consensus. ISN Soccer has Sporting KC picking midfielder Brian White (Duke) at #13 and defender Tristan Blackmon (Pacific) at #18 (Blackmon was a target our own Eric Atcheson had his eye on).
College Soccer News projects midfielder Harry Cooksley (St. John’s) at #13 and midfielder Jake Rozhansky (midfielder) at #18.
Doyle has midfielder Skundrich (Stanford) going at #18 in his draft while Draft Utopia projects forward Alan Winn (North Carolina) at #18 in their draft.
The SB Nation mock draft comes out Wednesday and one of the many above players did make our list while we have another projection that no one else has predicted yet. Drafting in MLS seems more and more to be taking shots in the dark so we’ll see if we (and any of the above drafts) got it right.