Dynamo will be looking to add depth in this year's MLS SuperDraft
By Zach Woosley
When the Houston Dynamo select a player with the 13th pick in tomorrow's MLS SuperDraft there's a good chance it'll be a player that Dominic Kinnear believes can add meaningful depth to his roster.
There's also a good chance it will be a player that doesn't have any immediate impact. That's not a shot at whatever young man joins the team, it's a statement on the growing irrelevancy of the draft process as the league slowly shifts towards a system based on developing your own talent.
There are still going to be players that come through the draft, become regular contributors and/or stars in the league but that's likely to be an exception, rather than the norm.
If the draft survives in the long term, the teams that do the best job of finding "diamonds in the rough" will benefit the most from this annual exercise. The Dynamo and specifically Dominic Kinnear have proven to be very good at using the draft to add key parts to their team, just not with their top picks generally. Geoff Cameron, Warren Creavalle, Danny Cruz and Corey Ashe all came to Houston as second round picks or later and each contributed (or continue to contribute) to the team.
In fact if you really dig in to the picks, it wasn't until 2011 when the Dynamo drafted Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie in the first round that they finally hit it big with their top picks. Does anyone remember Andre Schmid (2006) or John Michael Hayden (2007)? Last year's first round pick Colin Rolfe has yet to really break in to the first team but Creavalle, taken in the second round (37th overall), became a key player in the CONCACAF Champions League run and provided some depth at fullback.
The moral of the story is that it may end up being more important to watch who the Dynamo select at 37th this year instead of 13th, but you never really know when it comes to crap shoots like a draft.
So who will the Dynamo pick?
Consensus amongst the media seems to be leaning towards New Mexico midfielder Blake Smith. It would be a sensible choice since Colin Clark is no longer with the team and it never hurts to have some left side wing depth behind Brad Davis. If Smith is available it wouldn't shock me to see the Dynamo select him, but in the end the team will have a couple targets in mind and will take the best player that can help add some depth to the roster with the busy season ahead.
Of course, they could also package a player, allocation money or some other mythical tradeable MLS commodity to move up and grab a player that really caught Kinnear's eye.
As this isn't considered a very deep draft, the chances of this happening are low since you'd probably have to jump pretty high to grab one of the few top picks available. If the Dynamo were to reach for any player though, it might be for Furman/USMNT U-20 defender Walker Zimmerman. With potential homegrown signing Sebastien Ibeagha deciding to spend another year at Duke, it will be interesting to see if the Dynamo are losing hopes of signing him. Trading up to take Zimmerman might signal that.
We'll find out tomorrow what the Dynamo chose to do with the 2013 SuperDraft gets underway from Indianapolis at noon ET.