Dynamo add a forward and a fullback in the MLS SuperDraft
By Zach Woosley
Dominic Kinnear had another good MLS SuperDraft, at least on paper. The Dynamo bolstered their attacking corps with Jason Johnson, a fast, proven goal scorer at the collegiate level and Jimmy Nealis, who many considered the best left back in the draft.
With their first round pick, 13th overall, the Dynamo selected Jason Johnson (he goes by J.J.), a 6-foot tall, 22-year old Jamaican forward from Virginia Commonwealth University. In three seasons with VCU he made 53 appearances, scoring 28 goals. In his junior season with the Rams he was named the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year and made the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region Team and was First Team All-Atlantic 10.
He's got good speed and looks to be a guy who can but the ball in the net, the type of player the Dynamo need with Calen Carr recovering from a knee injury and Macoumba Kandji notoriously bad at finishing his chances. He's also a Generation adidas player and that provides some salary cap relief, so overall it's a good pick in my book for Houston.
Johnson was considered the most exciting forward invited to the Combine and might have gone higher in the draft if he'd had a good performance. He likely played himself down the draft list a bit, but that might end up being the Dynamo's game. In case you feel like panicking Dynamo fans, you shouldn't. Johnson is a great young forward and is a steal at 13th in my opinion. The Combine is hardly a tell all and this pick is all about Kinnear liking what he's seen from Johnson's overall body of work and taking the best available player on their board when their pick came up.
Johnson has one international cap for Jamaica having made his debut in a 2-1 loss to Argentina on February 10, 2010. He was also a part of the Jamaica U-23 team that failed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
With the second round pick, 37th overall, the Dynamo picked Georgetown left back Jimmy Nealis. Nealis will have to prove himself in the preseason but considering he was considered the best left back in the draft, it really looks like another steal for Kinnear late in the draft. This pick also makes a ton of sense as Houston desperately needs coverage at the left back position for Corey Ashe. If Nealis can earn his contract there's reason to believe he could be a solid MLS fullback.
All in all, Dynamo fans should be pretty happy with their team's business today in the SuperDraft. Two players with potential that I doubt Kinnear expected to drop as far as they did, yet another reason Houston fans always say, "In Dom We Trust."