MLS Superdraft Recap
by Victor Jacobo
Jan 17, 2014 1:09 AM EST
It has been a monumental week for Major League Soccer with the homecoming of Michael Bradley and Michael Parkhurst as well as Jermain Defoe joining Toronto FC. Thursday added to the future of the MLS.
This class of collegiate athletes did not bring much hype with them to the 2014 MLS Superdraft, but teams still worked the phones and shook hands before and during the draft.
DC United, who finished with the worst record in the league, held on to their number one overall pick until the last minute when they swapped picks with the Philadelphia Union. With the first pick, the Union selected Andre Blake from the University of Connecticut, the first time a goalkeeper has been selected first overall.
The Jamaican-born Blake is considered to be the most MLS-ready player in this year's draft and Philadephia was earnest to make sure their pick was used to get the best available player. The Union were perhaps the big winners of the day as they also picked-up 6-foot-4 Brazilian-born Pedro Ribeiro from Coastal Carolina University with the 15th overall pick.
Two University of California defenders were selected with the second and third overall picks. Steve Birnbaum will go from the west coast to the east coast as he heads to DC United and Christian Dean will join the Vancouver Whitecaps.
There were four trades in the first round alone. There were none in last year's draft. Clearly the front offices around the league were reading the tea leaves, working hard to get higher picks and sacrificing money and key roster spots.
In a busy offseason, MLS teams seek to establish themselves early so that they are in a contending position once USMNT and other international players return from their World Cup duties.
The third and fourth round of the draft will be held next Tuesday.
Here's the list of every pick taken in the first two rounds of the 2014 MLS Superdraft
- Philadelphia Union - ANDRE BLAKE, GK, Connecticut
- DC United - STEVE BIRNBAUM, D, California
- Vancouver Whitecaps - CHRISTIAN DEAN, D, California
- New England Revolution - STEVE NEUMANN, M/F, Georgetown
- Montreal Impact - ERIC MILLER, D, Creighton
- FC Dallas - TESHO AKINDELE, F, Colorado School of Mines
- Vancouver Whitecaps - ANDRE LEWIS, M, Jamaica
- Seattle Sounders - DAMION LOWE, D, Hartford
- San Jose Earthquakes - JJ KOVAL, M, Stanford
- Toronto FC - NICK HAGGLUND, D, Xavier
- New England Revolution - PATRICK MULLINS, F, Maryland
- Colorado Rapids - MARLON HAIRSTON, M, Louisville
- Chicago Fire - MARCO FRANCO, D, University of California-Irvine
- Columbus Crew - BEN SWEAT, D, South Florida
- Philadelphia Union - PEDRO RIBEIRO, M, Coastal Carolina
- Houston Dynamo - AJ COCHRAN, D, Wisconsin
- Portland Timbers - SCHILLO TSHUMA, F, Maryland
- Real Salt Lake - RYAN NEIL, D, California
- Colorado Rapids - GRANT VAN DE CASTEELE, D, Notre Dame
- Chivas USA - THOMAS MCNAMARA, M, Clemson
- Seattle Sounders - JIMMY OKFORD, D, Louisville
- New York Redbulls - CHRIS DUVALL, D, Wake Forest
- LA Galaxy - KYLE VENTER, D, New Mexico
- Toronto FC - DANIEL LOVITZ, M, Elon
- Philadelphia Union - KEVIN COPE, M, Michigan State
- Portland Timbers - TAYLOR PEAY, D, Washington
- Philadelphia Union - ROBBIE DERSCHANG, D, Akron
- San Jose Earthquakes - JOE SOFIA, D, UCLA
- DC United - VICTOR MUNOZ, M, UCLA
- Vancouver Whitecaps - MAMADOU DIOUF, F, Connecticut
- New England Revolution - ALEC SUNDLY, M, California
- Houston Dynamo - MARK SHERROD, F, Memphis
- Colorado Rapids - JARED WATTS, M, Wake Forest
- New York Red Bulls - ERIC STEVENSON, M, Akron
- Colorado Rapids - JOHN BERNER, GK, SIU-Edwardsville
- Portland Timbers - AARON LONG, M, UC-Riverside
- Montreal Impact - GEORGE MALKI, M, Cal Poly
- Sporting Kansas City - ADNAN GABELJIC, F, St. Louis