5 Predictions for 2015 MLS SuperDraft
The 2015 MLS SuperDraft is right around the corner and though it receives far less attention than the international transfer window, it can still prove to be an important time for the league's lower tier clubs. What will happen in Philly on January 15 is anyone's guess, but surprises will surely abound. The two expansion clubs kick off the festivities with Orlando claiming the first pick, followed by NYCFC.
1. Expect lots of first round trades
Both Sporting KC and Toronto FC have three first round picks. With few needs to address, expect Sporting KC to trade away one or two of those picks. Toronto FC may look to move a pick as well with all their picks in the top twelve of the draft. Toronto isn't quite in the same situation as Sporting KC, but by swapping Jermaine Defoe for Jozy Altidore, they seem to be building a decent core of players and have already addressed a major need. Where those picks go depends on what teams value what players, but expect plenty of movement.
2. Montreal will still be the worst team
Montreal's 2014 was miserable. Winning only 28 points from 34 games was not a good way to end their 4th season in Major League Soccer. With one pick in the first two rounds and two picks total, there really isn't much opportunity to improve. With pick number three, most expect them to select Oregon State forward Khiry Shelton. With Marco Di Vaio only scoring 9 goals in 2014, Shelton would address a need for the Canadian club, but don't expect a dramatic turnaround for the club. They'll still be awful.
3. Sporting KC Will have the best draft
Everything is working at Sporting KC. The team is coming off of yet another, although disappointingly short, playoff appearance and has a talented roster. Oh, and they have three first round picks and six total in the draft. Whether Sporting uses the picks to select players or leverages them to make other moves, they're poised to flex their muscles and have the best draft. It is every team's dream to enter a draft with no major holes in the roster and Sporting is doing just that. The MLS club should only get better.
4. Everybody wants Alex Bono
The next player in the legacy of quality American goalkeepers is Alex Bono. He's the real deal. Bill Hamid, be warned. Bono would be an upgrade for nearly every MLS club between posts. Any team could select Bono. Many have him as the last skill player taken, but don't be surprised to see him taken by Montreal at number three. Though they need help scoring goals, they also need help preventing them, ranking in the bottom three in goals allowed in 2014. If he doesn't jump up to Montreal, look for Sporting KC to aggressively pursue a trade up for him. Where he will end up is anyone's guess, but certainly he is the envy of every club.
5. The SuperDraft will feature fewer impact players than transfers
The MLS SuperDraft is a beast unlike any other. Rarely does a team find a franchise player through the Super Draft. Unlike Baseball, Basketball and Football, a player's professional career is far less predictable in soccer. Traditionally, the draft is better for role players, defenders and goalkeepers. Don't be surprised if more clubs are interested in boosting their roster through transfers than drafts. With MLS already adding several players through international transfer, the market for college players is smaller and smaller. Eventually, the demand will not warrant a draft and the structure of American soccer will have to respond. There's a reason that European soccer doesn't feature a draft and eventually, Major League Soccer should do the same.