16 January 2008

Draft Thoughts and Combine Day 3

The MLS Combine is over with the 3rd and last day on Tuesday. According to reports, most players showed as expected, a few impressed beyond expectations while some failed to meet their expectations. Unlike 2007 there were no amazing standouts or surprises, but more moderate moves up and down. Below are links to the best free college scouting in US Soccer.

Buzz of 3rd Degree ranked the top ten forwards, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers for ESPN before the combine and before most of the Generation Adidas players were signed. 3rd Degree's 2008 Combine Wrap-up finished after the combine is probably more helpful for figuring out who will be left by the 24th pick. The same is true for Joe's overall rankings at Pro Player Pipeline, which as of this post, was last updated just before the combine.

But before you click away from our site (if you haven't already) lets talk about DC United for a second. The 2008 draft's deepest position is defenders, which helps DC who will probably be looking for a defender and a speedy winger with three relatively late draft picks. Like I said yesterday it will be hard to figure out who exactly will be left by the time DC United has its first pick. There should be a solid group of defenders still on the board, players that are expected to become quality role players in MLS but not stars. Hopefully, the trend of not picking outside backs will early in draft will continue into 2008, but I haven't heard as many rumblings about switching players into that role as I did last year.

After United's 2nd round pick, they have the 33rd and then the 52nd. I think that they take a flyer with the 33rd pick on somebody whose stock has dropped a bit. They could do this with the 24th pick if there is a deep run on defenders early or if they know they are getting Gonzalo Martinez and are comfortable with Jeff Carroll as their sixth defender. The 52nd pick is a complete toss-up. Knowing United they either have somebody they have been scouting that wasn't even invited to the combine or will just take somebody local and hope for the best.

3rd Degree
Combine Day 3

Pro Player Pipeline
Combine Day 3 (Game 1)
Combine Day 3 (Game 2)

Soccer By Ives
Combine Day 3

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At 16 January, 2008 20:16, Anonymous Nick said...


I went to the combine on Sunday, so I'll give a real quick review from my perspective:

1. James from UCONN was the best player and will instantly start for any team in the league. A potential dominator and worth the number one pick.

2. Nyarko is the best ball handler and was the quickest player on the field, and overall looks dangerous whenver he touches the ball. Unfortunately, he is lost positionally and is gonna require a lot of coaching. I don't think he will play significantly his first year, and I would compare his level to Joseph Ngwenya when he came into the league.

3. The 6'6' goalie from Tulsa was amazing. He is gonna be another dominant MLS keeper before he heads to Europe, which will probably be soon. He can start right away. Only knock is that he is real quiet and shy--he didn't say a word the whole match, so that will require some coaching.

4. The other highly rated center backs were all pretty good.

5. Besides James, nobody really stood out.

At 16 January, 2008 20:18, Anonymous Nick said...

Oh yes, one more:

Lucas Fernandez, the center back from Argentina, was outstanding as well. In fact, when he came out of the game, the defense completely fell apart and gave up 4 goals. I don't know how his rights are gonna be distributed, but he is a good one.


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