A Glance At The SuperDraft
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Options abound for the Sounders FC as they prepare for the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
The 2011 SuperDraft is just under a week away and soccer scribes from around the country are conducting their mock drafts and projecting where each player will be picked.
The Sounders FC pick 11th in the first round along with three picks (21, 23 and 29) in the second round and the 47th overall pick in the third round. With so many different possibilities of players available and a wide variance in projections for any of those picks, it is difficult to forecast what direction Seattle will go with their five draft picks next Thursday.
Instead we will preview some of the top talent at each position.
MLSSoccer.com and ProPlayerPipeline each produced player ratings that will be used to determine the “top players” we will discuss.
Zac MacMath – The Maryland junior appears to be the consensus top goalkeeper. The Generation adidas signing posted 34 shutouts in 65 matches for the Terps over three seasons, allowing just 9 goals in his freshman season in 2008 for a 0.44 GAA.
Josh Ford – The UConn product formerly played for Liverpool … well, Liverpool High School in New York. He posted 50 clean sheets in 85 matches over four years with the Huskies, starting in all of their matches over that time.
Jimmy Maurer – The University of South Carolina goalkeeper had 28 shutouts over 78 career matches for the Gamecocks.
Jeff Attinella – Led Countryside HS in Florida to a No. 1 national ranking in 2006 before playing four years at South Florida. In 61 career matches, he posted 28 shutouts, with two seasons of 10 clean sheets each in 2008 and 2010.
Bryan Meredith – The Monmouth University keeper saw just one shot during his freshman season, posting a shutout in his only start. He went on to have 35 more shutouts in 60 starts over his final three seasons, allowing just 33 career goals.
Kofi Sarkodie – The Generation adidas defender from Akron is widely considered the top defender in the draft. As an outside back, he gets forward a lot, as evidenced by his 12 goals and 15 assists in three years, including eight goals and six assists in the championship season of 2010.
Zarek Valentin – Another Generation adidas defender from Akron, Valentin is primarily a center back and is considered by some to be on par with Sarkodie.
AJ Soares – The 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year scored 5 goals for California in his senior season. He is also durable, having missed only one game in four years for the Golden Bears.
Jalil Anibaba – The 2006 Gatorade California Player of the Year went on to star at Santa Clara before transferring to North Carolina for his senior season. There he was a second-team All-American center back for the Tar Heels team that went 16-4-4 and lost in the NCAA tournament to eventual finalist Louisville.
Micahel Boxall – The New Zealander earned third-team All-American honors in his senior year at UC-Santa Barbara. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, he’s quite the load at center back and played 66 games over his final three seasons for the Gauchos.
Chris Korb – One of seven Akron Zips in the 2011 SuperDraft, Korb played his freshman season at Xavier before finishing his final three seasons with Akron. He had 1 goal and 10 assists in his final two seasons and helped Akron to records for GAA (0.27) and shutouts (19) on their way to the NCAA title.
JT Murray – A naturally left-footed defender, Murray is a good pick for a team in need of a left back. His 7 goals and 6 assists as a starter in 62 matches for Louisville in his last three seasons also show his ability to push forward when needed.
Bobby Warshaw – A semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2009, Warshaw is a versatile defender who also managed 18 goals and 6 assists for the Stanford Cardinal in 74 career starts.
Tyler Lassiter – Another versatile player, Lassiter scored 10 goals and 6 assists in his final two seasons with NC State as a center back.
Perry Kitchen – The 18-year-old Akron Zip notched 6 goals and an assist in his freshman season before coming to MLS through Generation adidas. Kitchen plays for the U-20 National Team and is one of the top-rated players in the SuperDraft and could step in and star right away.
Michael Farfan – The North Carolina midfielder tallied 10 goals and 7 assists over his last two years with the Tar Heels. In 2005, he went to the U-17 World Cup with the US.
Michael Tetteh – The late addition to the Generation adidas class notched 6 goals and 8 assists in three seasons for UC-Santa Barbara.
Anthony Ampaipitakwong – A star for Akron from when he first stepped on campus in 2007, Ampai finished his career with 17 goals and 30 assists in 93 starts for the Zips. The IMG Academy product was an All-American as a junior when he had 8 goals and 5 assists.
Michael Nanchoff (pictured right)– Another Generation adidas player from Akron, Nanchoff burst on the scene in 2009 as a red-shirt sophomore, notching 5 goals and 11 assists before an injury cut his season short. 10 goals and 9 assists in 2010 prove that the injury is behind him and he can still fill it up from the wing.
Levi Houapeu – The nation’s leading scorer in 2009-2010 scored 30 goals and added 17 assists for University of Maryland-Baltimore County. The Ivorian striker is slight at just 5-foot-8, but he makes up for it with his speed.
Stephen McCarthy – After three years at Santa Clara, McCarthy transferred to North Carolina for his senior year and managed just 2 goals and an assist. But at 6-foot-4, McCarthy is poised to make an impact in the middle of midfield, and coaches are chomping at the bit to have him on the end of set pieces.
John Rooney – The younger brother of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, 20-year-old John played the last three seasons with Macclesfield Town in England’s League Two. He controls the ball from the midfield and plays as a link to the forwards.
Ryan Kinne – The Monmouth product is a two-time All-American and two-time MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist after posting 35 goals and 21 assists in 77 matches over four years. Can play both on the wing and as a forward.
Darlington Nagbe (pictured top) – Many consider Nagbe the top prospect in the draft and his 7 goals and 13 assists as a junior at Akron back up that claim. He is Generation adidas and is projected to go among the top two picks.
Omar Salgado – The U-20 National Team forward left CD Guadalajara to play in MLS and join the US National Team after flirtations with Mexico. At 6-foot-4, he has plenty of size, but also has the athleticism to match. He is signed to Generation adidas.
Corey Hertzog – The Generation adidas forward from Penn State led the nation in goals (20) and points (46) in 2010 and was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Hertzog is quick and a clinical finisher.
Will Bruin – A Generation adidas forward from Indiana, Bruin was just behind Hertzog with 18 goals and 41 points. At 6-foot-2, he finishes more with his size than his speed.
Justin Meram – After taking a year to adjust, Meram exploded at Michigan in 2010 with 17 goals and 8 assists. This after earning back to back NJCAA National titles and Junior College Player of the Year honors at Yavapai College, where he tallied 51 goals and 30 assists in two seasons. He can also slot back into the midfield when necessary.