Talent to be had in the MLS Supplemental Draft
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Andy Rose was solid find for the Sounders in last year's Supplemental Draft with the club looking to replicate the quality of his selection this year.
It is no secret that plenty of MLS talent can be had in the Supplemental Draft.
Andy Rose had a promising rookie season after being selected sixth overall in the Supplemental Draft by Real Salt Lake, then being dealt to the Sounders FC in exchange for former second round SuperDraft pick Leone Cruz. In 2012, Rose made 23 MLS appearances, including 11 starts, and also appeared off the bench in two playoff matches, earning his way onto the field with consistent effort and on-field savvy.
The same can be said of Philadelphia Union forward Antoine Hoppenot, who was picked 51st in the Supplemental Draft last year and went on to tally four goals in 25 appearances, all but three coming off the bench.
Those are just two of many examples throughout MLS history and now teams will try to determine who the diamonds in the rough of the 2013 class will be.
A glance through the pre-draft rankings done by SoccerByIves.net and TopDrawerSoccer.com shows a good amount of talent remaining in the draft pool. On SoccerByIves.net, 18 players remain from his top 50 ranking, with 10 of those projected in the first 38 – the number of selections in the SuperDraft on Thursday. Meanwhile on TopDrawerSoccer.com, 17 players remain from the top 50 and 11 from the first 38.
Among the more prominent names on the list are forwards Ashton Bennett, Will Bates and Chris Thomas, midfielders Machael David and Jose Gomez and defender Eric Schoenle.
Bennett, 24, is a Jamaican forward who set NCAA alight in the last two years. He spent 2009 and 2010 scoring goals for Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, totaling 35 goals and 22 assists in 33 matches. From there he went to Coastal Carolina and didn’t miss a beat, notching 23 goals and seven assists as a junior and 16 goals and nine assists as a senior. He was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist and first-team All-American both seasons.
Bates, 21, scored 46 goals in 77 matches over four seasons, notching double-digit scoring seasons in three of his four seasons at Virginia. He was First Team All-ACC as a junior and senior and played for the US U18, U17 and U15 teams, highlighted by appearances with the U18 team in the Milk Cup in 2009.
Thomas, 22, was a scoring machine at Elon. In his first three seasons, he scored 10 goals in each season, then burst onto the scene with 23 goals and five assists in 22 matches as a senior, earning recognition as a Hermann Trophy semifinalist.
David, 24, played four years at UC-Santa Barbara, but had injury troubles in his junior and senior seasons. Born in Nigeria and raised in Italy, David was the Big West Freshman of the Year in 2009 and First Team All-Big West as a sophomore.
Gomez, 22, was a Hermann Trophy finalist as a senior at Creighton, where he played three seasons after transferring from Cal State-Fullerton. In three years at Creighton, the Mexican-born midfielder had 15 goals and 26 assists in 64 matches. As a senior, he had six goals and nine assists in 24 matches.
Schoenle, 21, started all but one match in four seasons at West Virginia, making 74 starts. In his final three seasons, he tallied 14 goals and five assists, including six goals in 17 matches as a senior.
The Supplemental Draft will be held over a conference call on Tuesday. The Sounders hold picks five, 16, 35, 54 and 73 in the four-round draft.