INDIANAPOLIS – It was a busy day at the Indiana Convention Center on Thursday as teams around Major League Soccer added young talent through the MLS SuperDraft.
While time will tell who the winners and losers of the draft were, early indications are that the Sounders were among the more successful teams on the draft floor, nabbing Eriq Zavaleta with the 10th overall pick after trading up from the 16th pick.
Here are four other things of note from the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
Two of the top three picks were selected by their hometown teams, with Carlos Alvarez going to Chivas USA and Kyle Bekker going to Toronto FC.
Chivas USA were very open about their desire to bring in Alvarez, a Los Angeles native who expressed reciprocal interest in playing for new coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola during the MLS Combine last week. The midfielder out of the University of Connecticut fits the profile “El Chelis” set forth for the club and adds a solid playmaker to their midfield.
With the third pick, Toronto FC brought in Oakville, Ontario, native Kyle Bekker, then later added Mississauga, Ontario’s Emery Welshman to their haul of local products with the 16th overall pick. The duo adds to Toronto’s list of four Homegrown Players to make them a very provincial club.
Outgoing Puget Sounders
Two Seattle-area products will be leaving their hometown after being taken in the SuperDraft.
Seattle native and former Sounders FC U23 midfielder Fernando Monge went 18th overall to the Montreal Impact, where he will join Federal Way product and from Sounder Lamar Neagle. Monge had his best collegiate season as a senior at UCLA when he had five goals in 19 matches.
The other was Bainbridge Island’s Dylan Tucker-Gangnes. The tall center back from the University of Washington went with the 34th overall pick to the Portland Timbers. Tucker-Gangnes was first team All PAC-12 as a senior, netting a career-high seven goals for the Huskies. Portland acquired the pick in a trade with San Jose, sending former Sounder Mike Fucito to the Earthquakes.
Though there were none taken in the first three picks of the draft, five forwards were selected with the first 10 picks.
Two of them, Kekutah Manneh and Erik Hurtado, went to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, adding speed up front to go with their top pick last year, Darren Mattocks. They were followed by Deshorn Brown going to the Colorado Rapids, giving them a youthful replacement for Omar Cummings and a forward partner for Edson Buddle. Ryan Finley, the goal-scoring extraordinaire from Notre Dame, went ninth to the Columbus Crew. Finally, the Sounders picked Zavaleta with the 10th pick. Though he is listed as a forward, it is likely that Seattle will use him as a center back.
Quietly, the Colorado Rapids had a pretty good day on Thursday as they look to rebuild after a disappointing finish to the 2012 season.
In addition to Brown, they also picked up Notre Dame midfielder Dillon Powers with the 11th pick and Cal State-Bakersfield left back Kory Kindle with the 25th pick. Those three join Chilean winger Kevin Harbottle to give the Rapids a fresh start for 2013.