The first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft went down on Thursday with the remaining two coming on Tuesday.
There have already been 38 players selected in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and while historically only a percentage of them will pan out as professionals, there are also plenty of players left to be had in the remaining 39 picks of the final two rounds on Tuesday, when Sounders FC holds the 55th and 77th overall picks.
Seattle has already added four players from the college ranks, with forward Sean Okoli and midfielder Aaron Kovar coming as Homegrown Players and defenders Damion Lowe and Johnny Ockford acquired in the first two round of the SuperDraft. Combined with a returning crop of players that include forward Eriq Zavaleta and defenders DeAndre Yedlin, Dylan Remick and Will Bates, Seattle has a steady mix of youth and experience in each position group on the field.
However, if there is one position Seattle has in mind for the remaining two picks on Tuesday, it’s in the midfield.
“I think we’ve always tried to be a team that plays an attacking, possession-based style of play, and we’ve been good with the ball and good through the midfield in the history of our MLS years,” Sporting Director Chris Henderson said. “I think we want to make sure we can get back to that and make sure we continue to keep the ball well and connect with (Osvaldo) Alonso and (Brad) Evans and (Clint) Dempsey, some of the guys through the middle of midfield—have some guys who can play with them.”
There are still some players with good qualities in the midfield available after the first two rounds of the SuperDraft, as well as some forwards who have shown a knack for scoring goals.
And while there is historically a much higher success-rate among players taken in the first two rounds of the SuperDraft, each draft has also had its share of players with lengthy careers that have come from later rounds.
In the last two years, a few teams have been able to nab key players for depth in Andy Rose in Seattle (44th overall, 2012), Antoine Hoppenot in Philadelphia (89th overall, 2012) and Adam Jahn in San Jose (53rd overall, 2013), but the success stories have been told for years of players who were passed by round after round and gone on to have successful careers.
Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson was taken with the 51st overall pick in 2010 and now has been included in several camps with the U.S. National Team. Geoff Cameron was taken 42nd overall by the Houston Dynamo in the 2008 draft and now plays for Stoke City in the Premier League and regularly appears for the U.S. as well.
And the list goes on.
Tally Hall was taken 44th in the 2007 draft. In 2005, a flurry of late picks saw Dan Kennedy (86th overall), Chris Wondolowski (89th overall) and Jeff Larentowicz (93rd overall) get their MLS starts.
For every player that late in the draft that becomes a success story in MLS and beyond, there are dozens that never play an MLS match. Even still, teams around the league will scour the players remaining on the board and find the one that they hope can one day become one of those stars.
The draft will take place via teleconference at 11 am PT on Tuesday.
Here are some players to watch among those remaining on the board.
Reinaldo Brenes, Akron, 61 games, 20 goals, 9 assists.
Enrique Cardenas, UC-Irvine, 67 games, 16 goals, 13 assists.
Pete Caringi, UMBC, 79 games, 37 goals, 17 assists.
Victor Chavez, UCLA, 79 games, 27 goals, 15 assists.
Mackenzie Pridham, Cal Poly, 70 games, 27 goals, 4 assists.
Fifi Baiden, UCSB, 76 games, 2 goals, 4 assists.
AJ Corrado, Indiana, 86 games, 7 goals, 24 assists.
Joey Dillon, Georgetown, 86 games, 1 goal, 4 assists.
Luca Giminez, Wake Forest, 81 games, 26 goals, 11 assists.
Nikita Kotlov, Indiana, 85 games, 27 goals, 14 assists.
Alex Martinez, NC State/High Point, 77 games, 25 goals, 22 assists
Aodhan Quinn, Akron/Bradley, 82 games, 17 goals, 24 assists.