Thursday, January 15, 2009

Houston Dynamo & the MLS SuperDraft

Today the MLS SuperDraft, a very Americanized aspect of the MLS, occurred today. I'm not a big fan of the idea of drafting college soccer players, I'd prefer a bigger focus on youth development within the teams and their programs. The value of the draft for MLS teams is suspect, too often top picks see little if any playing time in the MLS and many picks just head to the USL where the money is better. Steven Goff recently pointed out that no MLS Player of the Year has ever been drafted directly from college or high school into the MLS.

For the Houston Dynamo, it seems that the main purpose of the draft is it gives them the ability to trade 1st and 2nd round picks to other teams in exchange for current talent they want to see in a Dynamo kit (like Bobby Boswell and Kei Kamara). Staying true to form, this year the Dynamo only had 3rd and 4th round picks.

In the 3rd round, the Dynamo drafted Daniel Cruz, a 19 year old midfielder from UNLV, and a Generation Addidas player. More importantly, Cruz, who grew up in Arizona, has played for the US U-17 and U-20 teams, giving him crucial competitive experience outside the realm of college soccer.

"He's a hard worker," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "He's not afraid to run at people. He can play wide in the midfield or up front, so he's versatile, and he's got great pace."

In an interesting move, the Dynamo used their 4th round pick to secure the MLS rights of forward Marcus Tracy. The Wake Forest player, and winner of the Hermann Trophy, recently signed a contract to play at Aalborg in Denmark.

The Dynamo's next competitive match will be on February 24 at 9:00 pm when they resume their play in the CONCACAF Champions League, hosting Atlante in the first leg of their knockout round tie.

Meanwhile, today's first draft pick, which belonged to Seattle Sounders FC, was forward Steve Zakuani of the University of Akron, and a native of England. Word is that Zakuani has rejected European offers in favor of playing in the MLS.
Finally, it appears that Atlanta has withdrawn it's MLS bid, considered one of the stronger ones thanks to Arthur Blank's involvement.


Kevin said...

FYI .. Aalborg is in Denmark, not Holland.

Brian Zygo said...

Doh . . . fixed, thanks.