BALTIMORE - The 2011 MLS SuperDraft was set to get started on Thursday and the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps had the first pick.
Surprising some with their pick, the Whitecaps selected Omar Salgado, a member of the U-20 U.S. national team. A 6'4" forward from El Paso, Texas, Salgado gives the Whitecaps an precocious talent to build their franchise around.
Following Salgado, with the second pick the Portland Timbers selected a player who many thought could go first overall, Akron's Darlington Nagbe.
The talented and speedy forward was a menace to his opposition in 2010, scoring seven goals and adding 13 assists.
D.C. United were up next and were quick to select Akron's other big star, midfielder Perry Kitchen. Kitchen was a dominating force in Akron's lineup in 2010. He'll help in the rebuilding process at RFK.
Following United's selection came the Philadelphia Union who struggled through a mistake-riddled first season. Trying to plug the holes, the Union went with a goalkeeper with the fifth pick, taking Zac MacMath from the University of Maryland. A first team All-ACC keeper, MacMath only allowed 15 goals in 23 games in 2010.
New England backed that pick up with the selection of A.J. Soares, a defender from Cal and Houston followed with another defender coming off the board in Kofi Sarkodie, who was Goal.com's College Player of the Year.
Michael Nanchoff becomes the fifth Akron player taken in first round. A smallish midfielder, Nanchoff has the ability to hold the ball well, could play several positions across the midfield and adds even more raw talent to Vancouver's initial draft.
With the ninth pick the Chicago Fire took combine MVP Jalil Anibaba from North Carolina. A big defender with good skill, Anibaba was widely regarded as a top five pick before falling all the way to Chicago.
Sporting Kansas City rounded out the top ten with James Madison forward C.J. Sapong. Another big striker, but could be a dangerous addition to an already athletic side.
Here's the rest of the first round picks.
11. Houston Dynamo: Will Bruin, Forward, Indiana University
12. Columbus Crew: Rich Balchan, Defender, Indiana University
13. New York Red Bulls: Corey Hertzog, Forward, Penn State University
14. Chivas USA: Victor Estupinan, Forward, Ecuador
15. Columbus Crew: Justin Meram, Forward, University of Michigan
16. Los Angeles Galaxy: Paolo Cardozo, Midfielder, Uruguay
17. FC Dallas: Bobby Warshaw, Defender, Stanford University
18. Colorado Rapids: Eddie Ababio, Defender, North Carolina University
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