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BALTIMORE - Omar Salgado was not viewed by most as they likely choice for the number one draft pick in Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft. In fact, most pundits had the former Chivas de Guadalajara youngster being picked in the latter stages of the first round. Instead, the consensus was that either Darlington Nagbe or Perry Kitchen would go first.

Newcomers to the league, Vancouver, surprised most then by selecting Salgado, an U.S. U-20 international with the first pick of the 2011 SuperDraft.

Not only did the pick surprise most pundits predicting the draft, but it surprised Salgado himself.

“It’s just amazing. I didn’t believe it,” Salgado said when asked about being picked first. “I couldn’t believe I was the number one draft pick.  I’m speechless.”

Being with a new team, Salgado should receive some chances to show off his abilities in his first season, much like Danny Mwanga did for Philadelphia in 2010.

The surprise in the pick comes by way that most viewed Salgado as a long term project, which might take one or two years to pan out.

At 6’4’’, Salgado can be that target forward that leads a line, but he also possesses the abilities on the ball that can cause defenses trouble over 90 minutes.

“I’m a tall player. I can dribble, I can shoot, I can score, I’m a forward,” Salgado stated after being selected. “I’m a target forward guy.”

Scouts also rave about Salgado’s skill on the ball, and speed he possesses at such a young age. The combination of all those abilities, mean that he has the potential to be one of the most dangerous forwards in Major League Soccer in a year or two.

Salgado is currently ineligible to play for Vancouver, however, due to the fact that his registration was initially held in Mexico, and is now in the USA. Players cannot move their eligibility to a third country before they turn 18 years old, which means at this time, Salgado would have to wait until September to appear for Vancouver.

Follow Steven Streff on Twitter @streffsoccer

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