McCarthy's Musings: Success remains a relative term for Supplemental Draft selections

Seventy-five players came off the board in Tuesday's conference call, but only a few of them will work their way into roles as MLS regulars.
After dashing the dreams of several MLS hopefuls on Thursday, coaches and executives threw a significant portion of them a lifeline in Tuesday's Supplemental Draft

Seventy-five college stars received good news in their quest to start their professional careers. Each and every one of the chosen players will hope to follow the circuitous path forged by Jeff Larentowicz and Chris Wondolowski from lightly rated prospect to full-fledged U.S. international. Many of them would settle for carving out the type of career enjoyed by solid professionals like Kheli Dube, Jordan Harvey, Chris Tierney and Daniel Woolard. Most of them, however, will struggle to pass square one.

Notable success stories often serve as the exception to the rule at this particular stage of the process, but a thorough review of recent draft trends indicates that teams can find value if they adopt the proper expectations and target their additions wisely.

The always-shifting draft landscape and the varying squad sizes over the past few years makes the process of discerning the actual hit rate a touch more complicated than comparing like-for-like, but the Musings scoured through the past five drafts to assemble most of the pertinent information.

(Note: This survey is designed to provide a glimpse into the level of prominence attained by players acquired in the latter stages of the draft process. It isn't an exhaustive statistical comparison between players, teams or years. Consider it a surface view to establish a basic trend.)

* – player has earned at least one international cap

Comparable rounds involved: SuperDraft – third round; Supplemental draft – first, second and third round
Total number of selections involved: 72
Most notable success stories: Michael Boxall* (Vancouver), Joao Plata* (Toronto)
Other players worth noting: Bernardo Anor (Columbus), Blake Brettschneider (D.C. United), Dan Keat (Los Angeles), Dustin McCarty (Los Angeles), Joe Willis (D.C. United)

Comparable rounds involved: SuperDraft – third and fourth rounds; Supplemental draft – n/a
Total number of selections involved: 32
Most notable success stories: Eric Alexander* (FC Dallas), Shaun Francis* (Columbus), Sean Johnson* (Chicago), Kyle Nakazawa (Philadelphia), Chris Schuler (Real Salt Lake), Ben Zemanski (Chivas USA)
Other players worth noting: Steven Kinney (Chicago), Joseph Nane (Toronto FC)

Comparable rounds involved: SuperDraft – third and fourth rounds; Supplemental draft – n/a
Total number of selections involved: 30
Most notable success stories: Darrius Barnes (New England), Danny Cruz (Houston), Mike Fucito (Seattle)
Other players worth noting: Quincy Amarikwa (San Jose), Brandon Barklage (D.C. United), Steward Ceus* (Colorado), Mike Grella (Toronto FC/signed in England), Kyle Patterson (Los Angeles), Marcus Tracy (Houston/signed in Denmark)

Comparable rounds involved: SuperDraft – third round (pick 39 onwards), fourth round; Supplemental Draft – first, second, third and fourth rounds
Total number of selections involved: 82
Most notable success stories: Danleigh Borman (New York), Kheli Dube (New England), Geoff Cameron* (Houston), Stephen King (Chicago), Steven Lenhart (Columbus), Brandon McDonald (Los Angeles), Chris Tierney (New England)
Other players worth noting: Raushawn McKenzie (Kansas City)


Comparable rounds involved: SuperDraft – fourth round; Supplemental draft – first, second, third and fourth rounds
Total number of selections involved: 65
Most notable success stories: Bobby Burling (Los Angeles), Kevin Burns (Columbus), Adam Cristman (New England), Tally Hall (Los Angeles), Kosuke Kimura (Colorado), Daniel Woolard (Chicago)
Other players worth noting: Danny Cepero (New York), Chris Konopka (Kansas City/signed in Ireland), Kyle Reynish (Real Salt Lake) Luis Robles* (D.C. United/signed in Germany)

The data created over the past five years offers a telling glimpse into the lower rounds of the draft process: success or failure often depends on the expectations harbored by the players and their teams.

In light of the historical norms, every club should enter the supplemental draft with the goal of unearthing one solid player. The chosen college star doesn't have to turn into the next Larentowicz or Wondolowski, but he does have to develop to the point where he can provide a reliable depth option for the squad. Those types of players are available with some frequency in these proceedings (maybe one per team every 2-3 years), if the past provides any reliable indication.

Success, after all, remains a relative term. In this particular instance, it should apply if a team can add a potential contributor to the first team for a modest price for a couple of years. Based on the available evidence, that modest goal appears achievable for at least of the few of the players inspired by hearing their names called yesterday.

Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and Contact him with your questions or comments at and follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Follow GOAL.COM USA on