By Kyle McCarthy
Evaluating the MLS SuperDraft days after its completion is a bit like trying to select college players who could make an impact in MLS.
It's hit-or-miss. Mostly, it's a miss.
With that ample caveat in mind, let's dish out a few post-SuperDraft grades.
Philadelphia – A
The Union couldn't have asked for a better inaugural draft class on paper. A great mix of ready-to-go contributors (Danny Mwanga, Toni Stahl) and long-term prospects (Jack McInerney) established by Philly's willingness to use its resources to bolster its young core.
Chicago – A
Corben Bone's surprising slide may have handed the Fire a gift it didn't expect with the 13th pick, but Chicago's work in the later rounds earns the plaudits. Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Combine standout Drew Yates represent great value in round two, while Steven Kinney has the tools to make the roster out of round three. Sean Johnson, a hulking project of a goalkeeper who would have gone undrafted without his Generation adidas deal, may represent the best value in round four simply because he won't count against the roster.
Los Angeles – A-
While the Galaxy may have entered the draft with one pick, it left with two players who should make the roster. UCLA midfielder Michael Stephens adds a bit of something different into the Galaxy's midfield plans, while Clint Mathis arrived from Real Salt Lake in a rather negligible deal that diversifies the Galaxy's attacking options. Tidy work, then.
New York – B+
Red Bulls sporting director Erik Soler said he wanted technical players in this draft class and he certainly got his wish. Tony Tchani should slot in straight away in central midfield, while Austin da Luz could earn time on the wing as well. The stretch to grab Tim Ream at the start of the second round represented poor value, but the later round acquisitions of Conor Chinn (third round) and the pint-sized-but-ridiculously-shifty Irving Garcia (fourth round) atoned for that overeager selection.
D.C. United – B+
United essentially used the seventh overall pick on starting goalkeeper Troy Perkins. That move is worthy of an A in a straight swap, but supplementing the pick with Fred and allocation money brings the value down slightly.
Real Salt Lake – B
The trade to send Clint Mathis back to Los Angeles may have satisfied karma, but the good deed wouldn't have been possible without Collen Warner's availability late in the first round. The Portland midfielder should add something different for RSL on the left side of its diamond. Creighton centerback Chris Schuler could be a third-round sleeper, but taking Justin Davis off the board in the second round felt like a reach.
San Jose – B
The Earthquakes were prepared to take either Tchani or Ike Opara at three, so it was a win-win situation no matter who slipped past the Red Bulls. Opara should at the very least provide cover for the oft-injured Jason Hernandez once he finishes out the semester at Wake Forest in May. Two Golden Domers arrived in the second round – hard to see where Michael Thomas fits into the crowded central midfield picture, but Justin Morrow should salve the wound caused by Mike Zaher's possible departure to law school. Andrew Hoxie stood out at the Combine and he'll bring the right attitude during training camp.
FC Dallas – B-
Zach Loyd is the perfect young player for a team that already has enough youth: he plays older than he is and he can fill in a bunch of different positions. Andrew Wiedeman adds yet another Generation adidas player to the fold and represents good value in the second round, though FCD now has roster concerns with that particular segment of its squad. Schellas Hyndman even threw in the obligatory SMU pick in the fourth round to round out the Hoops' draft class.
Kansas City – B-
Teal Bunbury is a great fit – he fills a need (striker) and bolsters the marketing options (his father, Alex, spent two season with the Wizards). The rest of the draft doesn't fit as neatly. After taking Bunbury at the right time for the right value, the Wizards reached considerably to take Korede Aiyegbusi in round two. Two late-round defenders – Nick Cardenas and Ofori Sarkodie – watched their stock plummet after the Combine, but a rebound might just constitute good value for the picks.
Seattle – B-
Sounders FC came into the draft in need of additional attacking options and left the draft with a pair of them. The only question about David Estrada is whether Seattle could have traded down a few slots to get him at a spot more representative of his value. Mike Seamon showed well at the Combine and may just have enough to stick at the next level.
New England – C+
Passing on Bone probably elicited a few quizzical looks, but it's hard to see where he fits in the Revolution's system. Wake Forest teammate Zack Schilawski links well and moves intelligently, but he'll need to score a bunch of goals to quell those idle thoughts about what might have been with Bone if Steve Ralston doesn't return or can't stay on the field. Seth Sinovic provides some depth at left back, while the Revs rounded out the draft with a couple of fliers on non-Combine invitees and another left back.
Chivas USA – C+
Blair Gavin should be a perfect fit with how the Goats like to play and they'll need him with Paulo Nagamura now at Tigres. Maybe Akron teammate Ben Zemanski can help out, too. Aside from those two players, there wasn't much of interest here.
Colorado – C+
Hermann Trophy finalist Andre Akpan fell into the Rapids' laps in the second round, which is a fair stroke of luck considering the Harvard man had a first-round tag on him for much of the buildup to the SuperDraft. Colorado didn't make much of a mark with the rest of the group, however.
Toronto FC – C+
TFC couldn't have done much more than it did with this draft. The Reds don't have the roster space to carry an additional American player, so picking up Zac Herold in the second round made perfect sense. The Generation adidas fullback will take some time to develop, but that development won't hinder TFC's playoff push because he won't count against the roster. Should have taken a Canadian with the fourth-round pick, however.
Houston – C
Not much to see here, as per usual. Third-round pick Samuel Appiah has pace to burn, but he's also a 24-year-old Ghanaian. Euan Holden makes sense as a reasonable gamble in the fourth round because Dom Kinnear and the Dynamo technical staff certainly know all there is to know about him.
Columbus – C-
No problems with Dilly Duka at eight, but the real questions start and end with Bright Dike at 12. Now this isn't a slight on Dike – who scored a bunch of goals at Notre Dame – but the lumbering fellow didn't have the best of Combines and doesn't exactly diversify a Crew attack filled with target-type players. The Crew didn't have another pick until the fourth round and Dike likely would have come off the board by then, but there has to be some alternative available to reaching to pick a player who offers a similar option to others already on the roster.
Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for Goal.com. He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and MLSnet.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter by clicking here.
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