A few words of caution before Goal.com's rundown of the potential draft picks from the 2011 MLS SuperDraft:
1. This class is not nearly the same quality as the last couple drafts.
2. This is merely a mock draft - Goal.com's guess at how the draft could go. Given the intricacies of scouting and team needs, the actual 2011 SuperDraft will likely shape up rather differently.
With that said, here is how it could shake out:
1. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Current roster: G: 2, D: 4, M: 5, F: 0) - Darlington Nagbe, Akron, Gen Adidas, Forward/Midfield
The first pick comes down to Nagbe or Perry Kitchen. Given the current roster of the Whitecaps, they could use some bite in the attack. Nagbe should start from day one for the expansion side from Canada.
2. Portland Timbers (Current roster: G: 1, D: 7, M: 5, F: 2) - Perry Kitchen, Akron, Generation Adidas, Midfield/Defense
Kitchen’s versatility makes him the easy choice in this spot for the Timbers. Kitchen can play up to five positions for most MLS teams - a massive plus for an expansion side looking to build a young roster.
3. D.C. United (Current roster: G: 2, D: 6, M: 10, F: 4) - Omar Salgado, Unattached, Generation Adidas, Forward
United know how to work with youngsters and incorporate them into the roster in a timely fashion. While Salgado is the youngest player in this draft class, he has the potential to help this franchise the most down the line.
4. Chivas USA (Current Roster: G: 3, D: 5, M: 11, F: 5) - Kofi Sarkodie, Akron, Generation Adidas, Defense
Sarkodie could prove to be the immediate replacement for Jonathan Bornstein if the new coach (reportedly RSL assistant Robin Fraser) switches Sarkodie to left back. MLS teams will worry about his defensive abilities, but he more than makes up for it with sublime runs down the flank.
5. Philadelphia Union (Current Roster: G: 1, D: 6, M: 13, F: 3) - Zarek Valentin, Akron, Generation Adidas, Defense
I am not buying the Corey Hertzog-to-Union angle because he is a local boy. Valentin is also from Pennsylvania and would definitely be an upgrade for that haphazard defense.
6. New England Revolution (Current Roster: G: 4, D: 6, M: 9, F: 5) - Justin Meram, Michigan, Forward
Meram’s combine is going to open some eyes. He has a cannon for a leg, good speed, and splendid skill.
7. Houston Dynamo (Current roster: G: 2, D: 7, M: 7, F: 3) - Michael Nanchoff, Akron, Generation Adidas, Midfield
A good left peg and not much speed, Nanchoff fits in with head coach Dom Kinnear's system.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps FC- Corey Hertzog, Penn State, Generation Adidas, Forward
The limited Whitecaps roster allows them to chase the best available talent at this time; Hertzog fits into more places than Will Bruin, who could also be considered.
9. Chicago Fire (Current roster: G: 2, D: 7, M: 6, F: 3) - Will Bruin, Indiana, Generation Adidas, Forward
Fire are desperately thin at forward on their roster. Bruin would provide a nice option immediately for the staff to use.
10. Sporting Kansas City (Current roster: G: 2, D: 8, M: 7, F: 3) - Jalil Anibaba, UNC, Defense
Anibaba is the most ready senior defender in the draft. With Jimmy Conrad off the books, Kansas City could use some help in the back.
11. Seattle Sounders (Current roster: G: 2, D: 10, M: 6, F: 9) - Zac MacMath, Maryland, Generation Adidas, Goalkeeper
Kasey Keller is at the end of his career and Seattle needs to find a replacement.
12. Columbus Crew (Current roster: G: 2, D: 7, M: 7, F: 4) - Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Akron, Midfield
Crew are not afraid to take a chance in the first round (look at their picks last year); they could go chasing here.
13. New York Red Bulls (Current roster: G: 2, D: 8, M: 9, F: 5) - A.J. Soares, California, Defense
Soares is not overpowering with athleticism or size, but he is fundamentally sound and always ready to play (only missed one game in four years at Cal).
14. Real Salt Lake (Current roster: G: 3, D: 8, M: 10, F: 3) - Levi Houapeu, UMBC, Forward/Midfield
Houapeu is the best available talent left on the board at this point.
15. San Jose Earthquakes (Current roster: G: 1, D: 8, M: 8, F: 3) - Michael Farfan, UNC, Midfield
Anticipate the Earthquakes trading out of this pick; however, if they do stay here, Farfan could thrive in the reserve league for a season before making a real impact.
16. Los Angeles Galaxy (Current roster: G: 3, D: 8, M: 6, F: 4) - Bobby Warshaw, Stanford, Midfield/Defense
Taking the unheralded Pac-10 senior worked last year for Bruce Arena and the Galaxy with Michael Stephens. Warshaw is not the same quality, but he does possess similar attributes in utility and soccer IQ.
17. FC Dallas (Current roster: G: 3, D: 10, M: 7, F: 4) - Stephen McCarthy, UNC, Midfield
McCarthy's size will pique the interest of a few scouts, but he does not have the tools to immediately step in and help a squad.
18. Colorado Rapids (Current roster: G: 3, D: 5, M: 9 F: 4) - CJ Sapong, JMU, Forward
The Rapids do well with big, bruising forwards. Sapong will fit into their system and potentially mold into a Conor Casey-Omar Cummings hybrid.
19. Vancouver Whitecaps - JC Banks, UW Green Bay, Midfield
20. Portland Timbers - Daniel Keat, Dartmouth, Midfield
21. Seattle Sounders - J.T. Murray, Louisville, Defense
22. Portland Timbers - Ashley McInnes, Tulsa, Midfield
23. Philadelphia Union - Tyler Lassiter, NC State, Defense
24. New England Revolution - Jason Herrick, Maryland, Forward
25. New York Red Bulls - Chris Korb, Akron, Defense
26. Toronto FC (Current roster: G: 3, D: 6, M: 5, F: 2) - Matheus Braga, Penn State, Midfield
27. Seattle Sounders - Ryan Kinne, Monmouth, Forward
28. Columbus Crew - Rick Balchan, Indiana, Defense
29. Seattle Sounders - Amani Walker, UC Irvine, Forward
30. New York Red Bulls - Michael Boxall, UCSB, Defense
31. D.C. United - Hector Jimenez, California, Midfield
32. Sporting Kansas City - Steven Perry, Notre Dame, Forward
33. San Jose Earthquakes - Cole Grossman, Duke, Midfield
34. Los Angeles Galaxy - Ernesto Carranza, Sacramento State, Midfield/Forward
35. FC Dallas - Josue Soto, SMU, Midfield
36. Colorado Rapids - Christian Ibeagha, Duke, Defense
J.R. Eskilson is the Youth Soccer editor at goal.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @NCAAsoccer
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