Revolution 2nd-round pick Alec Purdie
If you blinked, you missed it. The 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft came in went in the space of about an hour, all four rounds of picks proceeding along lightning fast while thousands of live-chatters pontificated on names they'd never heard before and will likely never hear again.
The New England Revolution entered this draft with a stated desire to pick up goalscorers. They sort of did that, selecting two forward/midfielders, a winger, and a defender. While bigger, better-known names like Emiliano Bonfigli, Jason Banton, Eder Arreola, and Kohei Yamada were picked up by other teams, the Revs selected a series of definite unknowns. The results of New England's draft follows:
Round 1: Dawyne Smith, F/MF, Bethel University
Round 2: Alec Purdie, Winger, Indiana
Round 3: Kevin Garcia, D/MF, Villanova
Round 4: Michael Roach, F/MF, St. Louis
Honestly, there isn't much to say about any of these guys. Purdie and Roach were listed among mlssoccer.com's top Supplemental Draft prospects, but only Purdie was given any interesting print: "Dynamic wing midfielder. Although not always clean with final touch, the Indiana product works hard and runs all day." That sounds suspiciously like the trend the Steve Nicol Revs were starting to follow in the last couple of seasons - running hard with no end product. Kevin Alston and Zak Boggs are already here, it was understood that the team would be looking to improve technically, not regress.
There's not a lot to read about Smith anywhere. He was a part of Bethel's 2008 NAIA National Championship team, but there's not much out there in terms of stats or even what type of player he is. All that is certain is that he's from Kingston, Jamaica.
Purdie was a redshirt senior in 2011 and finished the season fourth in the Big Ten with 8 goals scored. He also started all 22 matches Indiana played. Again, mlssoccer.com described his as basically an all-effort guy, which can either be a good thing, or can conjure images of Zak Boggs flying up and down the right wing, chasing after balls he let get away due to his murderously awful first touch.
Garcia is described by the Villanova website as having brought "excellent size and ball skills to the field." It goes on to say that he can play all over the field, and then leaves out any data about the 2011 season. MLSsoccer.com listed him as a defender, but where Jay Heaps sees Garcia is anybody's guess.
Roach also finished his college career in 2011 as a redshirt senior. The most up-to-date information concerning him is that he missed most of his junior season recovering from a preseason injury; St. Louis University also conveniently leaves out the 2011 season on its athletics page. By all accounts, though, his sophomore season in 2009 was a pretty good one.
It's important to remember that many of these guys will make zero impact on the league. Some may decide not to go pro. Others will stay in school, complete their degrees, and then come in for what will amount to a trial in May or June. This may actually be the last time any Revolution fans hear from them.
However, miracles do happen. Jeff Larentowicz was plucked in the final round of the Supplemental draft over half a decade ago, and he has gone on to win an MLS Cup, earn US National Team call-ups and grow into one of the best holding midfielders in the league. Cory Gibbs, who saw a successful overseas club career and international career destroyed by injuries, was also a Supplemental Draft pick once upon a time. Valued contributors do come out of this draft, so it's entirely possible that any one of these guys could prove useful this season.
Or not. Just have to wait and see.