Without a playoff run to look forward to, Revs fans may want to turn their attention to the college soccer circuit and check out which prospects Jay Heaps could consider drafting.
Okay, so maybe it's too early to start talking about the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, but that doesn't mean we aren't all already thinking about it. After all, the 2012 Revolution season is just about over-one could argue that it's been over for a while-and while other teams are gearing up for the playoffs (or still fighting for a spot in them), the SuperDraft is sort of the only event on the horizon for Revs fans to look forward to.
This year the Revolution have three picks, one in the first round and then two in the second round after acquiring a pick from Chivas USA as part of the Shalrie Joseph trade. Thus far I've really only done some preliminary research into the top draft prospects coming into the 2013 draft, but I have begun thinking about which positions the Revolution should be/probably will be targeting.
Striker - The Revs' most pressing need is probably not a striker, but a quick look at a couple mock drafts seem to indicate that there are some quality forwards at the top of the list. Touted college strikers such as Eriq Zavaleta from Indiana, Mamadou Diouf from Connecticut, and Giuseppe Gentile from Charlotte seem to be hot commodities as things stand now. And, let's face it, the Revs are likely to have a very high draft pick this year. And though we currently have five forwards on the roster, there's a pretty good chance that Jay Heaps and his staff may want an upgrade up top, especially after the Revs' forwards only tallied 18 goals in 2012 and the team as a whole had the 6th least amount of goals overall (as of this writing, of course). What I'm saying is, maybe Blake Brettschneider won't be wearing navy blue next season?
Goalkeeper - Who knows what will go down in the off-season, but I think we're all well aware that Matt Reis is at the tail end of his career. Many didn't even expect him to be back for this past season. Couple that with the fact that Jay Heaps was already testing out back-up keeper Bobby Shuttleworth around the middle of the season before an injury kept him from further first-team action for a few months, and you just may find yourself with a recipe for a new keeper in New England next season. Plus, the extra second round pick from Chivas might be perfect to use on the top keeper in the draft.
Defensive Midfielder - The Revolution are largely expected to sign Akron senior Scott Caldwell to a homegrown deal in the off-season, which would further bolster their midfield options (and perhaps make even more of a case for the Revs to cut Benny Feilhaber loose). Now, I don't know a ton about Caldwell, but it is my understanding that he is an attacking midfielder as opposed to a defensive or holding midfielder. That being said, the Revs still need an understudy for Clyde Simms (and, to be honest, someone to push him for his starting gig). Drafting a young defensive midfielder would be a pretty smart move by the Revs and could certainly help them in the long run.
Could the Revs go after a top defender in the draft? Sure, they could and they may. But, if you ask me, what this Revolution back-line needs is a veteran presence, not a rookie. Furthermore, the Revs have shown interest in Harrisburg City Islanders defender Bilal Duckett who spent a few weeks training with the team towards the end of the season and played in two reserve games for them as a guest player. While drafting a defender would provide the Revs with some depth, I think it makes more sense for the Revs to orchestrate a trade within MLS for someone with experience in the league already, or to sign an international defender in the off-season.
What positions would you be looking to draft if you were Jay Heaps? Let us know in the comments section below!