The four-round 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft came and went on Tuesday without much fanfare, but nevertheless the New England Revolution made their four picks and expanded their preseason squad. Forward Chris Thomas - projected by some to be a SuperDraft selection - headlines the day's work.
Despite rumors of its demise as an effective tool for team-building and player acquisition, the MLS SuperDraft continues to draw a great deal of attention and excitement from fans of the league. However, it's lesser-known cousin, the MLS Supplemental Draft, tends to pass by without much publicity a few days later, as it did today. The New England Revolution were active in this draft, however, exercising their rights in all four rounds to grab several new players to compete for spots on the 2013 roster.
The new Revolution players (really more like trialists whose rights belong to the Revs) are UConn midfielder/defender Jossimar Sanchez, Elon forward Chris Thomas, Old Dominion defender Alex DeJohn, and Elon midfielder Gabe Latigue. All four players had various question marks coming into the draft process, but the Revolution front office sees something in each that could contribute to the squad in 2013.
Chris Thomas is the most recognizable name in the bunch, taken with the Revs' second-round pick. Thomas had an outstanding career at Elon, including a 23-goal senior season that left him the nation's top goalscorer in 2012. According to MLSSoccer.com, scouts seem to consider him a pure scorer and finisher, lacking any outstanding athleticism but having that innate ability to find space and put away goals. He won't be much of a target forward or really a combination player, probably, but he's proven at every previous level that he can find the back of the net.
Sanchez is an interesting case. After spending his entire collegiate career as a midfielder, the 5'9" Sanchez transitioned to center-back in his senior season. Given his lack of height, it would be a decent bet to assume that his future does not lay in defense, but the move shows a level of versatility that is attractive to many MLS teams. Sanchez made first-team All-Big East in 2012.
DeJohn was a solid defender for ODU for four seasons, without much statistical fanfare to show for it. The highlight of his college career might be scoring his only goal of 2012 in a game against George Mason that was televised on Fox Soccer Channel. DeJohn's 6' frame could buy him some extra looks in defense.
Finally, Latigue comes in with the benefit of four years of chemistry with college teammate Chris Thomas. He finished 2012 third on the team in goals (5) and second in assists (6), and the scouts on MLSSoccer.com seem to indicate that he's an excellent 1-on-1 attacker out wide. However, those same scouts wonder if he can catch up to the speed of play and players in MLS.
Out of these four players, I would have to assume the guy with the best chance of making the team is Chris Thomas. He may not have the peripheral skills of a complete forward, but if he can translate that instinctual scoring ability to the professional level, teams will always have a spot on the roster for him.
What do you guys think? Know anything about these players that we don't? Do you think any of these players will make an impact on the Revolution, either this season or in a few years?