The New England Revolution selected three players in today's 2014 MLS SuperDraft, including fourth overall pick Steve Neumann out of Georgetown and 11th overall selection Patrick Mullins from Maryland. Both first-round picks were acquired following trades that enabled the Revs to move up in the draft order.
In the first two rounds of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, the team added:
- M/F Steve Neumann (Georgetown) - first round, fourth overall
- F Patrick Mullins (Maryland) - first round, 11thoverall
- M Alec Sundly (California) - second round, 31stoverall
New England acquired the fourth overall pick and allocation money from the Columbus Crew on Monday, Jan.13, in exchange for the rights to defender Michael Parkhurst. In addition to the pre-draft trade, the Revolution acquired the 11th overall pick from Colorado earlier today, sending the Rapids its 12thand 19th picks in return.
While Neumann and Mullins signed contracts with the league prior to the SuperDraft and have been automatically added to New England's roster, Sundlywill come into preseason unsigned.
"Coming into this draft, we were looking to strengthen a couple areas, with the attacking third being our primary focus," General Manager Michael Burns said. "We feel pretty good about coming out of today with both Steve (Neumann) and Patrick (Mullins). We're looking forward to getting them both in to camp next week, and then seeing how they adjust to MLS and our group."
"Every team prepares their draft boards and when we looked at ours, I don't think we envisioned both Steve and Patrick being available to us when we just held the number 12 pick. But when they ended up being available, we thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up and drafted them," Burns said.
Neumann, 22, earned 2013 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year honors and capped his four-year career following a pair of NSCAA All-America honors as four all-conference selections, as well as a 2012 Hermann Trophy finalist nod. He scored 41 career goals and added 34 assists in 86 appearances (67 starts) for the Hoyas, spanning four seasons. He scored at least 10 goals in each of his four years at Georgetown.
Mullins, 21, is the two-time defending MAC Hermann Trophy winner, garnering national player of the year honors in both 2012 and 2013. In 92 career matches at Maryland, he scored 47 goals and added 35 assists and helped lead the Terrapins to the NCAA College Cup in both 2012 and 2013, finishing as semifinalist in 2012 and the runner-up in 2013. Mullins was a two-time first-team All-ACC performer and a two-time All-ACC Championship Most Valuable Player.
Sundly, 21, started 20 of Cal's 21 games in 2013 as a defensive midfielder, and finished the season ranked second on the Bears with 20 points (nine goals, two assists). In his career, the team captain appeared in 73 games (55 starts) while scoring 13 goals and adding three assists. He was a second-team all-conference performer as a senior this year.
"In second round with Alec (Sundly), we feel like we had a little bit of a steal there," Burns said. "He wasn't at the MLS Combine, which probably hurt him a little bit, but we've seen him play and heard a lot of good things about him, so we're looking forward to getting him into camp, too."
Jay Heaps and his staff have got to be feeling pretty good about their selections today. Neumann and Mullins add some great pieces to the Revs attack, although it remains to be seen just where the Revolution gaffer will opt to deploy them on the pitch. For Neumann, he'll most likely project as an attacking midfielder in the Revs' system and should fit nicely behind Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen on the depth chart.
Mullins' position, on the other hand, is a bit less certain. In college he made a name for himself as a second striker, or "poacher", bagging loads of goals in and around the box. However, he doesn't quite fit the classic #9 role. Since New England plays with one primary forward instead of two, Mullins' destiny in navy blue just may be out on the left wing where he's had a good amount of experience as well.
For Sundly, his role will most certainly be to provide some depth coverage at the defensive midfield position where the Revs used Scott Caldwell and Andy Dorman in 2013. Sundly might be a candidate to spend some time with the Rochester Rhinos in 2014, but if he stands out in pre-season training camp that could change. Sundly is said to have a lot of the qualities we already have come to expect from Caldwell -- tidy passing, good vision, smart challenges -- but with more size and physicality to his game.
Early chatter is that the Revolution have once again had a successful draft and it will be interesting to see how these three new additions fare in pre-season camp which opens in 9 short days.
We'll have plenty of coverage on today's draft selections here at The Bent Musket in the coming days and will of course be covering the final two rounds of the SuperDraft when they occur next Tuesday.