The New England Revolution have few positions that are true "holes," but depth is an issue almost across the board. It was apparent at the end of the 2013 season that some of the second- and third-choice rotation and bench players on the roster weren't up to snuff, so no matter where the Revs decide to go in the SuperDraft, they'll likely be addressing a need. With that in mind, after looking at the landscape available in this mock draft, we went with J.J. Koval as New England's first pick.
Many will argue that the most urgent needs for the Revs are strikers, goalkeepers, and width (probably in that order, too), but the defensive midfield position is one that could also use addressing in the offseason. Scott Caldwell worked hard and did well in making the position his own, but there were times where his lack of size was an issue, and Koval (whose nearest comparison is Jeff Larentowicz) is a look to the future in addressing that.
What New England will be looking for in the draft: The Revs have been pretty mum (shocker) about what their targets in the draft will be, but their greatest needs probably don't like in the center of midfield. That said, with their first pick coming in at 12, it's unlikely they'll get an impact forward, and with Andre Blake likely to go early, too, it's possible they'll look to midfield or defense.
Who the experts say the Revs will pick: There are several schools of thought on this, though both the MLSSoccer.com pundits and Soccer By Ives seem convinced that forward is the way to go, predicting Mackenzie Pridham and Steve Neumann, respectively. Top Drawer Soccer seems more in line with what we're thinking, predicting that Generation Adidas midfielder Marlon Hairston will be the way to go, a pick we actually agree with if he's available.
Why I'm invariably wrong: My pick was based almost completely on who was available at that moment in the draft - and if I could do it all over again, I'd have picked Ben Sweat, who fell all the way to 18 in the SBN Mock Draft. So there's that. Also, no one has any real idea who the Revs are looking for in this draft.
Why I'm smarter than the pundits: Everyone (except Top Drawer) is convinced the Revs are going forward to replace Juan Agudelo and help shoulder the scoring load. Really, though, the Revs seem far more likely to go through other player acquisition avenues to get a productive striker, as that's where they've had the most success recently at that position. New England's track record with midfield and defensive draftees is much better, and at the 12th pick, the most impactful forwards will probably be gone.
Full Mock Draft results (click on player names to see the profiles)
|1. D.C. United||Black and Red United||Patrick Mullins|
|2. Philadelphia Union||Brotherly Game||Steve Neumann|
|3. Vancouver Whitecaps||86 Forever||Andre Blake|
|4. Columbus Crew||Massive Report||Steve Birnbaum|
|5. FC Dallas||Big D Soccer||Christian Dean|
|6. Union||Brotherly Game||Marlon Hairston|
|7. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Damion Lowe|
|8. Chicago Fire||Hot Time In Old Town||Grant Van De Casteele|
|9. San Jose Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Eric Miller|
|10. Montreal Impact||Mount Royal Soccer||A.J Corrado|
|11. Colorado Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Schillo Tshuma|
|12. New England Revolution||The Bent Musket||JJ Koval|
|13. Seattle Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Aodhan Quinn|
|14. LA Galaxy||LAG Confidential||Fifi Baiden|
|15. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||AJ Cochran|
|16. Houston Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Mamadou Diouf|
|17. Portland Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Reinaldo Brenes|
|18. Real Salt Lake||RSL Soapbox||Ben Sweat|
|19. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Marco Franco|
|20. Chivas USA||The Goat Parade||Enrique Cardenas|
|21. Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Taylor Peay|
|22. New York Red Bulls||Once a Metro||Pete Caringi|
|23. Crew||Massive Report||Pedro Ribeiro|
|24. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||Joey Dillon|
|25. Union||Brotherly Game||Jared Watts|
|26. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Kevin Cope|
|27. Union||Brotherly Game||Kyle Venter|
|28. Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Mackenzie Pridham|
|29. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Jimmy Ockford|
|30. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Nikita Kotlov|
|31. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Victor Chavez|
|32. Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Kristopher Tyrpak|
|33. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Rafael Diaz|
|34. Red bulls||Once a Metro||Alex Martinez|
|35. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Zach Bolden|
|36. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Mark Sherrod|
|37. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Michael Calderon|
|38. Sporting Kansas City||The Daily Wiz|