The New England Revolution had two picks during the first two round of the MLS SuperDraft. The club selected Brandon Bye of Western Michigan with the 8th pick before grabbing Mark Segbers of Wisconsin just one pick later. The two players are similar, as they’re both athletic and versatile individuals who are projected to be defenders at the next level.
So, how did the Revs do during day one of the MLS SuperDraft? Our staff weighs in.
Maybe I’m drinking the Revs Kool-Aid, but selecting Bye and Segbers makes sense to me on many levels. As Jeff Lemieux reported, the Revs purposefully targeted American players via the SuperDraft, leaving the door open for international signings on the international market. In Major League Soccer’s era of increased TAM and with Remi Roy on board as lead scot, this is a smart decision vis a vis the global stage.
With Bye and Segbers, the Revs get two of the top midfielders in all of college soccer last year, ones who are extremely versatile. From being on the ground in Philadelphia, general manager Mike Burns and head coach Brad Friedel both hailed how these right-sided players could play in midfield, as wingers, or as outside backs.
It’s that latter position which should pique the interest of Revs’ fans, as Bye and Segbers have both recently gotten increased minutes at outside back. Translation: They’re going to push Andrew Farrell for minutes and cause him to sink or swim, meaning the six-year veteran will raise his game or be surpassed on the depth chart. Farrell at right back, a virtual constant under Jay Heaps’ reign, isn’t a guarantee by any means for Friedel’s version of the Revs.
As a criticism, one has to question why the Revs glossed over some domestic talents with the 8th and 9th picks in the first round. Wyatt Omsberg (Maine native, Dartmouth grad, center back) and Chris Lema (New Jersey native, Georgetown grad, center mid) jump off the page to me, and both play in positions of need. Both are rated relatively highly, but ultimately this point is being nitpicky.
The Revs have two highly-rated players in Bye and Segbers, and yes they could have done more with their picks. They could have bundled them together for a trade or gone elsewhere, but instead opted for the smart move. The 2018 Revs’ roster needs bodies, depth on the right side, young talent and room with international slots to make moves on the international market. Those areas were all addressed in Philly, and now it’s up for the Revs to make more moves, especially during a time when the SuperDraft has fewer and fewer surefire players available.
Listen, success in the SuperDraft is completely random. You can do all the scouting you want but there’s no way to know for sure that a player will turn into a legit star. This is why I fully appreciate what the Revs did this year.
Friedel and company chose Bye and Segbers, two athletic right-sided players who are projected to be defenders at the next level. Instead of picking two guys that play different positions, the Revolution brain trust decided to double down at one position, and I like that. Bye and Segbers will serve as natural competition for each other as they look to earn a spot on the roster and, if they’re lucky, minutes on the field.
Will either player be a success? Who knows. But the Revs definitely increased their odds at finding a backup to Andrew Farrell by selecting two right backs.
I am not a college soccer expert, I just happen to play one The Bent Musket once a year because I enjoy it. This grade is all about value, and the New England Revolution picking two fullback/right-sided players graded at the back of the first round with back to back picks in the top ten of the draft is just bad value. You can easily convince me that the Revs needed another right back on the depth chart and taking one is a fine idea. But two? I’m sorry, I don’t get it, and if Travis Clark has this reaction to the Revs selections, I’d like to think this grade isn’t far off.
My grade of the Revolution's last two picks: LOL— Travis Clark (@travismclark) January 19, 2018
With prospects Mo Adams (CDM, Syracuse), Ema Twumasi (M/F, Wake Forest) and Wyatt Omsberg (CB, Dartmouth) all taken just a few picks after the Revs at 10, 11 and 15 respectively, any one of those players would have made this a decent draft class in my opinion. I still would’ve thought either Bye or Segbers would be a bit of a reach, though maybe understandable with Tristan Blackmon out of Pacific going third overall. But the possible reach would’ve been offset by shoring up another spot on the roster/depth chart instead of possibly reaching twice at the same position. I hope both players get time on the right side for the Revs this year because I want them to succeed individually of course, but I still can’t shake the feeling that this wasn’t a good draft by New England.