It’s that time of year again, where the great minds who cover Major League Soccer for SB Nation gather round that the chat room and play general manager or team president for an hour.
This is always one of my favorite times of the year because it means that preseason (and eventually the 2019 regular season) is right around the corner and draft day is where a lot of trades and other moves can happen.
Sadly, the SBN Mock Draft does not have trades. All we can do is use our picks in the standard order to fill holes where we think our team has them. This year we’re just doing the first round, the first twenty four picks to keep our speculative efforts from getting out of hand in the second round.
The New England Revolution have two picks in the first round, the #9 (natural selection) and the #11 (Vancouver’s pick from the Kei Kamara trade) for the 2019 SuperDraft in Chicago this Friday, January 11th.
Here’s the short version on my strategy for this year’s selections - First, no strikers. Between new addition Juan Caicedo, Teal Bunbury, Cristian Penilla, Juan Agudelo and Brian Wright the Revs should have enough options up front at striker. Wright and Femi Hollinger-Janzen (now with the Birmingham
New England South Legion) barely got on the field so unless the Revs are prepared to stash a first round pick in the USL for a year, going for another young striker seems pointless.
Second, I think I’m looking for a utility midfield option to replace Kelyn Rowe and likely compete with Issac Angking for minutes this year. If Juan Caicedo, Penilla and Fagundez are likely full-time starters for striker, left wing, and CAM respectively, that leaves the young guys battling with Bunbury and Agudelo for minutes off the bench at the other wing spot. Also, defenders. Lots of defenders, all positions, particularly from the later rounds.
Without further ado, the (projected) newest members of the 2019 New England Revolution:
#9 NE – Sergio Rivas, M, Seattle Univ
When looking for a playmaker to replace Kelyn Rowe, you could do a lot worse than the 5’11’’/ 170 lbs senior from New Mexico. Led the Seattle Univ Redhawks in scoring in 2017 with 6 goals and had 4 goals and a team leading 11 assists in his 2018 senior year. Players who have the capability of playing in a #10 role in the draft usually go near the top, but if Rivas falls to the Revs here I think it would be a solid option either off the bench or as a candidate for loan to the USL.
#10 DAL - John Nelson, D, North Carolina
Curse you Big D Soccer and Jason Poon, I might have moved up the spot too for some pocket change in allocation...actually surprised the talented Tar Heel left back fell that far. Anyway...
#11 NE – Marcello Borges, D, Michigan
At this point, there are a number of very solid fullback options available on the board but I was looking for a left back in particular. With Brandon Bye seemingly locking up the other backup fullback spot, it makes sense to find someone to back up Edgar Castillo especially if the Revs move on from Gabriel Somi as has been rumored.
Borges is a USYNT player with U20 experience and a former RBNY academy prospect that started his collegiate career as a winger but moved to the backline a few years ago. Borges racked up 10 total assists in 50 starts and 61 total appearances for the Wolverines and is described as an intelligent passer though maybe lacks a little bit in overall athleticism.
The full SBN MLS 2019 First Round Mock Draft went like this. For the full write ups on each team’s selection(s) visit the other team sites or check out the MLS SuperDraft SuperGroup for all the posts.
1. CIN – Tajon Buchanon, F, Syracuse
2. SJ – Frankie Amaya, M, UCLA
3. ORL – Callum Montgomery, D, Charlotte
4. DAL – Siad Haji, M, VCU
5. CHI – Akeem Ward, D, Creigton
6. TOR – Dayne St. Clair, GK, Maryland
7. MIN – Brad Dunwell, M, Wake Forest
8. HOU – Griffin Dorsey, F, Dorsey
9. NE – Sergio Rivas, M, Seattle Univ
10. DAL – John Nelson, D, North Carolina
11. NE – Marcello Borges, D, Michigan
12. LA – Prosper Figbe, D, Virginia
13. PHI – JJ Williams, F, Kentucky
14. DC – Logan Gdula, D, Wake Forest
15. COL – Andre Shinyashiki, F, Denver
16. LAFC – Wouter Verstraaten, D, Pacific
17. RSL – DeJuan Jones, D/F, Michigan State
18. CLB – Ryan Sierakowski, Michigan State
19. NYC – Santiago Patiño, F, Florida Int’l
20. SEA – Hassani Dotson, M, Oregon State
21. SKC – Camden Riley, M/F, Pacific
22. RBNY – Peter-Lee Vassell, M, Jamaica MNT
23. POR – Abdi Mohamed, D/M, Akron
24. ATL – Rece Buckmaster, D, Indiana