Major League Soccer and New England Revolution fans have long been clamoring for their beloved league to return, and that date will soon be upon them. To be exact, Jan. 14 sweeps in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, Maryland.
Many of the nation's best college soccer players will convene at the Baltimore Convention Center, hoping to hear their name called and make their professional dreams a reality. Before the fun commences, The Bent Musket has a complete run down of the proceedings, ranging from players to watch to how the Revs have drafted in the past.
Without further ado, read on for what's in store and who could soon be playing alongside the likes of Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, Andrew Farrell and more.
When Do The Revs Pick?
The draft's order goes from worst to best, much like the NFL rewards teams who didn't fare so well in the previous season. With that mechanism in mind, the Revs finished 10th best in the 20th season of America's top flight.
Therefore, the Revs are naturally allotted the 10th pick in each of the four rounds, but there's one minor hiccup to note. Their fourth round selection (pick #71) was traded in February 2014 to the Vancouver Whitecaps for the rights to Daigo Kobayashi. A proven veteran for a flier in the fourth round? Seems like a fair trade to me.
- Round 1 - Pick #10
- Round 2 - Pick #30
- Round 3 - Pick #51
- Round 4 - Pick was traded to Vancouver
Positions of Need
As things stand, London Woodberry and Chris Tierney are the only two natural outside backs on Jay Heaps' roster for the 2016 season. Outside of that, Donnie Smith and Darrius Barnes provide admirable cover, but the former is far from proven and the latter is coming off a knee operation. The position needs more definitives and fewer question marks.
The partnership between Jose Goncalves and Farrell is likely here to stay, but the options are somewhat bleak after that. As mentioned above, Barnes is coming off a knee injury and Woodberry somewhat lacks the physical frame to deputize at the heart of defense. Truth be told, the Revs are one injury or suspension away from becoming porous in front of Bobby Shuttleworth, and the SuperDraft is a great way to add depth.
With the Jermaine Jones situation up in the air, Scott Caldwell, Steve Neumann and Kobayashi are the only players on the roster who can shield the back four and free up Lee Nguyen's creative brilliance. Add on the fact that all three have somewhat limited range, and the need for a key addition becomes all that more glaring.
Charlie Davies, Juan Agudelo and Sean Okoli is a great core up front, but there needs to be more. Step in someone who can give the aforementioned trio an occasional rest. Hey, who knows what can come of a college striker. The next Chris Wondolowski (41st pick in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft) could be out there.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Revs Draft History
The SuperDraft has been particularly fruitful in years past for the Revs. Everyone loves a big-name signing from the top European leagues, but shrewd mining of the collegiate pool is effective in a league where the NCAA still plays a big role.
Below are some notable selections, stretching back five years.
- 2011: A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy
- 2012: Kelyn Rowe
- 2013: Andrew Farrell, Donnie Smith
- 2014: Steve Neumann, Patrick Mullins
- 2015: Picks directly or indirectly resulted in Teal Bunbury, Sean Okoli, Brad Knighton and Jeremy Hall
Generation Adidas Signings
MLS and Adidas partnered in 1997 to establish the Generation Adidas initiative. It guarantees contracts to a small group of "elite" college talent each year.
This year's edition includes seven players, all of whom exerted dominance over their respective conferences. Perhaps one will fall to New England at #10.
- Julian Buescher - Midfielder - Syracuse University
- Jack Harrison - Midfielder - Wake Forest University
- Fabian Herbers - Forward - Creighton University
- Omar Holness - Midfielder - University of North Carolina
- Richie Laryea - Midfielder - Akron University
- Andrew Tarbell - Goalkeeper - Clemson University
- Joshua Yaro - Defender - Georgetown University