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Oscar Pareja and Dave Dir were both featured on MLS' SuperDraft series 'Inside The SuperDraft'.
Four new players will be in camp for the Colorado Rapids following the Supplemental Draft, but they're all longshots to make the roster.
The MLS Supplemental Draft will happen today, here's a few guys the Rapids could pick.
Just about every analyst on the internet was a fan of the draft moves made by the Colorado Rapids, and they're getting accolades in the draft grades around the web.
Burgundy Wave spoke to Rapids technical director Paul Bravo following the draft, and got some insight as to who the Rapids were looking for, a few player roles for the future, trade talks that got nixed and more.
The Rapids cap off their draft (or do they?) by announcing officially that their most anticipated Academy product, Dillon Serna, has signed a Homegrown Player contract.
A source reportedly told Union blog The Brotherly Game that they were trying to trade up to snag the former Reading United player.
I spoke to Dillon Powers briefly after he was drafted by the Colorado Rapids, asking a few questions given to me by Twitter.
The Colorado Rapids will more than likely be using DeShorn Brown as a center forward for the future.
Colorado selected attacking full back Kory Kindle with the 25th overall pick in the draft.
The Colorado Rapids selected Dillon Powers with the 11th overall pick in the draft.
The Colorado Rapids selected DeShorn Brown with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
The 2013 MLS Draft is today, and the Colorado Rapids have two picks in the Top 11.
On Episode 33 of the dirtiest podcast in football, we chat about the upcoming 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
Who do you want the Colorado Rapids to draft on Thursday?
Kekuta Manneh is one of the biggest mysteries of the 2013 MLS Draft. The speedy Gambian came into the draft combine with a GA contract under his belt, and he proceeded to do quite well for himself at the combine, but nobody is quite sure just how high in the draft he's going to go.
With his finishing ability and great ability to run, the 18-year-old is almost certainly a first round pick in the making, but will he go up before the Rapids can even think about picking him? Or will he suffer from a slide down the draft board the same way that highly touted GA member Enzo Martinez did last year before being picked up by Real Salt Lake?
Manneh is somewhat low on my list for the same reason that DeShorn Brown is: he's a speed option on the outside, the same sort of thing that the Rapids just picked up with the Kevin Harbottle deal nearing completion. Comparing the small amount of film of both guys, I think I like Manneh's upside a bit better, and would probably take him if all my other favorite options were off the board at No. 6.
But then, I'm not in charge of the draft board for the Rapids for a reason!
This season's SB Nation MLS Mock Draft did not include me thanks to a medical misadventure, but it's still an interesting mock as usual.
Paul Bravo seemed to indicate before the draft that the Rapids could go for the best player available, eschewing their needs.
OK, so I still don't think that DeShorn Brown is the most likely pick for Colorado if they go for a forward.
You may recall that back when Ives mock drafted DeShorn Brown to the Rapids, I had concerns with the fact that he is a Jamaican international and would therefore use up one of our international slots. Being under a GA contract, that's probably not going to matter as much any more, but I still have one concern that makes me think he won't be going to Colorado -- the Kevin Harbottle signing (assuming it goes down) will add essentially the same sort of thing to the roster.
I'm assuming they're going to want to use their pick on someone who can contribute as much as Tony Cascio did last season, and Brown will probably get 1/3 of those minutes with all the competition at the outside striker position. More likely in my mind that they go with a guy who can play the center forward spot like Jason Johnson.
Anyway, if the Rapids do pick Brown it's not likely they'll regret the pick in the future. Brown is a very speedy forward with good finishing and a ton of upside who will probably excel on the outside in the same way we expected Omar Cummings to. It may take him a while to get used to MLS, but he has the talent to be the best striker from the lot in this year's batch. He didn't play much college ball, but he got plenty of playing time elsewhere, notably some club ball in Jamaica.
Also, he's decidedly not from Happy News.
Out of all of the players we're previewing in this little series before the 2013 MLS Draft, Mikey Lopez is probably the one that I would be the most surprised to see the Rapids pick up. Lopez played in the center of midfield for the North Carolina Tarheels as he helped lead them to the 2011 National Title, but his specialty is holding midfielder.
The Rapids don't need a holding midfielder, or any generic box to box midfielder really. There is enough depth for two teams on the Rapids right now in the back, which means that Lopez would never see the field. (I assume he wouldn't be able to out-play Hendry Thomas, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni and Nathan Sturgis. Shane O'Neill might be on par with him as well, who knows?) Colorado has made it pretty clear that they want to get contributors in this year's draft -- they're scouting it very, very heavily -- and a fourth string DM probably isn't top of the list with the No. 6 pick.
There are two things that might be going for him:
But yeah, past those two things, it's probably quite unlikely that we'll see Lopez on the Rapids come January 17th. But then, it's the MLS SuperDraft and what do I know?
It seems to be down to Walker Zimmerman and Andrew Farrell for the 'best defender' title in the 2013 MLS Draft. Both are center backs, though Ferrell has the added bonus of being able to slot into the midfield with little to no problem. His junior year with the Louisville Cardinals, he did just that, playing both midfield and CB interchangeably throughout the year.
Ferrell is a solid, physical defender who can also help out a bit on the offense, a perfect sort of guy for the Rapids right now at CB. He seems to be tabbed as a guy who can possibly start right away in MLS, which is something that the Rapids should be looking at if they decide to use Diego Calderon as a left back. A back line of Calderon, Drew Moor, Farrell and Marvell Wynne sounds pretty good to me.
As a GA signing, Ferrell is going to be in high demand and might not even make it far enough down the board for the Rapids to take a look at him -- many mock drafts have Ferrell going No. 1 overall to Toronto, or No. 3 overall if they go instead for a different No. 1 prospect. Man, it must be nice to have two picks in the Top 3 of the draft, eh?
Walker Zimmerman is probably the best defensive prospect in the 2013 MLS draft. (The argument seems to be between him and Andrew Ferrell, who is more of a defender/midfield hybrid.) He's big, can score and has JaVale McGee levels of upside. (Let's just ignore how much of that upside McGee has actually delivered upon for the purposes of this.)
Past Zimmerman, there are still plenty of solid options that the Rapids could go for if Zimmerman is taken in the Top 5, which he likely will be. West Virginia's Eric Schoenle is one of them.
Schoenle has dropped down the draft boards a bit after a less-than-perfect senior year with the Mountaineers, but that was a bad year for the entire team, not just him. The biggest knock on him is his size -- though he is 6'2'', he is a slight 150 pounds, which might not be enough for a center back.
Even with the size concern, it shouldn't be too much of an ask for him to bulk up a bit for the MLS level, and he is a talented defender who was in the Generation Adidas discussion a season ago. It might be considered a 'reach' to grab him at No. 6, but it's the MLS Draft, where everything might as well be a reach.
The 2013 MLS Combine will begin on Friday.
VCU forward Jason Johnson getting a Generation Adidas contract could put him pretty high on a lot of team draft board, and perhaps put him in the discussion for the Colorado Rapids at No. 6 overall.
Colorado could certainly use someone with his skill-set -- he seems like the type of forward who could play both on the outside and as Edson Buddle's back-up in the center forward spot.
He's big enough to hold off people, he can pass the ball, he can pick up loose balls in the midfield, he's solid off the ball and his finishing certainly isn't bad. Johnson put in 13 goals and tacked on six assists his senior year for the Rams, and those are the sorts of numbers that I'm sure we would all love to see from whoever our center forward of the future happens to be. Here, have a video!
The biggest problem with Jason Johnson's draft stock is the fact that he is a Jamaican International, which means he will take up an international slot on whatever team he ends up with. Why is that an issue? Teams the past few years have been very reluctant to draft international players, so there's reason to be concerned that he will perhaps fall to the Supplemental rounds. (Remember when Ashley McInnes, Dan Keat and Michael Boxall were first round prospects in 2011? Or Kohei Yamada in 2012?) Fortunately for him, having a Generation Adidas deal will probably kill any of that stigma off pretty damn quickly.
Though, the guy is apparently from a town in Jamaica called 'Happy News'. How could you say no to that?
Walker Zimmerman is one of those guys who might not even fall down to where the Rapids are picking at No. 6, but we have to cover him anyway because he might be the best man for the job if the Rapids were able to pluck out anyone they wanted, their pick or not.
Zimmerman is a big 6'3'' center back who can not only stop other teams from scoring at the back, but knock in a goal or two on his own. That's a player archetype that the Rapids have been lacking since they lost Julien Baudet after the 2010 season, and it's a player that they have very much needed since Baudet flew the coop.
The fact that he is on a Generation Adidas contract makes him an even more attractive candidate to go to Colorado.
If Zimmerman comes in, he might have the talent to be the next Austin Berry -- in other words, I think that he could probably start right away. Check out this back four:
Now that's not bad. But will Zimmerman fall to No. 6? Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
Nobody seems to be quite sure where exactly Jose Gomez is going to go in the 2013 MLS Draft. The kid is most certainly a special talent in the midfield, and could be another creative force for the Colorado Rapids, but he was a bit flat in the College Cup as his Blue Jays lost in the semi-final. A bad combine could end up sinking him to the bottom of the first round, but there's plenty of chance that he'll be on the radar at No. 6.
Gomez has been a perennial MVP candidate for the always strong Blue Jays, and is tabbed as a Martin Rivero type player. That is to say, a creative engine in the midfield who will have the ball often and make things happen on the offense. He put together six goals and nine assists this year in 24 appearances.
Does Colorado need a Gomez type player? It's hard to say. If they sign Eric Avila (which they might have by the time this gets posted, who knows?) they will have the back-up to Rivero that they were lacking last season. Jaime Castrillon would have to be either benched or moved into a less comfortable position on the field if Gomez and Rivero were going to play together, so that might not work either.
It's going to depend on how much Oscar Pareja thinks he's going to need that depth on the attacking side of the ball, in the end. Or if Oscar Pareja just thinks that Gomez is too good a prospect to let slide. Perhaps Gomez can be turned into an outside striker type?
If you're looking to pick up a solid player in the 2013 MLS Draft, why not go with a guy who has set records at his school?
Sure, the Elon Phoenixes aren't exactly a team that makes most people quake in their boots, but senior Chris Thomas is a special player. Thomas set the record for the most goals by an Elon player only 10 games into the 2012 season and continued on his pace after that, shattering it in the end. His final tally was 23 goals and five assists, not bad in a 22-game season!
His pedigree extends to a big batch of awards won by the guy, as well as a rare national ranking for the Phoenixes.
If Thomas were drafted by the Rapids, he would likely be groomed as Edson Buddle's back-up at the center forward position, probably the biggest offensive need. He certainly has the skills to pay the bills: he can move the ball around and earn an assist or two up top, has good skills with his head and, most importantly, knows how to finish even when under pressure. There would be few complaints having a guy like that under Buddle's tutelage next season.
Video of Chris Thomas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw1M0xy7jdM
Edit: It was just announced that Zavaleta will indeed be a Generation Adidas member.
If the Rapids are looking for their center forward of the future, Eriq Zavaleta could be the way they look come draft day, though his actual status in the draft is a bit unclear at the moment. Though he only just finished his sophomore year, he proved himself to be a powerhouse forward for the Hoosiers during their National Title-winning season in 2012.
Zavaleta is big, strong and put the ball in the back of the net seemingly at will last year. 18 goals and four assists for a National Title contender certainly is nothing to sneeze at.
The biggest problem with thinking that Zavaleta might go high in the draft is that he is still possibly an unfinished product. He's barely scraping 21 years old and is probably still transitioning from his old position of center back into a full-fledged forward.
As of this writing, he also hasn't signed a Generation Adidas contract, though he's rumored to be getting one. Teams will have to pay for him even if they think he'll require a year off to figure his game out at the big league level if he doesn't.
Still, the potential is there and the Rapids could use someone with his skills. And hey, if he doesn't end up working out at the forward position, there's always the possibility to move him back to center back. That's like getting two prospects for the price of one!
Mikey Lopez is Colorado's draft target in the latest TopDrawerSoccer mock draft.
Do you want to see a new forward or defender in Colorado after the MLS Draft?
Apparently Soccer By Ives thinks that the Rapids are going to pick DeShorn Brown in the SuperDraft. Ives is about as wrong as he can be about the pick, sadly.
Colorado will have five picks in the Supplemental Round of the 2013 draft.
Jose Gomez, a possible pick for the Rapids in the 2013 MLS Draft, had a pretty blah performance against Indiana in the College Cup.
With the LA Galaxy winning the MLS Cup, the 2013 MLS Draft order has been finalized.
What positions should the Rapids focus on in the 2013 Draft, and with which picks should those positions be focused on? Defense should be a focus, but what about the oft-talked about attacking midfielder position they are being linked with?
The Rapids cut a lot of players on the defense this week. With that in mind, perhaps it would do them well to pick up a defender in the SuperDraft, if only because they sorely need the depth.
It's mock draft season! In our first mock of the year, Top Drawer Soccer has Colorado selecting Jose Gomez out of Creighton.
Chicago will be giving the Rapids their natural second round draft pick this year thanks to the Wells Thompson trade.
Following the 2012 season, the Colorado Rapids are the sixth worst team in the league and will get the sixth overall pick in the upcoming SuperDraft.