WIth the upcoming MLS Superdraft on January 13th, it's time to start looking at a couple of the possible prospects that the Colorado Rapids might select with their 18th overall pick in the first round. I've gone around and asked a few people with the knowledge of their schools and players about the prospects I think are prime guys for the Rapids selection. Today is Tulsa's Ashley McInnes, using information from nowhere in particular because seriously, there aren't any Tulsa bloggers on the internet, let alone ones interested in talking with me.
Groomed originally for SPL club Aberdeen FC up in Scotland, Ashley McInnes is a skilled midfielder/forward combo and the guy who SoccerbyIves thinks the Rapids will pick according to his latest mock draft. Although I couldn't find any real sources of information from fellow bloggers on Ashley, the resoruces of the internet - like a highlight video - as well as other statistics have given me insight on this possible draft selection.
Although not the size of your average player at only 5'8'' and 155 pounds, McInnes has some fantastic speed and would be a welcome addition to the depth on the wing or perhaps even at striker for the Rapids. His statistics don't lie, with 40+ starts in 50+ games for Tulsa's fairly strong soccer squad over his college career he has scored a boatload of points, averaging over a point per game with 54 total - 18 goals, 18 assists. He also led the C-USA in shots for two of his playing years, a good quality in a guy with some goal scoring ability.
Taking a look at the highlight video, he's got some pretty good scoring touch as some of those goals he scored looked quite spectacular. As I pointed out in my last column about Jason Herrick, I like a guy with good finishing touch to be playing for my team even with other flaws. Ashley seems like a Wells Thompson sort of player to me, good at everything but not superb at anything - except unlike Wells we see a lot more offensive flair and probably less defensive stability and versatility out of Ashley. A perfect addition to the Rapids style of midfield with the two holding mids in the center and two strong, fast attackers on the wings.
The biggest flaw in his game that I could see was that his service into the box left something to be desired, but that can be fixed. Perhaps going under the tutelage of our other Scottish service-master Jamie Smith would be in order? Time in the developmental league will obviously be nessecary for Ashley if drafted, but I think that with the skills I've seen from him he might be able to get a handful of first team appearances in the league, perhaps even in a league game rather than just throw-away appearances in the Open Cup or CCL's very early stages. Career potential for him would look to be at best a more steady version of Jamie Smith, and in MLS that's really all you need.