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 Dartmouth's Daniel Keat, with some words about the player from Dartmouth Men's soccer head coach Jeff Cook.
This was certainly partially brought on by the mock draft that I posted earlier in the week featuring Daniel Keat as the Colorado Rapids' selection at 18th overall. My immediate take was that I wasn't sure the Rapids would take him because he was listed as a basic central midfielder. Taking a closer look, he might be more likely than we think, especially if Gary Smith is in the mood to add to his stash of good versatile midfielders and Anthony Ampapitakwong is out of his reach. (Protip: Ampapitakwong will be out of his reach.)
Here's some words from the guy who knows Keat best, his head coach Jeff Cook;
Daniel has been outstanding here at Dartmouth and has been a big factor in the success of our program during his career. He has an incredible work ethic and appetite to compete, Daniel's high level of endurance allows him to cover a great deal of ground during a match, a true box-to-box midfielder! He has an excellent passing range and is very good at breaking into the box to score goals, he has over 20 goals during his career at Dartmouth and I have no doubt that he can bring that skill to MLS.
His offensive abilities mixed with his ability to pass well and no shortage of defensive ability are probably the things that make Keat such an interesting prospect for the Rapids to consider drafting. Although Pablo Mastroeni is the more defensive style of Box to Box midfielder, Daniel Keat would most likely be groomed in the development league into the next prototypical version of that with more offensive flair, though sacrificing some of the defensive mastery that Mastroeni possesses. Combined with a great defensive Jeff Larentowicz type the system wouldn't have to change much to accommodate for his different abilities.
It's an interesting question, will Gary Smith draft a guy like Keat - certainly built to be a CAM in MLS - not only with Davy Armstrong already on the team? If Keat is the best player available, I would advocate for that for sure. If not, my doubts are still up that he will be the Rapids target but I've been proven wrong before and a talent like Keat certainly couldn't hurt the team being picked in the first round.