We can talk about best players, who's doing well, who's fading and who's going to go Generation adidas, but the most important thing when it comes to the draft is what strategy FC Dallas will take.
I wrote about it yesterday for FCDallas.com and the truth is that this year's draft is almost impossible to call. Last year's draft was a slam dunk. They needed a center back, had one mid-round pick to get it right, and when Matt Hedges was there they made their pick and got the hell out of dodge with one of the best values of the draft.
This year things aren't nearly as simple as Dallas has the #7 and #20 overall picks as well as a roster that really has spots all over the field that need reinforcement. I've thought of five different scenarios that could happen on Thursday morning and I figured I'd just discuss each of them and rank them in the order of likelihood of happening from least likely to most likely.
5. FCD Packages the Picks to Move Up
I'm not a GM, but I would think that the #7 and #20 overall pick could move Dallas into the top 3 or 4, especially at #3 to a team like Toronto who may target a Canadian they think they can get at #7 overall while picking up a second rounder.
You see it in the NFL draft all the time where a team moves down a few spots, earning another pick in the process and I'd like to think the #20 overall pick would be fairly enticing to some teams. When you think that roster spots could be tight for FCD, this is a move that would make since if they absolutely want one of the Generation adidas forwards and don't want to take a chance of them all getting snatched up before Dallas is on the clock.
4. Dallas Grabs a GA Forward
I'm just not sure how likely it is that Dallas goes after yet another young forward. Dallas needs one more speedy, slasher-type forward and both Kekutah Manneh and Deshorn Brown fit that bill, but I asked Schellas a few days ago about drafting Generation adidas. He said something to the effect that Dallas doesn't need anymore younger players and they really need players who can contribute quickly.
3. Another Versatile Defender
It's not sexy and will probably draw some groans from the peanut gallery, but the fact is that Schellas Hyndman has been very impressive with his drafting of defenders. Pretty much every defender picked in the first round by Hyndman has been a hit and if Dallas sees someone they like, I doubt that they'll hesitate to pull the trigger. A lot of this is contingent on whether or not Ugo Ihemelu can play next year, as if he can't then you really would do well to grab another player who can fill in both at center back and outside back. I still expect Dallas to address this at #20 overall rather than #7.
2. Add Depth on the Wings
FCD is about as top-heavy as it can get on the wings. They have perhaps the best trio on one team in the league in Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo and Jackson, however there is pretty much nothing after that. Ricardo Villar is hardly an MLS-caliber player on the wings. With the #7 overall pick, Dallas could take a player like Erik Hurtado of Santa Clara who has been hugely impressive at the combine. Ideally, FCD could get a player that can play on the wings while filling in at forward in a 4-4-2 if needed.
1. Draft a 2-way Midfielder
Once a huge strength of the team, the spine of midfield is beginning to look a little sparse. David Ferreira and Andrew Jacobson are cornerstones of the team, but Peter Luccin is a huge question mark. While I expect big things from Bobby Warshaw in the future, there's really not a 2-way midfielder to fill in if the reliable Jacobson goes down.
I anticipate FCD either going for Dillon Powers or John Stertzer at the #7 pick as both of them offer 4-year MLS-ready talent that offer an offensive tint to their game that is lacking from a player like Bobby Warshaw. Drafting either of these guys at #7 wouldn't really be a stretch and it certainly seems to be the most likely option.
As I noted in my FCDallas.com story, there really are a ton of different ways Dallas can go and it is a luxury. I could handle Dallas moving up to grab the player they want, trading out of the position for some allocation money or filling needs at one of about 9 spots on the field.