The time has come....Drew has fantastically broken down the players to look at (which we will use for reference in more in-depth articles coming over the next few days), and now it's time to talk 2013 MLS SuperDraft strategy for FC Dallas.
FC Dallas holds the #7 pick in the first round and the #1 (20th overall) pick in the second round (via a brilliant trade of Jeremy Hall to TFC last season). There's a few very important things to consider when talking about where FC Dallas will go in this year's draft that we should look at first.
With four drafts under Schellas Hyndman to look back at, we can begin to see the tendencies that the coach and his staff (which has largely remained the same) have when conducting the draft. In 2009, Schellas Hyndman had two first round picks and selected Generation adidas forward Peri Marosevic #5 overall and George John #14 overall.
We all know just how well one of those draft picks turned out and just how awful the other one turned out. It's provided some insight into how Hyndman has drafted since. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Hyndman selected four-year starters and defensive players in Zach Loyd, Bobby Warshaw and Matt Hedges. Now obviously some of those selections were predicated by roster holes, but Schellas has told me on and off the record that it's simply more likely that you're going to find a good defender than a good attacker in the draft.
So it seems likely that the discussion starts with looking at four-year starters and defensive players...however...
While FC Dallas isn't in the cap hell that they suffered in 2012 (Matias Jara anyone?), they're still looking to save money wherever they can and when you're looking to save money, you draft a Generation adidas player. The Generation adidas contracts (typically in the low to mid $100k's) are given to non-senior NCAA players as a way to sign underclassmen before they go to Europe for free. The caveat to these big contracts? They don't count against your salary cap until players "graduate" from Generation adidas which is decided as a player gains more and more MLS minutes.
The Generation adidas class this year is (Via Soccer by Ives): Eriq Zavaleta (college forward with rumors he will be played at defender) Indiana, Deshorn Brown F UCF, Andrew Farrell D Louisville, Walker Zimmerman D Furman, Mikey Lopez M UNC, Jason Johnson F VCU, Kekuta Manneh F Austin Aztex
We will look at the appeal of each of these individual players in the next day or two, but s you can see, there are seven players there meaning if FC Dallas wants a Generation adidas player, they are guaranteed to get one. If FC Dallas wants to save money in the draft, one of these seven players will be wearing the red and white come late January.
We've never really seen FC Dallas make a draft-day trade under Schellas Hyndman, but this year it seems like something that could be possible. While I think FCD would love to have maybe three or four of the guys on the Generation adidas list above, it wouldn't shock me to see Dallas trade down if they think they can get some allocation money to move down and get a guy they've been targeting lower in the draft.
Hell, it could even go the other way and I could certainly see a situation where FC Dallas trades up to nab their guy. With the #7 and #20 picks, I could see a scenario where Dallas packages those two picks plus maybe a little money or future draft pick to move into the top 3 or 4 if there's a player they really like. With limited roster spots and two Homegrowns already signed, it's a move that could certainly make sense.