The MLS Superdraft takes place two weeks from Thursday and it's time to begin talking about things. The first thing you have to do when looking at the draft is figuring out what the needs of Dallas are in respect to the draft strengths and the picks they have.
The draft was shortened to two rounds for 2012 with 19 teams now selecting and FC Dallas has the #11 overall pick with no second rounder having traded that pick to Sporting Kansas City in the deal that brought Kevin Hartman here.(I think we're all fine with that trade)
So with the #11 overall choice where will Dallas go?
The needs As we sort of discussed yesterday, the needs of this team right now are at outside wings and outside backs. They are very thin on the flanks once you get past the starters and Castillo so I anticipate Dallas to look out wide for the #11 overall pick. The team clearly needs a forward, but they're not going to go after a young guy with Castillo and Luna already on board.
Center back The other spot they could look is at center back as they could certainly use another warm body back there. The only problem is that all the draft reports I've read so far seem to indicate that this is a very thin center back draft class once you get past Matt Hedges of UNC. If Dallas wants a center back, they're likely best served by trading for someone, signing internationally or promoting a homegrown like Boyd Okwuono.
Read on to see what types of players Schellas looks for from the draft
To get a better feel for where FCD can look, I think it's relevant to take a look back at the three draft classes we've had under Schellas Hyndman so far.
2009 (Peri Marosevic(GA) #5 overall, George John #14 overall, Brian Shriver #27 overall)...In this draft FCD selected two players that were four year starters and then the Generation Adidas forward in Marosevic. Obviously there was one big hit in this draft with Marosevic enjoying somewhat of a renaissance in Toronto(though I would be shocked if he's in the league by 2013) and Brian Shriver who has been a serviceable lower league forward in Fort Lauderdale.
2010 (Zach Loyd #5 overall, Andrew Wiedeman(GA) #21 overall, Jason Yeisley #38 overall, Eric Alexander #44 overall, Dane Saintus #54 overall)...You'd have to say this was a fantastic draft for Hyndman and company. Any time you can draft two players that have made the national team you've done well. The jury is still out on Wiedeman who has shown upward progression in his first two MLS seasons, possibly pointing to a breakout 2012.
2011 (Bobby Warshaw #17 overall, Charlie Campbell #35 overall, Scott Gordon #53 overall)...I think FC Dallas has done pretty well in a 2011 draft that is looking to have been extremely top heavy in terms of MLS talent. Warshaw had a good rookie season learning from Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson while scoring his first goal, the game winner in Kansas City. Both Campbell and Gordon did not make the squad but had successful 2011 seasons at lower league teams in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale with Gordon basically being the last player cut from pre-season camp.
What can we learn from these three draft classes? Schellas has done very well with four year players that have performed over an extended period of time in college and he loves his team captains. George John, Zach Loyd, Eric Alexander and Bobby Warshaw all fit this bill. You see some teams go after guys that have had stellar post-seasons or impressed in big games, but FCD has generally gone after these players listed above that have been consistent performers who maybe aren't as flashy but get the job done.
Could Dallas trade for a second round pick? With a good amount of open roster spots and players like Ricardo Villar that I'm sure Schellas would love to cut for lower salary, younger guys, I think it's certainly possible that FCD could look to trade into the second round. Picking at #11, Dallas should be able to get a guy that will be a slam dunk to make the squad out of pre-season, but the gaffer will like to have more competition.