I, like many of you, were shocked with the moves made today in the MLS SuperDraft. Teams moved up, teams moved down and FC Dallas was at the heart of that.
But who is Tesho Akindele exactly? First of all he is the sixth pick in the 2014 draft. Yes, we know that much. He comes from a small Division 2 school, the Colorado School of Mines. But what FCD is really getting in Akindele is someone that they can plug in at the wings and up front with good pace and strong ability to finish.
He was his school's all-time goals leader with 76 goals scored. He ranked second in the nation in goals scored in 2012 with 22 and was named a First Team NSCAA All-American and the 2012 RMAC Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts. Also an NSCAA First Team All-American and the RMAC Freshman of the Year in 2010, Akindele was the first player in the history of his school's conference to score three consecutive hat tricks.
I talked to a couple people that saw him this year at the MLS Combine, and while the Combine isn't always a great place to truly evaluate talent, it does serve the right purpose in helping teams learn a lot about what each player brings to the table. That was no different for Akindele who showed great pace and athletic ability.
If you need some proof, here is a video MLS put together on him:
MLS also had a nice blurb from various coaches about him as well, some good points to look at here.
"Colorado kid ... Athletic. Can turn if given time ... Very, very good athlete. He's a good kid ... Hope it's not deer in the headlights at the Combine against guys with tactical awareness ... Powerful, strong athlete who looks the part. Scores goals if given chances. Transition game suits him well. He can turn and run at you then he's a handful ... Would question tactical awareness ... Work rate is questionable and handling pressure on his back is questionable."
FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo said they ended up with a guy that they wanted. From the club's press release, Akindele was a guy that can play multiple spots for the team.
"Tesho is a great addition to our team, said Clavijo. "He is someone who can play up top or out wide. He's an intelligent, attacking player who is very physical. He likes to work on both sides of the ball. He is young with a huge ceiling and he likes to take people on one-on-one. He comes from a school where his coach likes his players to work extremely hard. We're never going to have to tell him that he needs to work harder off the ball."
I'll have more tomorrow morning on the moves that they made to get him but he obviously showed well enough at the Combine and during the year to Oscar Pareja (who had to see him some while he was in Colorado) to get him drafted this high.