The MLS SuperDraft is next Thursday. Let that thought sink in for a moment. The calendar turned to January and bam, we're already at the draft.
In years past I would gear up in a big way for the annual draft. I love the college game (flaws and all) and would also be curious to see how my mock drafts would pan out.
Over the course of the last couple years, the excitement has began to fade a bit. Maybe it had a lot to do with the lack of talent in the draft that was available for FC Dallas last year, or just the fact that more and more players are going to come through the academy system than through the draft. Many teams these days just aren't building through the draft like they once were.
I'm not advocating the draft to be ditched by any stretch. I still see the value in finding that rare gem of a player in a late round. I also see the value of making a smart play to get the guy you want like Fernando Clavijo and Oscar Pareja did two years ago to snag who would become the league's top rookie in 2014 in Tesho Akindele.
I say all of this as a way to temper any excitement that comes next Thursday. I thought this piece by Ben Baer on MLSSoccer.com was spot on, minutes by a top-10 pick have fallen off massively over the last few years. Last year's draft pool was weak and it wasn't a shock to see why their numbers were so low.
This year could be better though as there are more viable players coming out of college than in the last couple of years. As much as I would love to see a player like potential Generation adidas signing Josh Yaro from Georgetown, he may be out of reach for FCD as most are projecting him to be a top three pick.
It should be noted that not all Generation adidas players are worth grabbing either. For every Cyle Larin or Walker Zimmerman, you get a guy like a Schillo Tshuma or Michael Tetteh. Clavijo and Pareja better love a GA to make a trade up to one because it isn't likely one will fall all the way to 16 where they are picking.
I think the best FCD fans can hope for is that the club gets a guy that can actually stick it out more so than last year's draft pick in Otis Earle. If that guy can find his way into the lineup at some point in the year through some hard work in training or impressing the coaches after a loan to the USL, then all the better.
Either way, temper those expectations a la Peter La Fleur.