The MLS SuperDraft is coming up quickly. Right now players are down in Florida at the MLS Combine, hoping to catch the eyes of coaches and general managers.
We've discussed recently the amount of open positions that FC Dallas currently has on their roster going into the preseason. No doubt that FCD will get a couple players on Thursday that will be competing for those open roster spots with some unknown trialists, transferred or traded players that will come through the doors in the coming weeks.
So as the draft approaches, what does FCD need to get out of this draft? The best player available? A certain position more than another one? We look at the top needs to find out.
1. Defensive depth (at CB or LB)
We've mentioned time and time again this winter that one of the biggest needs is depth in the back. The club already addressed this with the signing of Homegrown defender Aaron Guillen. I still think adding another center defender to the mix through the draft is a smart play. But if there is a top-level full back, particularly at left back, Oscar Pareja and company would be wise to consider taking a look.
Players likely to be available at #17: Kyle Fisher (CB, Clemson), Jordon McCrary (LB/RB, UNC), Zach Carrol (CB, Michigan State), Tony Alfaro (CB/LB, CSU-Dominguez Hills), Dennis Castillo (LB, VCU).
2. Center midfield
Right now the roster is fairly thin at center midfield. Sure there are the likes of Victor Ulloa, Kellyn Acosta and Mauro Diaz (if you want to lump him in this group). But behind all of them is a lot of nothing at the moment. This draft has plenty of decent talent in the midfield with players that Pareja could groom into serviceable backup options early on this year.
Players likely to be available at #17: Patrick Hodan (AM, Notre Dame), James Moberg (CM/DM, Washington), Todd Wharton (DM, Virginia), Eric Verso (CM/RM, Stanford).
I know what you are thinking, does this club actually need a keeper? Yes, for depth reasons you always want to have three keepers on the books. In years past FCD has done well to have a few options in this area. As we move into 2016, we currently only have two on the books in Jesse Gonzalez and Chris Seitz. So, adding one from the draft is a smart play as that player won't gobble up a lot of salary against the cap. In fact, there is a chance FCD could even snag the one goalkeeper that has a Generation adidas tag in Clemson's Andrew Tarbell.
Players likely to be available at #17 (and in other rounds): Andrew Tarbell (Generation adidas/Clemson), Callum Irving (Kentucky), Ryan Herman (Washington), Zach Bennet (Michigan State).
The depth up top is pretty thin still at the moment. While I'd rather not add another young player to the forward mix, if one good one is to fall to FCD in the first round, I wouldn't be too upset to see Pareja go after it. This draft isn't super stacked in the forwards so, if anything it may be hoping that one comes up to you in the later rounds.
5. Right midfield
Another area I would like to see a little more depth added to this season is at right midfield. While Michael Barrios showed well last season, he doesn't have a clear backup in place right now that can push him the way he needs. A young player in this draft could be what he needs behind him to stay motivated.