Next Friday is the annual SuperDraft. In years past I’ve typically followed along the college game enough to be excited about doing mock drafts from the beginning of December on but this year it is all sneaking up on me. I still follow the college game decently enough but gone are certainly the days of multiple mock drafts (the MLS offseason is too short really to make it worth while).
As we move into a new draft, I always like to take a moment and look back at previous draft to see how successful a team has been in these sorts of thing. I don’t plan on going all the way back through FC Dallas’ history in the draft as it has gone through different eras just like the league.
I’m going to go back to the beginning of the decade to see how FC Dallas handles their draft. Typically they have been heavy in defensive selections and extremely light in the midfield. Basically the team knows what they want and where to look for it.
2010 - 1st round - 5th pick - Zach Loyd (defender)
Arguably one of the club’s best picks in the draft over the years. If you look at who was picked above him at the time, Loyd has certainly had one of the more stable careers despite some injury issues. Even further, he may be the best pick of this first round group when you look at each player’s career to this point.
Loyd was a central figure in the club’s defense for the last half decade before getting picked this offseason in the Expansion Draft by Atlanta.
Time with FCD: 2010-16; 180 games played, four goals
Current team: Atlanta United
2011 - 1st Round - 17th pick - Bobby Warshaw (defender)
If we’re being honest, at the time FC Dallas picked the best player available. The team was coming off a MLS Cup run and really were looking for defensive depth at the time. Warshaw was a guy that could play in the defensive portion of the midfield or at center back. While he didn’t last a long time in Dallas, he was a solid pick up then.
Time with FCD: 2011-13; 32 games played, one goal
Current team: Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
2012 - 1st Round - 11th pick - Matt Hedges (defender)
Oh captain my captain. Three years running on a defender selection and Hedges has certainly turned into a consistent player in this league with two Best XI honors and most recently a Defender of the Year title. Only one other player in this draft class has Best XI honors in Columbus’ Ethan Finley. I think if you were to re-draft this group, Hedges would easily come out on top or at least in the top three.
Time with FCD: 2012-current, 150 games played, 11 goals
2013 - 1st Round - 7th pick - Walker Zimmerman (defender)
Another year down, another defender. This one took a little longer to get going due to injuries but toward the end of 2015 and into 2016 we’ve started to see why FC Dallas took Zimmerman as high as they did in this draft. At the time he was considered a potential number one pick. Looking back at it now, there are only a couple guys that were draft above him that are still in MLS.
Time with FCD: 2013-current, 67 games played, 6 goals
2014 - 1st Round - 6th pick - Tesho Akindele (forward)
The first pick in the Oscar Pareja era was certainly a pivot from the previous drafts but it did turn out pretty well in the end when Akindele won Rookie of the Year honors that season. Looking back at this first round draft class, only a few have really stood out since being drafted. Akindele has has his ups and downs but he has been a fairly consistent player for the club over the years.
Time with FCD: 2014-current, 85 games played, 18 goals
2015 - 1st Round - 15th pick - Otis Earle (defender)
It is hard to really fault FCD at the time for this pick. Earle was possibly one of the better options left on the table as six defenders had been picked above him and a fullback was really a depth need at the time. Earle was also their only selection in the first two rounds. He certainly wasn’t a knockout selection at the time or in hindsight.
Time with FCD: 2015, 6 games (on loan to Arizona), no goals
2016 - 1st Round - 17th pick - Ryan Hermann (goalkeeper)
Another surprise selection by Oscar Pareja and Fernando Clavijo. But again it was more of drafting a need than to draft the best player available at the time. He never made an appearance for the club and was released at the end of the season.
Time with FCD: 2016, zero games
So really, the last two years have been a bust for this team but when you are draft late in the round for a depth piece, it is understandable to a degree. FCD knows they have talent in their academy system and are active in signing them over looking for talent in college these days.
What do you make of the recent draft history? Think FCD can get back to adding serviceable players through this year’s draft?