It's nearly time for the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, the league's annual player selection meeting that could help a team find a new star or leave them wishing they'd spent more more of their development academy.
The SuperDraft is changing, not just in actually form and function, but it just how relevant it will be to the league as all the teams continue to build their academy systems are are allowed to sign more home grown talent, thus circumventing the draft process. There will likely be a draft for the foreseeable future, but just how important it will be and what kind of talent continues to be available remains to be seen.
For today though, that doesn't matter. The Houston Dynamo hold the 7th pick and unless they make a trade, it stands to reason they will be able to draft a talented young forward or defender when their turn arrives. Just who will Kinnear and Co. pick? Only they know, but it's fun to speculate about just what the team is going to do.
The most pressing need seems to be at the forward position. Brian Ching is still a top talent, but he's not getting any younger, so there is a push to find the next guy who can fill easily the biggest pair of shoes on the team (when the time comes). Dominic Oduro is gone, so there is also a potential need for speed up front and there could be speed options available at the 7th pick. Unless Will Bruin falls, which I doubt, the most likely names the Dynamo will be able to choose from are Omar Salgado, Joao Plato and Corey Hertzog. All three are pacey strikers, but all three would be potential picks, as opposed to immediate impact guys. There's nothing wrong with that, but it would likely mean the Dynamo would still need to find another forward during the transfer window.
The other most likely choice is defense. There is a pretty good chance of a strong central defender being available when the Dynamo select. A player like Jalil Anibaba who impressed during the combine, Zarek Valentin from Akron or A.J Soares could drop to the Dynamo and with the defensive struggles the team had last season, adding either of these players could give Kinnear options and put pressure on the current veterans to defend their playing time. There is nothing wrong with a little competition.
With the announcement that midfield academy product Josue Soto has been offered a contract by the team, I just don't see them taking a midfielder. Then again, the Dynamo could throw us a curveball and trade up or down, or pick a player that wasn't as highly touted who impressed the coaches and fits in to what Kinnear wants to do in 2011 and beyond.
However you feel about the SuperDraft, today will be interesting. This is the highest pick the Dynamo have ever held and everything points to them being able to select a player that could become a big part of the team's success in the coming years.
What do you think the Dynamo should do in the draft today? Let me know your opinions and I'll be back after the team picks to profile their pick and give my thoughts on how he fits in to the team.