MLS SuperDraft 2012
I'll be the first to admit that I don't watch much college soccer, sorry. There's simply too much out there for me to consume to give a great deal of attention to a version of the sport where the clock runs the wrong direction and there are infinite substitutions. That said, I do try to watch the playoffs and Final Four every year to at least have some idea of the potential names that could be coming to MLS.
I say all that to make a point and it is this: I'm really not good at handicapping the draft and trying to determine who the Dynamo might select. Last year was a lot easier since Houston held a high pick and it was more about which players were available when their turn came around. This year, thanks to postseason success, the Dynamo hold the 18th and 37th pick. Figuring out what direction Kinnear will go is more about trying determine if he'll look to supplement a position or simple take the best player available.
There are a couple opinions out there for us to look at though, from people who are more informed (at varying levels) about the college game, who might have a better perspective on what the Dynamo will do.
Ives Garlacep: 18th - Calum Mallace, Midfielder, Marquette -- 37th: Ethan Finlay, F, Creighton
Joe Mauceri: 18th - Kirk Urso, Midfielder, North Carolina
As for who the Dynamo actually take, who knows. I think it will come down to needs and what's available honestly. I wouldn't mind Houston going for a guy like Ethan Finlay but I'll be honest, I'm only going on information I've read and idle speculation. I'm hoping to catch some of the combine matches this week to try to get a better idea about a few guys.
What I can speak to much better is some of the roster needs the Dynamo have. I doubt that anyone they select on the draft can have the immediate impact along the lines of Will Bruin last season, but that doesn't mean there isn't value to be had. A young attacking midfielder with the ability to work centrally would be nice, a forward that plays a similar style to the departed Brian Ching would be good too. I think that's the most likely direction the team will go, but there's always the chance they'll take a goalkeeper with Evan Newton cut and Academy star Fernando Pina still only 17 and committed to Akron.
So my best advice is what the news coming out of the combine this weekend and look for a forward or attacking midfielder that has a strong performance. Of course, the Dynamo will probably go and pick a defender or trade up, or down...hence the infuriating nature of writing about the draft.