First of all, let me say it was a lot of fun to participate in this year's SBNation mock MLS SuperDraft 2013. When the opportunity initially arose, I immediately started researching prospects I felt would be there for the Houston Dynamo at pick number 13 in round one of the real MLS SuperDraft 2013. Sure enough, most of the central defenders I had scouted were still on the board, and the decision was tough.
This year the SBNation MLS blogs held the mock MLS SuperDraft 2013 live with a chat room for all of the MLS blog contributors to join in. This allowed us to berate each other mercilessly, although I think I was honestly given the most flack for the Houston Dynamo's thirteenth pick of the draft. Rookie hazing, perhaps?
In the first round, it went almost as I expected. All of the Generation Adidas players were gone prior to the Houston Dynamo's pick at 13, but thankfully this draft is really quite deep with a fair amount of talent across the board at all positions. Even at pick 11, Walker Zimmerman, the most coveted center back of the draft, was still available. If Walker Zimmerman makes it past pick number 6 or 7, I anticipate another MLS Draft Day move by the Houston Dynamo to trade to move up and select him.
Walker Zimmerman is quite simply one of the best prospects at center back in the last three to four drafts. He could slot in next to Bobby Boswell or Jermaine Taylor and the team would not miss a beat. Take a moment and consider that, and then realize why I wept a little when we weren't allowed trades in our mock draft room. C'est la vie.
As much as losing out on Walker Zimmerman saddened me, the fact he went to none other than the Chicago Fire saddened me even more. But enough about Walker Zimmerman and how much I covet his skill set and personage. Onto the actual Houston Dynamo picks for the SBNation MLS mock SuperDraft 2013.
At pick number 13, there were many players still available with plenty of talent at virtually every position. I know the Dynamo do not need another young goalkeeper, with Hall, Deric and Pina having that position covered for the next decade at a minimum it seems. So my attention turned to our additions and losses over the last few weeks since the season ended.
Andre Hainault just made an exit to Ross County of the Scottish Premier League. The Canadian Ginger shall be sorely missed, although the Houston Dynamo did try to make early amends for his possible departure by trading for Eric Brunner. Brunner is a capable center back, who will fill the need for center back depth quite nicely. Still, I know how much Dominic Kinnear likes his center backs, and I can't imagine him passing on the opportunity to grab a system fit center back with plenty of athleticism and talent to boot.
Dynamo Theory, let me introduce to you Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, center back out of the University of Washington. The future of the Houston Dynamo center backs. He is a 6'3" physical defender who has enough pace to recover from mistakes. Dylan is a substantial aerial threat, and has a nose for goal on set pieces akin to our beloved departed Canadian Ginger. Most of all, he possesses a fair amount of raw talent, which gives Head Coach Dominic Kinnear plenty to work with going forward.
To be honest, selecting Dylan Tucker-Gangnes was a bit of a reach at pick 13. I could have gone a number of different ways, but my research, and my gut, told me Dylan was our man. He had a solid season for the University of Washington, and has had plenty of good years to back up my picking him there. However, in the Combine he proved he is plenty capable of taking the best the draft has to offer one v one and shutting them down. I only need to see it a couple of times to know he has the potential, and Dominic Kinnear has more than proven he is able to draw out potential.
With the thirteenth pick of the SBNation mock MLS SuperDraft 2013 out of the way, my focus turned to our next to last selection in the second round. Pick number 37 comes so late in the draft that normally you are looking for incredibly raw prospects who have shown flashes of greatness, skill, athleticism, leadership or some other defining characteristic. You usually know their weaknesses and feel confident about showing them how to correct their weaknesses while honing their strengths to their fullest.
So it was with great jubilation that my targeted prospect fell to me at pick number 37. Dynamo Theory, let me introduce you to our newest member in Orange, Emery Welshman, Forward out of Oregon State University. Contrary to his name, he is not Welsh. He is, however, Canadian. Emery even played for the Timbers Under-23 team in the summer of this past year. While he only played 323 minutes for them, he still managed to notch 2 goals, which is essentially on-par with what Erik Hurtado managed with the Timbers Under 23 PDL team when broken down by minutes to goals.
Welshman has a lot going for him, but there is one player in particular he reminds me of when I've seen him on tape. Calen Carr. Welsman is pacey with deceptive strength. He is unafraid to take defenders one v one, and is notorious for beating them. For a guy who gets knocked for his footwork, beating defenders one v one is nothing to scoff at. Further, he gets into space fluidly, and he finds the spaces between defenders. He has plenty of raw athleticism and talent, and with Dominic Kinnear to polish the facets of this gem, I have no doubt he can become our future diamond of the 2013 draft.
There you have it, our two selections from the SBNation mock MLS SuperDraft 2013. What are your thoughts? For the full list, check out the other posts by the other SBNation MLS blogs.