With three picks in the MLS Supplemental Draft, the Houston Dynamo selected defender Anthony Arena (18th), midfielder Nic Ryan (56th), and forward Yannick Smith (75th). All three will be invited to the Dynamo preseason camp to compete for a contract with the club.
The MLS Supplemental Draft is more or less a continuation of the MLS SuperDraft and now held separately via conference call. The college prospects that didn't get picked in the two round SuperDraft are made available to MLS clubs to further deepen their rosters. The full draft results can be found here.
Information is a bit limited on some of the players, so we brought together some scouting reports from the MLS website, searched the worldwide web far and wide fore some useful links, and found a highlight video for our last pick of the draft.
In the first round, the Dynamo selected defender Anthony Arena from Wake Forest. There is a pretty nice feature about Arena over at the Sounders U-23 website. He also was ranked 32nd best prospect on Soccer By Ives Big Board leading up to the SuperDraft.
MLSsoccer.com has this to say about Arena:
What Scouts Say: "Good year this year at CB & holding mid... good in air and clean passer... on the bubble, but could find the right spot in MLS - maybe needs time to adjust... I'd lean more to bubble because of lack of pace... but ok player ... good possession player out of back and decent defender."
Houston didn't have a second round pick (traded to Colorado in the Brian Mullan deal), and opted for midfielder Nic Ryan with their third round pick. Ryan has been a standout midfielder from Santa Barbara.
MLSsoccer.com has this to say about Ryan:
What Scouts Say: "Overall good soccer player ... Had a really good 2012 and picked up a lot of the goal-scoring slack of the team ... UCSB employed him in a variety of roles, but primarly as an attacking midfielder ... He can also play wide ... Versatile kid ... Goal-dangerous. He can pass and score ... Slashing kind of player, but not going to beat guys regularly on the dribble. Not his strength. He finds spots and passes the ball ... He's pretty good with both feet and works hard ... Pretty tough and aggressive kid. Has a real competitive mentality ... Athleticism, quickness and speed will be biggest issues on the MLS level ... Very talented on the ball and he's got decent pace to break pressure, but he doesn't have full-on athleticism ... Wiry-type midfielder ... More of a wide player than a central player in MLS. He could potentially also be an outside back, but speed may be an issue there as well."
With their final pick for the day and what turned out to be the final pick in the draft, the Dynamo selected forward Yannick Smith from Old Dominion.
Smith had some fun on Twitter about him being selected the last pick of the draft. And yes, his Twitter name is Yanaldinho. Sounds like a fun guy.
Mr. irrelevant but I'll take it @houstondynamo baby!!'— Yanaldinho (@Yanaldinho4) January 22, 2013
MLSsoccer.com says this about Smith:
What Scouts Say: "Athletically he can hang ... But you can stop him ... Not clear he has enough soccer IQ on ball and the ability to bring people into the game ... In 2012 he played outside on either side and did not do as good as in 2011 when he was up top and did very well ... They had a better forward which led to his move. That's why they moved him wide ... Had a quiet 2012 ... Question his consistency and soccer IQ ... All speed, but we didn't see it this year ... Don't know how much soccer he really knows. It's speed... Can be a good pick for a coach who wants to take a risk ... Don't know about his mental capacity and whether he's mentally tough enough."
Soccer by Ives had Smith going to the Dynamo in his Supplemental Mock Draft, but with the 18th pick in the draft, and he was Ives 37th best prospect leading up to the SuperDraft. Not bad for the last pick in a draft.
Here's a video that shows a bit of Smith's abilities
As for what to expect from the picks, that's hard to tell. The Dynamo history in the Supplemental Draft can be found here, and it's likely a challenge to recognize any names. Of all the previous picks, Brian Ownby is the only Dynamo player still with the club.
Either way, it's an opportunity for Dominic Kinnear to get a look at a few other faces since this year's non-roster invitees are a bit thin. Each of the players will be travelling to Houston soon to join the team's preseason and likely get some good minutes in the upcoming scrimmages and preseason matches.
What's your thoughts on the picks and if any will make an impact in 2013?