The MLS Superdraft went a little differently than people expected. Firstly, Darlington Nagbe didn’t go number 1. Neither did Perry Kitchen; instead, Vancouver went with Omar Salgado, the long-term prospect who supposedly has the highest ceiling out of any of the forwards, but can’t play until September (apparently). Then Portland snapped up Nagbe, who they will pair with new signing Kenny Cooper. And then D.C. United snapped up the best player available: Perry Kitchen. He’s primarily a defensive midfielder, but Kitchen can also play in central defense.
This does leave D.C. United with a bit of a logjam in the central midfield: Boskovic, McCarty, Simms, Kitchen, Shanosky, King, and Morsink all play various kinds of central midfield. I have to feel that at least one of them will be traded; the only one that might get United some value back would be Simms. I was hoping all throughout the first round that a trade would be announced so that United could pick one of Will Bruin or Corey Hertzog.
But the offensive player we were all expecting never happened. United chose Chris Korb, a fullback from Akron, with its second round pick and traded two first-round Supplemental Draft picks to the LA Galaxy for the opportunity to draft Joe Willis, a goalkeeper out of the University of Denver. Ben Olsen does realize his lack of strikers, asking on Twitter (through @dcunited) for “fans to bear with us as we finalize this roster … we have some promising leads right now [at forward].” That’s good, because the current forwards are Joseph Ngwenya, Josh Wolff, and Chris Pontius; all speedier guys who aren’t clinical finishers. ‘Tino can play up top too, but he’s the same type of player as well.
Will D.C. United be going back to its South American pipeline? If that player is from a more physical league, such as Argentina or Uruguay, and is a young player that we have an opportunity to keep long-term, then that could work out. But I don’t think a one year loan or an over 30 player is going to be the right fit for D.C. United. Ben Olsen has shown that he wants to institute a youth movement, so I don’t think he’ll be looking that way. A trade of Clyde Simms could also be in the works, but that obviously would only bring in players from MLS. He would be suited for a contender looking for that final piece or a mid-table team looking to make a jump, getting United a forward in return. This team shows promise, but at least one (and maybe two) more forwards need to be brought in for D.C. to really have any chance this year.
Also! It was exciting to see a player that goes to my alma mater and current place of employment, the College of William and Mary, get drafted with the last pick in the 3rd round. Alan Koger, a forward, got drafted by the New England Revolution. While he has a little bit of an injury problem, he’s a good forward with a nose for the goal. New England, you will be glad you drafted him!