With the MLS SuperDraft just a week away, we sat down with General Manager Dave Kasper and asked about the technical staff's preparation and perspective. With the sixth and seventh picks overall (and three more in later rounds), the club has the opportunity to pick up some solid prospects. The last time D.C. took two players in the first round was in 2003, when the club drafted forward Alecko Eskandarian first overall and defender David Stokes with the fifth pick.
BTB: How have you prepared for next week’s SuperDraft?
“We spent the entire college season watching as many games as possible. We feel we have a good grasp on the different college players. We’ve been watching DVDs and talking to college coaches to learn as much as we can about these guys. Now the final step is to watch them play against each other in the combine [this weekend].”
BTB: How hard is it to find college players that can step in and contribute right away?
“A very small percentage of drafted players actually become regular players or impact players in their first year. Sometimes the impact players come from later rounds or are not even drafted at all. You want to identify the players that have the potential to reach the next level, those that can become year-round professionals. It’s just a matter of identifying the players that have the characteristics it takes to play here, make that selection and give them the opportunity.”
BTB: What is the thought process going into the draft with two early picks? Where can the team add depth?
“Our first pick is much earlier than it has been in many years and not only that, but we have two first round picks. You look to select the best available player on the board, regardless of position. If he happens to fill a specific need then that’s great. But we want to think long term with these picks.”