Ranking the SuperDraft classes of 2010
NEW YORK – The top five selections of the 2010 SuperDraft lived up to the hype and several late round selections proved to be shrewd picks. What follows are MLSsoccer.com's top SuperDraft classes of 2010 based on the recently concluded season:
1. New York RedBulls
#2 Tony Tchani (27GP /17 starts), #14 Austin da Luz (did not appear), #18 Tim Ream (started all 30matches), #34 Conor Chinn (29 minutes in 5 appearances, #50 Irving Garcia (didnot appear)
New York unearthed two bonafide starters in Tchani and Ream, which makes their draft an undisputedsuccess by any measure. Ream was a Rookie of the Year candidate while Tchani’s combininationwith Mexican Rafael Márquez proved to be the Red Bulls' best central midfield pairingof the season.
#1 Danny Mwanga (24GP,7 goals and 4 assists), #6 Amobi Okugo (11GP, 437 mins), #7 Jack McInerney(17GP, 1 start and 3 goals), #17 Toni Stahl (1 game, 41 minutes), #33 KyleNakazawa (14GP, 8 starts), #49 Brian Perk (DNP, traded)
Mwanga was a Rookie of the Year candidate and fulfilled thepromise of the No. 1 overall selection. Okugo and McInerney were brought onslowly in 2010 while Nakazawa came on strong late in the campaign. Perk wastraded while knee problems hurt Stahl early on after he had started — and been ejected from — the seasonopener in Seattle.
3. FC Dallas
#5 Zach Loyd (24 GP, 19starts), #21 Andrew Wiedeman (DNP), #38 Jason Yeisley (5 GP, 39minutes), #44 Eric Alexander (17 GP, 12 starts and 2 goals), #54 Dane Saintus(not on current roster)
Loyd and Alexander have shown they have the talent andpersonality to be regular starters with the defender proving even more valuablefor his ability to play at both right back and central defender. Yeisley and Wiedeman received little to no playing time in FC Dallas' single-forward alignment.
4. Chicago Fire
#13 Corben Bone (5 GP/ 114 min), #26 Kwame Watson-Siriboe (10 GP, 7 starts), #29 Drew Yates (not oncurrent roster), #45 Steven Kinney (12 GP, 9 starts), #51 Sean Johnson (12starts)
Four of the Fire’s five picks are currently on the rosterand Kinney and Johnson have emerged as legitimate starters at right back andgoalkeeper, respectively. Bone, the Fire’s highest pick, has been unable tobreak through and suffered the humiliation of a first-halfsubstitution for a “passive” attitude.
5. San JoseEarthquakes
#3 Ike Opara (11 GP, 10starts and 3 goals), #19 Michael Thomas (not on roster), #28 Justin Morrow(3 GP, 59mins), #30 Steven Beitashour (8 GP and 7 starts), #37 Andrew Hoxie (noton current roster)
The Earthquakes drafted a strong defensive core with Oparaimpressing early before a foot fracture sidelined him. Beitashour showed to bea reliable player at right back and right midfield despite losing his place inthe starting lineup. Morrow spent time on loan but it will be tough for him tobreak through the Quakes' starting central defender corps.
6. Sporting Kansas City
#4 Teal Bunbury (26 GP,13 starts and 5 goals), #20 Olukorede Aiyegbusi (5 GP, 1 start and 129 mins), #36Nick Cardenas (not on current roster), #41 Mauro Fuzetti (not on current roster),#52 Ofori Sarkodie (not on current roster)
Bunbury justified being a No. 4 overall pick with apromising start and five goals in 26 games. It earned him his first US nationalteam cap in November. Among other draftees, only Aiyegbusi survived to make KC’s roster and his 129minutes were inconclusive.
7. Los AngelesGalaxy
#16 Michael Stephens(25 GP, 21 starts)
LA manager Bruce Arena had one selection in the 2010SuperDraft and made it count, with Stephens proving a productive andhard-working midfielder. He may have hit the proverbial rookie wall late in theseason and dropped out of the starting lineup, but he will be one to watch in2011.
8. Chivas USA
#10 Blair Gavin (16starts, 3 goals); #35 Kevin Tangney (not on current roster); #42 Isaac Kissi (not oncurrent roster); #47 Ben Zemanski (21 GP, 17 starts); #58 Chris Ross (not on current roster)
The Akron midfield pairing of Gavin and Zemanski are theonly draftees on the roster and they had a promising start in 2010, especiallywhen they have lined up together. Gavin has shown the ability to be a potentialreplacement for captain Sacha Kljestan, who was transferred to Anderlecht inBelgium.
9. New EnglandRevolution
#9 Zack Schilawski (24GP, 15 starts, 5 goals); #25 Seth Sinovic (20 GP, 18 starts); #31 Zak Boggs (9GP, 4 starts, 2 goals); #48 Jason Griffiths (9 GP, 3 starts); #57 Adam Welch(not on roster)
Another solid draft by Steve Nicol and the Revs although it has not produced superstars as of yet.Schilawski netted all five of his goals, including registering a hat trick, bythe end of May. Then as the season went downhill for the team, so did the service and hisscoring. Sinovic was a solid but error-prone left back, landing in SteveNicol’s doghouse for part of the season. Injuries have been the story with theother two draftees as both Boggs (concussion) and Griffiths (hamstring) showed promise in their limited appearances.
10. Columbus Crew
#8 Dilly Duka (3 GP,160 min); #12 Bright Dike (not on roster); #60 Kwaku Nyamekye (not on roster);#61 Othaniel Yanez (not on roster); #63 Shaun Francis (11 GP, 9 starts)
Francis, the second-to-last pick in the 2010 SuperDraft, haslogged the most minutes among all Crew draftees and has shown standout speed atleft back, earning call-ups to the Jamaican national team. The promising Duka,the No. 8 overall selection, lamented his lack of playing time in the presswhich did not endear him to manager Robert Warzycha. Letting forward BrightDike go may still come back to haunt Columbus after he was recently signed byPortland for their maiden MLS season.
#11 David Estrada (8 GP,3 starts); #27 Michael Seamon (18 GP, 10 starts); #59 Jamel Wallace (not oncurrent roster)
Estrada has shown glimpses that there is more to come fromhim while Seamon filled in admirably in midfield when called upon. Both were regularcontributors in the Sounders’ heavy non-league schedule in 2010.
12. Real Salt Lake
#15 Collen Warner (12GP, 4 starts), #32 Justin Davis (not on roster), #39 Chris Schuler (1 start, 90min), #64 Kris Banghart (not on roster)
The defending champs bring up their young guys slowly andput them in position to succeed. Warner has shown glimpses of skill that fitswell into the highly technical squad that Jason Kreis has built. Schuler had asolid showing in his lone start. This 2010 draft may look better in 2011 andbeyond.
13. Toronto FC
#24 Zachary Herold, #53Joseph Nane (11 games, 8 starts)
Less than two months into his MLS career, Herold was suddenlyforced into retirement at the age of 17 after a heart condition was discovered.Nane proved a solid, if not spectacular, midfield role player and theCameroonian can probably expect to return in 2011.
14. D.C. United
#55 Jordan Graye (19starts)
Thrust into more games than D.C. United may have liked for hisfirst season, Graye generally acquitted himself well but made several errorsexpected of a rookie fullback, some of which were costly.
#22 Andre Akpan (1 GP,13 min); #23 Ross LaBauex (5 GP, 76 min); #40 Chad Borak (not on current roster);#56 Chris Cutshaw (not on current roster)
The fact that the two lone draftees still on the roster have played less than 90minutes combined is more of an indication of how the Rapids have relied on a veteran squad to win MLS Cup.Akpan was shipped on loan twice while LaBauex is also low on the depth chart ina crowded midfield.
16. Houston Dynamo
#43 David Walker (noton current roster); #46 Samuel Appiah (2 GP, 37 min, 1 goal); #62 Euan Holden(not on current roster)
The Dynamo had late round picks in the 2010 SuperDraft butthe only player to see the field in an injury-riddled 2010 is the 25-year-oldAppiah, who saw a total of 37 minutes of action.
Met expectations: #1 Mwanga, #2 Tchani, #3 Opara, #4 Bunbury, #5Loyd, #10 Gavin
Slow starters: #6 Okugo, #7 McInerney, #8 Duka, #11 Estrada, #13Bone, #14 da Luz, #17 Stahl
Overachievers: #16 Stephens, #18 Ream, #27 Seamon, #33 Nakazawa,#44 Alexander, #45 Kinney, #47 Zemanski, #51 S. Johnson, #55 Graye, #63 Francis
Highest picks not on current rosters: #12 Dike (Columbus), #19Thomas (San Jose)
Number of 2010 draftees to appear in MLS: 38 of 64
Number of 2010 draftees to score a goal: 14 of 64
Number of draftees current on 2010 MLS rosters: 41 of 64 (as ofTues. Nov. 23)
Club that used fewest draftees in 2010: D.C. United, HoustonDynamo, LA Galaxy, Toronto FC (1)
Club that used the most draftees in 2010: Philadelphia Union(5)