MLS Draft Not Really All That Super For Caps Fans

So that was Vancouver Whitecaps first ever Superdraft. Mine too. I don’t really know what I was expecting but it wasn’t that!

I’ve not watched a lot of drafts over the years. Some NFL ones, maybe the odd NHL one and that’s pretty much it. The MLS one seemed to be lacking pizazz and flair. There wasn’t even a photo opp of the number one draft pick going up on stage with a Whitecaps jersey with the number 1 and his name on it.

That’s not a bad thing you understand. I’m certainly not knocking that. Football isn’t all about the razzamatazz and glitz. It’s a down to earth, working man’s game, no matter how much the MLS will try and brainwash us otherwise in other aspects of the game in North America. It should be businesslike and on the whole it was. That was refreshing for any sport here.

That aspect I liked.

There was a distinct lack of excitement for me, as I really only gave a toss about who the Whitecaps selected in their draft picks. Even after they were done, I wasn’t exactly moved to fever pitch.

In fact, all the Superdraft really did was pose more questions about the 2011 Whitecaps than it answered.

When all the dust was settled and the picks made though, Omar Salgado finally became a Vancouver Whitecap player after last summer’s signing debacle. He became the first player to go in the 2011 draft and the first ever Whitecaps selection, a fact that I will never understand the importance placed on it as I explained yesterday.

So what have we ended up with in Salgado? Well, he’s a good young prospect who could become a regular in the US national team over time, which in itself is bad news for the Caps as we’ll lose him to international duty all too often.

He’s a gangly striker, with an unattractive playing style from the footage I’ve seen but at least a goalscoring record, so that’s one of the “desperately needed” boxes ticked. Only problem of course is that he’s 17 and under FIFA’s current rules can’t officially move to Canada and play for us until he turns 18 in September. Knowing FIFA this could change but assuming it doesn’t we have just wasted our prime draft pick on someone who we probably won’t see fully until 2012 and at that, he’ll only be 18 so how mature and effective is he going to be?

I’m all for future prospects but this is ridiculous and surely what our residency program is all about.

It just feels like it’s a waste and leaves me with a lot of questions about the whole thing.

Salgado was a huge surprise to go so early. Even to the player himself. Would he have still been available at the number 8 pick? Is he really that good a prospect that we had to make sure we secured him? We’ll have to trust the Caps team in this that the answer is a positive yes.

Darlington Nagbe went to Portland. In one way, thank fuck. He made it clear apparently that he didn’t want to come to Vancouver, so he’s gone to one of our biggest rivals in the Timbers and came across as a bit of a wanker in his ESPN interview following his pick, so even more special abuse will be lined up for him. I’m already thinking about the infamous Hibernian chant about Hearts’ Rudi Skacel. Seems fitting to me.

Now, if Portland desperately wanted him did we try to trade picks with the Timbers? If so, what were we looking for and why did the deal not go ahead?

If he’s that exciting a prospect, could we have fucked up our rivals by trading our pick with DC United or another team, or even just pick him ourselves and punt him for an experienced striker (but not Chad Barrett!). Did the Caps even consider this? I really want to know.

We may never know the answers to a lot of these questions.

ESPN weren’t much help on the day. They didn’t even seem to know about all the transfer turmoil last year when we tried to get Salgado early. That’s how it appeared.

I was also a little puzzled by our second pick at number 8 of Michael Nanchoff, because Jalil Anibaba and Will Bruin were being touted as the ones to go for. Now I’ll be honest, I had no fucking idea who anyone was by this stage of the draft, so I trust our coaching staff 100% on this one over television pundits. He’s a tough midfielder, another Akron lad and his scoring and assist records weren’t that shabby last year. I’m actually more excited by Michael than Omar at this point in time.

The Whitecaps third pick of Jeb Brovsky from Notre Dame seems to be the most exciting of all. A striker or attacking midfielder, he may be the hidden gem in the lower stages of the draft and comes highly recommended by some pundits.

Our last pick was fellow Fighting Irish defender Bilal Duckett. Not exactly a footballing name there! Sure we can get some fun rhyming couplets though.

So where does this leave us? Woefully short of experienced attacking options still and the need to add to the roster soon, possibly through international allocations or these now fabled designated player positions.

With all the build up the Superdraft, I was expecting more. You know what though? It’s just all conjecture, let’s just see who does what on the pitch. If we can actually score this year then I’ll be more than happy.

Mon the Caps.

Authored by: Michael McColl

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