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A few early winners from Thursday’s MLS Draft

Jan 17, 2013, 1:33 PM EDT

2013 MLS SuperDraft Presented By Adidas Getty Images

Check back for more analysis later; here are some winners from the first 90 minutes of Thursday’s MLS draft:

New England: Consensus for MLS SuperDraft 2013 was a mix that included just one prime-time, set-and-ready, just-add-water figure – followed by a bunch of guys who may or may not help immediately. The one man, of course, was Andrew Farrell (pictured). So, moving up into the No. 1 spot to get the guy looks like a shrewd move.

New England needed a center back and needed a player who could add something to the roster now. Not down the road. Not next year. Now.

Said manager Jay Heaps: “He’s a player that’s going to be MLS-ready from Day 1, and that’s what we need at our team.”

adidas: The German apparel giant was all over this thing. I’ll be darned if top pick Farrell didn’t thank God first and then adidas second! Before anyone else, parents, coaches, agents, girlfriends (journalists … if only …), etc. Between Farrell’s endorsement and all the talk of “Generation adidas” and the implications of all the salary-exempt men on the draft, the sporting apparel giant sure got its money’s worth from MLS today.

Chivas USA: Perhaps it was luck. But even if it was, who could begrudge this little lost puppy dog of a franchise some rare good fortune? Thing is, Chivas USA’s new-old philosophy is to go with men of Mexican heritage. Other thing is, an apparently quality young man of Mexican heritage was available early in UConn midfielder Carlos Alvarez.

Thus, things fell together brilliantly.

The new deciders Chivas USA, selecting second, could have gotten themselves in trouble if they reached for a Mexican-American with such a high choice. Thanks to Alvarez’s availability, that wasn’t necessary. Again, that may be down to providence, but same difference on the end result, eh?

Alexi Lalas: Considering all the disinformation  and the regular old “throwing darts” factor attached to MLS Draft projections, what we all get past the first couple of picks is a series of lucky guesses and wild, swinging misses. Except … the ESPN analyst nailed about five of the early picks. Well done, sir.

FC Dallas: The FC Dallas table was surely shocked, but pleasantly so, to see Walker Zimmerman fall all the way to the No. 7 spot. Even if they didn’t necessarily need a center back, he was simply too enticing to pass on.

Projections for the big Furman center back were all over the place, but some had Zimmerman as high as No. 1.  It does create something of a logjam, although surplus is never the biggest problem to have. George John remains a bedrock at center back. Hopefully, Ugo Ihemelu can bounce back from concussion-related problems. And the team loves Matt Hedges, the No. 11 pick last year.

Furman University: The small liberal arts school in South Carolina is hardly a big dog in collegiate athletics. Soccer gives the Paladins a little basking time in the sun. Zimmerman was Furman’s third Top 10 MLS pick of the last nine years, and the others are not bad at all: Ricardo Clark (2nd in the 2003 draft) and Clint Dempsey (8th in 2004).

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish didn’t dominate the way Akron did a couple of years back – Five of the top 8! Are you kidding me? – although that may never happen again.  But the Irish did get two of the top 11, which isn’t bad. Besides, Notre Dame athletics needed a little bit of a distraction from recent, er, unpleasant developments, eh?

Check back for more analysis later:

Meanwhile, the Top 10 picks went like this:

1. New England Revolution, DF Andrew Farrell, Lousiville

2. Chivas USA, MF Carlos Alvarez, UConn

3. Toronto FC, MF Kyle Bekker, Boston College

4. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FW Kekuta Manneh, Austin Aztex

5. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Erik Hurtado, Santa Clara

6. Colorado Rapids, FW DeShorn Brown, UCF

7. FC Dallas, CB Walker Zimmerman, Furman

8. Montreal Impact   MF Blake Smith, New Mexico

9. Columbus Crew   FW Ryan Finley, Notre Dame

10. Seattle Sounders FC, FW Eriq Zavaleta, Indiana

  1. danielofthedale - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Steve, I have a question about Chivas USA and how their Mexican-American policy sits with the Equal Opportunity Employment Act. Nation of origin is one of the factors that employers can not discriminate on so is it really possible for them to field a team of all Mexican-American and Mexican players? Or is this like some of the Anti-Trust laws that sports leagues are not held to since they are so different than most other industries.

    • Steve Davis - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      Reasonable questions, those … but this particular post is about success in the MLS Draft. Within this tight frame, the day was a good one for Chivas USA.

      • danielofthedale - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        My bad Steve, just me and some friends were talking about this last night and it was on my mind.

        Is there any reason why some people would say they would stay away from Zimmerman? He seemed to be right there with Farrell as how is the top prospect on the sites I have been to. He was a guy that has been with the U-20’s the last couple of years too. Then I heard Alexi or Taylor say heard some teams did not want him and saw it here too. So is there a hole in his game people think he cannot over come or is it just he usually draft centrifuge of teams talking bad about a player to be able to have him fall the them?

        And another winner…those totally awesome split logo scarves! Great job by MLS on those.

        A loser…Vancouver for not having one of the totally awesome split logo scarves!

    • wesbadia - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      The Justice Department of the United States turns a blind eye to the industries which produce bread and circus for the mob.

      • mvktr2 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

        You don’t mean to imply the glorious bureaucrats in government play favorites? Say it aint so!

      • wesbadia - Jan 18, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        Pretty sure that’s exactly what I mean to imply… rather bluntly, too! 😉

    • randomhookup - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      No special exception for sports teams. I’m sure the team will get a lot of scrutiny for their hiring practices (though they can make Spanish fluency a job requirement…)

  2. pensfan603 - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Bigges twinner on Thursday….. DC United who completed Andy Najars Transfer for 8 million Dollars which should give them enough money to get Kaka, remind you Kaka and saragosa are good friends.

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