Tuesday, January 13, 2009

MLS Draft on January 15th: Many Terps Looking to Get Drafted

The 2009 MLS SuperDraft will be on January 15th at 2:00 PM ET in St. Louis, and many Maryland players fresh off their national championship run are looking to get drafted, including the senior class plus some underclassmen chosen as Generation Adidas players, which means they forfeit their college eligibility so they can play in the MLS and get scholarships to college if they don't make it in the pros, as well as they don't count as being on an MLS roster. With the draft coming up in a few days, where will some of the Terps get drafted?

MLSDraft.net has done solid coverage of the upcoming draft, and is worth a look. Also check out our favorite soccer blog Pro Player Pipeline for player analysis. Predictions will be updated as they come.

Omar Gonzalez- Jr. Defender, Generation Adidas
A 6'5'' central defender that also has scoring abilities, Gonzalez is the most highly sought after back in this year's draft. He was the two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year. No doubt he will go high. ATH Prediction: 2nd or 3rd overall.
MLS Draft.net: "Gonzalez is strong, composed and just a beast in the air." Prediction: 2nd overall to Toronto FC.
UPDATE: 1/13/09: MLSDraft.net now has Gonzalez going #1 overall to the Seattle Sounders.

Jeremy Hall- Jr. Midfield/Forward, Generation Adidas
A quick player that can also play forward if necessary, Hall is a solid corner midfielder that can anchor an attacking formation. He had one of his strongest years this season, scoring 14 goals, including six game-winners. ATH Prediction: 4th-6th overall.
MLS Draft.net: "He has the speed, the size and the ability to be a force down the wings." Prediction: 5th overall to FC Dallas.
UPDATE: 1/13/09: MLSDraft.net now has Hall going #14 overall to the New York Red Bull.

Rodney Wallace- So. Midfield/Defender, Generation Adidas
A solid all-around player that can solidify a wide back position or at corner midfield, Wallace has good speed and shooting abilities. He moved to the back line in his sophomore season to help solidify Maryland's defense, but his speed could make him a better midfielder. ATH Prediction: 5th-7th overall.
MLSDraft.net: "An attacking left fullback who loves to get forward and he can help the offense out with his speed." Prediction: 7th overall to D.C. United.
UPDATE: 1/13/09: MLSDraft.net still has Wallace going #7 to D.C. United.

Graham Zusi- Sr. Midfield
Zusi saw his draft status skyrocket after getting both of Maryland's goals and subsquently game-winning goals in the College Cup. He is an all-around decent central midfielder, nothing extraordinary, but decent speed and shooting ability. Can also play forward. ATH Prediction: Middle 2nd round.
MLSDraft.net: "In a season where you could say Maryland is rebuilding, Graham Zuzi doesn’t seem to have a problem making his team tick."
UPDATE: 1/15/09: MLSDraft.net predicts Zusi will go in the 2nd round, 28th overall to the Chicago Fire.

A.J. Delagarza- Sr. Defender
Delagarza was a four-year starter at central defender for Maryland, though his small size will likely push him wide. He has decent speed, though he will need to improve to be a starter in the MLS. ATH Prediction: Middle 4th Round.
MLSDraft.net: "If he can make the transition to a full back or a defensive midfielder I can see him play in the MLS."
UPDATE 1/15/09: MLSDraft.net predicts Delagarza will go in the 2nd round, 24th overall to the New England Revolution.

For other Maryland seniors, including Rich Constanzo and Michael Marchiano, they have not entered the draft.

And for non-Terps players that play around here:
Milos Kocic- Jr. Goalkeeper (Loyola)
Kocic at 6'5'' is a tall, athletic keeper that has great speed in the cage, making solid dives into corners. Some teams may be worried about drafting him due to overall lack of competition while at Loyola, but physically he has the tools to be a solid MLS keeper. ATH Prediction: Late 3rd Round.

As the draft nears, we will update the coverage in the draft, so check back here for updates.
UPDATE: 1/15/09: Five Terps plus Kocic got drafted in the first 23 picks today in the MLS SuperDraft.
--3rd overall, Los Angeles Galaxy: Omar Gonzalez
--6th overall, D.C. United: Rodney Wallace
--11th overall, New York Red Bulls: Jeremy Hall
--19th overall, Los Angeles Galaxy: A.J. Delagarza
--21st overall, D.C. United: Milos Kocic
--23rd overall, Kansas City Wizards: Graham Zusi

Congrats to everyone here, and good luck in the MLS.

(Photo credit: Matt Slocum, AP)

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