Thursday, January 15, 2015

FC Dallas - MLS SuperDraft thoughts

First off, here is the in-house article from Matt Doyle on FC Dallas.

Here are a few other thoughts that didn't make that article, and then the details of what FC Dallas ended up doing at the bottom.

To start with, make sure to read the articles from Big D Soccer and 3rd Degree/Dallas Morning News, as well as the FC Dallas Official site, coming into today as they do a good job of looking at a variety of details.

My sense is that for what Dallas needs to improve from being a good playoff team to one that challenges for MLS Cup, the answer does not lie in the MLS SuperDraft. As I wrote in my year end recap for, the key positions Dallas needs to upgrade are right wing, centerback next to Matt Hedges and backup to Mauro Diaz - none of those are really positions found in the SuperDraft, and nothing has changed that perception since then.

That being said, Dallas has the No. 15 pick and Pareja and Dallas have done well in the draft, so it will be worth watching. Don't be surprised to see Dallas move up or down in the draft as they have had success with that as well, though, as most of the time, value in the draft is in the first 10 picks and Dallas is not there right now.

But again, traditionally, Dallas has done their homework going into the draft, which is why you see success stories like Ryan Hollingshead - a huge risk that Dallas took that paid off with a player that will have a role in MLS.

And you have Pareja's success with Tesho Akindele winning Rookie of the Year last year and local product Dillon Powers winning the same award the year before. But bear in mind, Tesho was taken 6th overall and Powers 11th.

Bottom line - the MLS SuperDraft isn't comparable to the NFL Draft, but rather closer to the MLB or NHL drafts where there is little immediate help, but finding players you can develop is the key to success for MLS clubs, where Dallas has a track record of success.

Follow along here for the live presentation.

Talking specifics, I agree with Drew Epperly of Big D Soccer - if a defensive midfielder is available, that is the route FC Dallas should go at 15 if they do not engineer a trade. Again, the kinds of players FC Dallas needs at right midfield, back up attacking midfielder and center-back just are not the kind of players found in the SuperDraft. If not, getting some depth at central fullback or maybe left fullback might be worth a look. At the first and second layer of the FC Dallas depth chart, you really don't have places where an MLS SuperDraft player can step in and contribute.

So that means that any value that Pareja feels he can develop that can come in at the third layer of the Dallas depth chart is worth a look. Is that goalkeeper between homegrown and developing Jesse Gonzalez and Seitz and Kennedy? Is that a central defender or defensive midfielder? Is that a forward or winger?

The best thing that can be said about FC Dallas here is that with their success with the homegrown program and depth returning from 2014, the MLS SuperDraft is not a place where the team needs to be successful in 2015 or even beyond.

Other good pieces from local writers:

Big D Soccer - History of the #15 pick 
3rd Degree/DMN - Interview with Pareja on the draft
FC - Interiew with Pareja on the draft

With the 15th pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, FC Dallas selected Otis Earle, left fullback from UC-Riverside.

Take it for what it is worth, but MLS held a mock draft and they had Earle going 7th and 10th.

Here is's piece on the left fullbacks in the draft where they had him second at the position.

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