We gave the ProSoccerTalk blessing for best draft to D.C. United for getting their man and getting some allocation money in a trade. But let’s give a runner-up blessing (they have those, right?) to New England.
Whether by bold strategic planning or serendipity, the Revs got not one, but two men they wanted.
Judging by the social media reaction, Revs fans didn’t seem that excited about using the team’s No. 4 overall pick on Steve Neumann, a versatile and creative attacker, but one generally projected to go a little later in the day. Fans were mostly disappointed that Jay Heaps didn’t grab Patrick Mullins.
The emotional pull for Mullins was strong; coming out of the University of Maryland, he reminded Revs supporters of another Terrapins striker drafted for duty at Gillette Stadium – one who turned into a pretty darn good player: Taylor Twellman. Plus, with Juan Agudelo itching to get out the door, New England needed a replacement striker.
Well, they got Mullins anyway. For whatever reason, Mullins fell all the way to No. 11. New England quickly arranged a trade with Colorado to move up one spot, and in doing so the Revs got two men they wanted out of the draft in Philly.
Other notes and leftovers:
A “drunk” draft: There was confusion at one point as ESPN announced that New England and Dallas had swapped spots, fourth and fifth. But then MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that, with the fourth pick, Neumann was the selection of … New England? The trade had been withdrawn seconds before Garber was to announce a pick for Dallas.
Along with some of the other surprises (The product of intentional misdirection and disinformation … or just old-fashioned suprises?) this draft really did swerve all over the road. As one Twitter type said, “This draft is drunk.”
New England’s Rowe up for a trade? MLSSoccer.com’s Matt Doyle says New England midfielder Kelyn Rowe may have asked for a trade, something Rowe immediately denied the whispers via Twitter. New England fans would certainly hate to see the third-year man go; he’s a talented midfielder and a hard-worker, the kind of player beloved by fans and teammates alike.
Best stat of the day: Four current soccer announcers came out of the 2002 draft: Taylor Twellman, Kyle Martino, Alejandro Moreno and Corey Gibbs. How about them broadcasting apples?
More draft on Friday: The four-round, 77-pick draft lasts two days (Richard Farley’s initial MLS Draft primer is here). While the first two rounds were “live” from Philadelphia, Friday’s third and fourth rounds take place via conference call.
There may be a random Jeff Parke or Geoff Cameron out there (two deep picks from past drafts who have done pretty well for themselves), but for most of the names called Friday, they’ll do well to get into some reserve matches this year, and the majority will never get into an MLS match.