Syracuse

umterps.com

MLS SuperDraft: 5 players to watch ahead of Friday’s 1st two rounds

Leave a comment

Friday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft is considered relatively shallow, but there are some big talents near the top.

FC Cincinnati has the first pick in the draft, and nine more after acquiring all of Philadelphia’s picks on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Willian-Malcom swap? ]

The draft begins at 1 p.m. ET Friday from the USC Convention in Chicago. Here are a few names to monitor.

Dayne St. Clair, Maryland — A 6-foot-3 goalkeeper, the Canadian has played every minute of the past two seasons for the National Champions. St. Clair could one day be across the field from fellow former Terp and USMNT backstop Zack Steffen on international duty.

Andre Shinyashiki, Denver — There are some who judge the 5-foot-9 Brazilian upon the Summit League’s relatively low depth, but Shinyashiki’s outstanding 28-goal campaign included markers against Washington and SMU as well. He scored 51 goals with 15 assists on 285 (!!) shots in four seasons.

Tajon Buchanan, Syracuse — The sophomore improved his stats this season and is an exceptional athlete. The second-year Canadian has a long future in the game, and should go in the Top Ten.

Anderson Asiedu, UCLA — The diminutive midfielder from New Jersey was a star at Monmouth before surprisingly moving — transfer culture is bonkers these days — across the country and proving just as effective in a more challenging conference.

John Nelson, North Carolina — Left backs don’t grow on trees, and the Ohio-born Nelson has been a star for the Tar Heels across two seasons. At such a young age, Nelson could man the left side — maybe doing a reverse Zusi and moving into the midfield — for a team for a long time.

MLS SuperDraft: What you need to know (and more mock)

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Major League Soccer’s SuperDraft is set to being at 3 p.m. EDT, and some clubs will see their franchise altered with the addition of a future star.

That’s not overblown, not now, not ever, and it isn’t limited to the top picks. Without further ado, here’s what to know before the Draft.

[ MORE: Klopp on Mourinho ]

1) No.1 matters… — While it was certainly more of a crapshoot during its first few editions — the draft started in 2000 — the last few drafts have provided downright stars.

Jack Harrison’s performance after NYCFC selected him out of Wake Forest last season capped a three-year run that includes Jamaican superstar backstop Andre Blake (UConn) and Canadian whizkid Cyle Larin (UConn).

2) …But so do the latter stages — While Homegrown kids and young prospects from outside the United States can change the dynamic of a club, smart drafting gives teams an incredible edge (And we’re not just talking about probable bargains like Colorado taking Dominique Badji at 67th in 2015).

Here are some fantastic bargains, second round or later, in MLS history:

51st overall (2010) — Sean Johnson, Chicago
50th overall (2007) — Luis Robles, DC United
42nd overall (2008) — Geoff Cameron, Houston
37th overall (2006) — Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA
36th overall (2004) – Michael Bradley, MetroStars
35th overall (2000) – Nick Rimando, Miami Fusion
29th overall (1997) – Kevin Hartman, LA Galaxy
28th (2010) — Justin Morrow, San Jose
27th (2012) — Miguel Ibarra, Portland Timbers
27th (2001) — Edson Buddle, Columbus
23rd (2009) — Graham Zusi, Kansas City
18th (2010) — Tim Ream, New York Red Bulls
17th (2006) — Jozy Altidore, Metrostars

3) The Combine does matter — While a lot of leeway is given to players pushed out of position by the Combine, where center backs often are forced out wide and center mids out to the wings, you’re in a bad spot if you’re a forward who can’t generate a ton of offense.

Some players have dropped out of the first round for this reason, while the Combine has helped some players significantly. Daniel Johnson started the week as the 15th pick in my mock and Zeiko Lewis wasn’t in the picture. Their fortunes have changed significantly.

[ MORE: One Combine star’s 10,403-mile journey ]

4) Trades for days — With Minnesota United and Atlanta United picking first and second, those picks could be more likely used as currency. And even after the dropoff between franchise changers and longtime starters, teams will want their guy. Expect a lot of movement. In some cases, like last year’s trade between Chicago and Philadelphia, it may even be NBA-styled post-pick trades.

5) Final Mock SuperDraft —

  1. Minnesota United — Jeremy Ebobisse, FWD (Duke)
  2. Atlanta United — Miles Robinson, DEF (Syracuse)
  3. Chicago Fire — Jonathan Lewis, FWD (Akron)
  4. Houston Dynamo —Lalas Abubakar, DEF (Dayton)
  5. Columbus Crew — Jackson Yueill, FWD (UCLA)
  6. San Jose Earthquakes — Brandon Aubrey, DEF (Notre Dame)
  7. Vancouver Whitecaps —Abu Danladi, FWD (UCLA)
  8. Atlanta United —Daniel Johnson, MID (Louisville)
  9. Columbus Crew — Reagan Dunk, DEF (Denver)
  10. Portland Timbers —Brian Wright, FWD (Vermont)
  11. Chicago Fire — Shamit Shome, MID (FC Edmonton)
  12. DC United — Nick DePuy, FWD (UCSB)
  13. Real Salt Lake —Chris Odoi-Atsem, DEF (Maryland)
  14. Sporting KC — Napo Matsoso, MID (Kentucky)
  15. Colorado Rapids — Francis De Vries, DEF (St. Francis PA)
  16. Seattle Sounders —Jacori Hayes, MID (Wake Forest)
  17. New York Red Bulls —Eric Klenofsky, GK (Monmouth)
  18. FC Dallas — Niko Hansen, MID (New Mexico)
  19. Montreal Impact – Adonijah Reid, FWD (Canada U-20)
  20. New England Revolution —Russell Cicerone, FWD (Buffalo)
  21. Toronto FC — Zeiko Lewis, MID (Boston College)
  22. Seattle Sounders — Walker Hume, DEF (UNC)

And, since it’s insane to nab second rounders in order (though we’re insane), here’s the batch we expected to go in the second.

Brian Nana-Sinkam, DEF (Stanf0rd); Liam Callahan, DEF (Syracuse); Justin Schmidt, DEF (Washington); Julian Gressel, MID (Providence); Chris Nanco, FWD (Syracuse); Kwame Awuah, MID (UConn); Colton Storm, DEF (UNC); Wulito Fernandes, FWD (UMass-Lowell); David Goldsmith, FWD (Butler); Jordan Wilson, DEF (Kentucky); Jorge Gomez Sanchez, FWD (Temple); Jakob Nerwinski, DEF (UConn); Brandt Bronico, MID (Charlotte); Guillermo Delgado, FWD (Delaware); Daniel Deakin, FWD (South Carolina); Christian Flath, MID (Rider); Austin Ledbetter, DEF (SIUE); Alec Farrell, GK (Wake Forest); Eddie Sanchez, MID (Portland); Christian Thierjung, FWD (Cal); Eric Lynch, MID (Wright State).

Follow @NicholasMendola

College Soccer Update: Maryland goes No. 1; Cuse, Notre Dame play Friday

umterps.com
2 Comments

Sasho Cirovski’s Maryland program has no problem landing blue chip recruits, so adding the nation’s leading scorer on a transfer just seems unfair.

You might remember Gordon Wild’s name from this space last year, as the German burst onto the scene with USC Upstate and netted 16 times as a freshman.

[ MORE: Pulisic starts again as BVB rolls ]

While USC Upstate certainly won’t love the development, Cirovski was waiting with open arms when Wild decided to seek a challenge bigger than the one provided by the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Wild didn’t need to sit a year after transferring to Maryland — a program which has produced Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Robbie Rogers, Clarence Goodson, and Maurice Edu amongst others — and his eight goals in seven games show his form is carrying over well.

— Still, all those things said, I’ll never understand polls.

Notre Dame was No. 1 last week, and fell to 6-1 over the next 7 days after a loss to Louisville.

Syracuse entered the latest Top 25 coaches polling period 7-0, having won at NC State and defeated No. 15 Boston College at home. Five of those wins were shutouts.

[ MORE: Wenger praises 2-goal Perez ]

So who’s No. 1 now? Not Cuse, but 5-0-2 Maryland. The Terps and Orange both have 11 first-place votes, while Notre Dame still managed a pair.

The Orange handled the issue well, belting Cornell 3-1 on Tuesday night to move to 8-0. Up next is a Friday date at Notre Dame. Must-watch.

— Keep an eye on Denver, which is following up a very good 2015 season with a 7-0-1 start. They’ve allowed four goals all season — three have come via penalty kicks — and the Pioneers basically brought everyone back from their 15-1-3 season in 2015.

— I had the pleasure of meeting some players this summer who come from a very unusual college system at LIU Brooklyn. The Blackbirds made an NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach T.J. Kostecky last season, and the man has an unusual directive for his players on offense: They don’t talk.

Kostecky is a preacher of “vision training”, in which the coach implores his players simply to “look around” and anticipate the game. His players say the quiet tactics take some time to get used to, but then become second nature.

[ MORE: Zidane, Simeone defend Neymar’s “antics” ]

Claudio Reyna is one of the disciples of this training, and vision training was a topic on Glenn Crooks’ radio show last week.

That reminded me to check in on LIU, which has two of the more gifted young players in the Northeast. Danish attacker Rasmus Hansen and Norwegian midfielder Simen Hestnes were All-Northeast Conference as freshmen, and they’ve picked up where they left off.

Hansen had two goals and three assists this weekend and Hestnes had a goal and two helpers as LIU Brooklyn knocked off No. 22 Rider 2-1 and Manhattan 4-1.

Three Stars

  1. Simon Hestnes, sophomore, LIU Brooklyn — See above.
  2. Christian Thierjung, senior, Cal — Scored five goals against Harvard.
  3. Mohamed Thiaw, junior, Louisville — Scored fourth goal of year in 1-0 upset of No. 1 Notre Dame.

Other notes

— The nation’s leading scorer remains Russell Cicerone of the University at Buffalo, and the 10-goal man is also second in assists with six. The playmaking wizard is a surefire top-end pick in the next MLS SuperDraft.

[ MORE: EFL Cup roundup ]

— The national lead for assists belongs, however, to talented Canadian forward Brian Wright. He has nine, and should be closely watched by MLS teams ahead of the draft as well.

— Other No. 1-ranked teams:

Men’s D2- Charleston
Men’s D3- Trinity (Texas)
Women’s D1- Stanford
Women’s D2- Grand Valley State
Women’s D3- Williams

Top U.S. prospects to meet in College Cup final between Stanford, Clemson

AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
Leave a comment

A pair of scoreless semis have given us a marquee matchup of what could be the U.S. men’s national team future standouts in the College Cup final on Sunday.

To be fair, Stanford’s Jordan Morris is already on the full USMNT. Yet he’ll go head-to-head — or boot-to-glove — with U.S. U-23 goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell and Clemson.

They took different paths to the game despite the twin 0-0 score lines. Tarbell was absolutely fantastic for Clemson, who was under constant pressure from Syracuse.

[ WATCH: Bobby Wood nets gorgeous brace for Union Berlin ]

The Tigers have been among the nation’s best all year, but the Orange dominated early. Syracuse survived a lull caused by the departure of instrumental captain Liam Callahan to restore said dominance into the second half and extra time.

But Tarbell stood tall and got the dang thing to kicks, where Clemson prevailed to advance to its first final since 1987, when it won the second of its two NCAA titles.

On the end was Morris and Stanford, who had the majority of chances against No. 4 Akron. The Zips particularly couldn’t get finish on the chances handed to dangerous speedster Richie Laryea, but the Cardinal looked more likely to score for most of the game.

Unlike the Clemson-Syracuse set of PKs, the team with the better 90 minutes prevailed in this one. Akron missed a couple pivotal kicks, one that could’ve sealed their spot in the final, before goalkeeper Andrew Epstein slammed the door shut with a save on the Zips’ last effort.

This is Stanford’s third appearance in the final, having lost to Indiana and UCLA in 1998 and 2002, respectively.

Other prospects to watch:

  • Brandon Vincent, Senior, Stanford — the Cardinal’s stalwart back has been just as strong — if not stronger — than Morris in recent games.
  • Kyle Fisher, Senior, Clemson — The young back’s game is MLS-ready.
  • T.J. Casner, Senior, Clemson — The Californian leads Clemson in goals (10).
  • Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Sophomore, Stanford — The son of a hockey player, the standout defender has been in U.S. U-23 identification camp and also started 22 games for the Cardinal.

WATCH: Syracuse forward Ben Polk curls in a gorgeous goal

Leave a comment

“Upset” is a tricky term in the loaded ACC, but Syracuse forward Ben Polk made sure his Orange knocked off Clemson on Wednesday with a peach of a goal.

Polk netted both of Syracuse’s goal last night in a 2-0 win, but the first was extraordinarily well-taken.

[ MORE: World Cup qualifying has not traditionally been a cakewalk for the USMNT ]

After calmly accepting a free kick from Louis Cross — what a soccer name — the junior transfer turned and buried his 8th goal of the season with a curling effort from outside the 18.

He later added his ninth to set-up an ACC final date with Notre Dame, on the heels of a nation-best 33 goal season at Herkimer County Community College last season.

[ MORE: College soccer news ]