Midfield help could be there in the draft

UNC's McCarthy a possibility to fill the gap in the middle

COLUMBUS – Not having a selection until two-thirds through the 18-pick first round of the MLS SuperDraft, the Crew might emulate the Rolling Stones on Thursday: They can’t always get what you want, but if they can — get what you need.

The Crew boast the No. 12 pick, as well as picks at 28 and 48.

“It’s a matter of, is this need 1A or 1B?” technical director Brian Bliss said of the team’s top pick. “We’d probably go with the best available even if it’s 1B instead of 1A.”

He said the priority is the “middle of the midfield,” where they lost Brian Carroll and Adam Moffat during the offseason. Midfielder Danny O’Rourke is also recuperating from knee surgery.

“Then we could use some depth in the back or on the flank parts of the midfield,” Bliss said

Stephen McCarthy of North Carolina could be the first choice if still available to help shore up the Crew’s midfield. He’s big (6-foot-4) and can play a variety of positions, including holding midfielder.

The Crew always need help on the left side, so Akron’s Michael Nanchoff is a possibility. Unlike McCarthy, he is a Generation adidas signee who would not count against the salary cap. Others who could be in the mix are UNC’s Michael Farfan and Akron’s Anthony Ampaipitakwong.

On the backline, meanwhile, newcomer Sebastian Miranda is expected to take Frankie Hejduk’s spot on the right. Cover is still needed, however, for Shaun Francis on the left, and the loss of Eric Brunner in the Expansion Draft leaves the club shallow in the middle.

Akron’s Kofi Sarkodie and Michael Tetteh of UC Santa Barbara provide pace on the right and left sides, respectively. Both are Generation adidas products.