Which teams did best at Supplemental Draft?
MLS teams got a chance to add a few more players to their preseason rosters on Tuesday via the Supplemental Draft. This season's expansion teams, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers, enjoyed the first and second picks overall, but which teams snagged the best talent overall? Our experts — senior content producer Simon Borg and college beat writer Travis Clark — chime in with their thoughts.
Simon Borg's winners: LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire
Los Angeles: The Galaxy’s Supplemental picks have the credentials to push for playing time in 2011. Dartmouth’s Daniel Keat has the international experience and a professional focus about him, while Dustin McCarty has the athletic ability and a winner’s attitude. Stanford’s Ryan Thomas is a speedy left back who should have been at the Combine. Zach Johnson has the most to prove of the foursome: He's a big ‘keeper who is said to be good on crosses but weaker on his kicking game and stopping the low shot.
Columbus: Despite lacking a first-round Supplemental Draft selection, technical director Brian Bliss and manager Robert Warzycha landed two shrewd picks in Indiana’s Andy Adlard and Butler’s Ben Sippola, who are skillful and versatile players who should help a team in rebuilding mode. Although not spectacular at the Combine, both players showed they can be serviceable pros.
Chicago: After a SuperDraft in which they took undersized forwards in Jason Herrick and Davis Paul, the Fire went for three forwards with size and athleticism. UC Irvine’s Amani Walker is a typical target forward who can hold the ball up well but is not known for his skill. Jamaican youth international Yannick Salmon is also the big and athletic type with very raw feet, according to some college coaches. Former USA Under-18 national team pool player Sam Arthur is the lesser known of the three; he's a 6-foot-1 forward who led South Carolina in scoring for two years running.
Travis Clark's winners: LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake
Los Angeles: New Zealand U-20 international and versatile midfielder Dan Keat are good-value picks, and the Galaxy got a similar player in Dustin McCarty, little brother of Dax. However, they took a risk on West Virginia 'keeper Zack Johnson, who will compete for a understudy role.
Toronto: If J.C. Banks stays in MLS, this becomes an even better Supplemental Draft as the new regime in Toronto continues to renovate the squad. Forward Steven Beattie won't turn any heads with his physical stature, but he's got a lot of heart and a nose for the goal. Midfielders Spencer Thompson (Michigan State) and Scott Rojo (High Point) are both non-Combine players who were at the heart of their respective offenses in college.
Real Salt Lake: For a team that doesn't need much in terms of on-the-field help, Real Salt Lake grabbed goalkeeper Jeff Attinella from the University of South Florida in the first round. With Rimando in goal, Attinella gives the club a potential ‘keeper of the future. Andrew Cost (Penn State) and Nick Love (Gonzaga) will fight to make the roster and get minutes in the reserve league.