The Combine Is Over: The EPL American Draft

The NFL Draft is tonight on ESPN. Have you heard?!

Draft time!

TSG figured with the over-publicity of the NFL draft and the ridiculous stories surrounding it, like Donovan McNabb wanting to play with an over-the-hill Terrel Owens, that TSG would come up with a ridiculous piece for the draft.

TSG asked community member Antonio to help us out here. Beyond being a huge Dilly Duka fan, Antonio seems to know about players long before they surface. I’m pretty sure that Antonio watched some of Mesut Ozil’s games….at Westfalia 04 Gelsenkirchen. See what I mean.

Our premise? The EPL wants TV ratings to go up in America becuase of the market size. They hold a back alley meeting with Sunil Gulati and friends who coordinates a dispersal draft for all Americans into the EPL.

Two rounds, 38 players in this case (we only know that West Brom and Newcastle have been promoted to date). With that, here are Antonio’s selections taking into account player age, skill set and team need. Thanks Antonio.

Round 1

JZA: First out of the green room....

1. Jozy Altidore – WBA
2. Clint Dempsey – Newcastle
3. Omar Gonzalez – West Ham
4. Landon Donovan – Wolves
5. Tim Howard – Wigan
6. Stuart Holden – Bolton
7. Jermaine Jones – Sunderland
8. Charlie Davies – Blackburn
9. Benny Feilhaber – Stoke
10. Oguchi Onyewu – Fulham
11. Edson Buddle – Birmingham
12. Eric Lichaj – Everton
13. Clarence Goodson – Aston Villa
14. Maurice Edu – Liverpool
15. Alejandro Bedoya – City
16. Michael Bradley – Spurs
17. Luis Gil – Arsenal
18. Steve Cherundolo – United
19. Brad Guzan – Chelsea

Round 2

38-year-old Brad Friedel just misses the 1st round...

20. Brad Friedel – WBA
21. Jay Demerit – Newcastle
22. Robbie Rogers – West Ham
23. Paco Torres – Wolves
24. Marcus Hannehman – Wigan
25. Herculez Gomez – Bolton
26. Damarcus Beasley – Sunderland
27. Carlos Bocanegra – Blackburn
28. Jonathan Spector – Stoke
29. Sacha Klejstan – Fulham
30. Gale Agboussomonde – Birmingham
31. Ricardo Clark – Everton
32. Jonathan Bornstein – Aston Villa
33. Freddy Adu – Liverpool
34. Brian Ching – City
35. Chad Marshall – Spurs
36. Bryan Arguez – Arsenal
37. Troy Perkins – United
38. Kenny Cooper –  Chelsea

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51 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on 2010/04/21 at 11:14 PM

    Ugh. Slim pickings for The Reds.

    Reply

  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/21 at 11:33 PM

    Nice work Antonio — Luis Gil is just dying to be tutored by Cesc — perfect match…

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 11:33 AM

      Thinking in the long run here of course. Firts off, Imagine during the next WCQ cycle that we have a kid still in his teens who could legitimately play 5 distinct positions on the field (SS, W, CM, CAM, LM/RM). Percy Harvin anyone? We’d have our very own Arshavin/Nasri/Pedro(not so much)/Iniesta. Unfortunately, the only clubs in the world that breed these under-sized/multi-position players are Barcenal. Wishful thinking? If he has enough talent/potential to train with Arenal’s youth squad, no matter how long the time period, then the kid has a bright future. But at least so far he’s not the next Freedie Adon’t.

      Reply

  3. Haha…. Liverpool takes Adu in the second round. Rafa Benitez’s poor signings continue!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 6:13 AM

    Thank You. Thank You.

    No Matt, Luis Gil is dying to be tutored by the whole Arsenal front 6, minus the big guys of course.

    One thing I took into account here was which teams are most likely thinking of their future success and which teams are most likely thinking of their present success.

    Also added a little managerial characteristics there: spot on Dan, unless Adu is willing to learn from the Kuyt-monster

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 8:09 AM

      Antonio — could you imagine how disgusted that Kuyt would be with Adu.

      Walks into Rafa’s office on Day 1:

      “Beni! I can’t work with this kid! All we wants to do is stepovers and go to the left….he doesn’t sprint after two minutes. Go have Ngog work with him!”

      Reply

        • Aquilani and Degen have made a ‘den’ at the back of the coach out of sleeping bags. Sign on the front of it saying ‘No Physios Allowed’

          Aquilani has hurt himself in the den. Typical. He can’t move to get out and because of the sign, none of our physios can go in. Real dilemma

          Its a papercut. He’s out of Thursdays match. Looks like I’ll be playing again. At least I’m not travelling all this way for nothing.

          Aquilani has his papercut finger on a mini-stretcher made by our physio Rob Price. Degen looking envious. Saw him muttering ‘favouritism’.

          “Pepe refusing to speak Spanish to the locals.Telling everyone he was born in Liverpool & has lived round the corner from Jamies all his life”

          Reply

  5. Posted by Colin on 2010/04/22 at 6:54 AM

    Its hard to justify taking Dempsey over Donovan…but the Newcastle left wing is solid with Jonas Gutierrez…good pick.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Dylan on 2010/04/22 at 7:17 AM

    Wigan decided to go with two keepers, interesting move

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 8:05 AM

      The best part about that is…..I can totally see Wigan messing that one up.

      I don’t think Chris Kirkland is that bad…aside from his attire, distribution, command of the backline and letting in balls from the half court line.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 7:30 AM

    Now you know how I feel when teams trade up to draft a runningback after the JUST drafted one in the same round.

    Reply

  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/22 at 7:36 AM

    Considering how good Guzan is supposed to be, I am surprised he didn’t get picked before 19…

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 8:04 AM

      Hey don’t ruin the draft GeorgeCross…you better watch out because if this draft happens there might be a legitimate question of Gary Neville or old man Cherundolo at RB for Manchester United. :>

      Reply

  9. Posted by Alex on 2010/04/22 at 7:57 AM

    hahaha. this sort of ridiculous speculation is why I love this site. Thank you shin guardian.

    by the way, your so right, Jozy is DEF #1 pick.

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 11:29 AM

      Jozy was a no brainer for #1 because he just straight up gives you 100% effort and he can produce goals without scoring. If I’m not mistaken he has the most penalties drawn for any individual this season. And for a team like WBA that doesn’t have the strike power of other teams, you want to take as many easy goals as you can.

      Reply

  10. Great stuff, love the concept.

    Really spot on with a lot of the picks, though I have to wonder if Wenger would’ve abandoned his love for promising youth and taken Guzan to shore up his defense if he saw he was available at 17.

    The more I think about it the more I like Bradley at Spurs, he’d give them a bit of physicality in the middle to make up for Modric’s less than imposing figure.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Bob on 2010/04/22 at 10:37 AM

    What ever happened to M. Parkhurst? Would he be a second-rounder at this point or is he just off the radar now? For some reason his name just popped into my head when I was looking over this list…

    Reply

  12. Posted by HoosFoot on 2010/04/22 at 11:20 AM

    How is Bradley so low-he’s young, he’s our best central mid-how is he below Feilhaber, Edu, Bedoya, and Lichaj? Even Edson Buddle?

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 1:39 PM

      Hey HoosFoot, I’m amazed too. Although, stuff like that happens in the Draft all the time.

      Reply

  13. This sounds worse than it is. Check the updated story on noshortcorners.com – link in the right column – where the club say they’re not going to push him to get back but he still hopes to make the WC.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tom M on 2010/04/22 at 11:50 AM

      I checked the updated story. Ok I feel a little better

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 12:03 PM

        Hey guys — sorry I’ve been slammed today.

        I spoke with Greg at No Short Corners who does a great job and he chatted with Sochaux.
        I interview Charlie next week–was supposed to be this week–and will get more details.

        I put the story lower on the right because I don’t know what to make of it yet.

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/22 at 6:09 PM

          Do you think it is wise to include him? What with no playing time for him between now and the World Cup, how will he get his match fitness?

          George thinks you should play him from the start on 12th June. Even an out of form Terry can keep him in his pocket.

          Reply

        • now that he wont play for his french club anyone think there is a chance for him to play in some of the friendlies before the WC? hartford or philliy etc?

          Reply

        • Posted by Bob on 2010/04/23 at 8:29 AM

          Truthfully, it depends if he can run without pain and with speed. I know after having ACL surgery that muscles atrophy etc and it takes a good year or two to fully regain strength and be able to run as in the past. Of course, as a pro athlete, CD has nothing to do but train and rehab so strength and speed may come to him sooner than most. From his tweets, it seems like all this doubting has really inspired him so who knows what he will be able to do in a month or two. But I must say that it is getting too close to the WC, imo, for him not to be able to play with Schoaux for at least the last 20 minutes of a game or two. Makes me really wonder how fit he really is and conversely makes me want to see BB give Gomez and/or Buddle a hard look come May.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/23 at 8:38 AM

          It’s one thing to be able to run, zig-zag and all the rest of it. Quite another to face a crunching tackle in a game.

          Reply

  14. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 12:08 PM

    Hey guys — sent this before — somehow got lost in the ether:

    Okay, finally able to weigh in here today Antonio:

    Here are my comments:

    – The first 5 picks are spot-on!….unless West Ham doesn’t think Robert Green is the answer — and then they go Howard.
    – I think you’ve got Edson Buddle way to high up there….on age, consistency and Cristian Benitez (who I think is dynamite).
    – I think you’ve got Michael Bradley too low and conversely, he’s just the guy for Birmingham I think. I could also see him going at #9 to Stoke who probably remember that Benny was but a bit player at Derby County.
    – A name you should have this list in the #32 or #33 spot is Hunter Freeman (Texas) who is back from injury and partnering Clarence Goodson up at IK Start.
    – I don’t see Arsenal taking a shot at Bryan Arguez — not young enough –amazingly at this point.
    – Missing as well, Ike Opara who gives at the latest ahead of Brian Ching at City.
    – Bedoya at City is spot-on! and might devastating across from Adam Johnson

    Well done and thanks for this.

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 1:43 PM

      I had Arsenal drafting Arguez because maybe Wenger has some magical plan of transforming him into Song/Eboue 2.0

      Edson goes early for the same reason any team would take Tim Tebow in the first round: he destroyed the competition in college(MLS) and GMs are hoping he would do this in the pros(EPL)

      (…although that isn’t the case)

      Reply

  15. Posted by Jon C on 2010/04/22 at 12:22 PM

    Awesome article Antonio, really cool idea. I agree that Bradley is way too low but most of your picks are dead on.

    Anyone watching Fulham-HSV? Would LOVE to see an American in a European final! Dempsey made the bench after his injury. Zamora just had a beauty of a layoff to Gera but the shot was deflected just wide. Other than that HSV has been really pressing.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Adam on 2010/04/22 at 12:27 PM

    Gringo Torres goes undrafted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  17. Posted by pino on 2010/04/22 at 2:35 PM

    I see Arsenal trading up to get Howard. Personally i think keeper is the gunners weakest position

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 2:42 PM

      That’s a no-brainer on their weakness.

      In Realsville, I see them bringing in Gignac (long rumored) this summer and for goalie Joe Hart — I don’t Lloris because Wenger doesn’t like to buy high. Hart still has one or two question marks. I could also see him going for a youngster like Sergio Romero.

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/22 at 2:43 PM

      Absolutely, Howard would be a great addition to Arsenal.

      I still cannot believe that they didn’t go for Given or Schwartzer in the last couple of years, or Hart or Lloris when they were “cheap”.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 2:49 PM

        They were guzzling the Kool-Aid on Almunia. Sort of Hotspur are doing with Gomes now that he is on a hot streak. That one is going to blow up too….for sure.

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/22 at 2:56 PM

          I wonder who Wenger get this summer for goalkeeper, centre-back and defensive midfield? Hart, Cahill and Parker… Tompkins won’t be at WHU for long – mark my words!

          Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 2:51 PM

      I didn’t want to get too complex with the trading up business and all. That can actually be a whole different column….

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/22 at 2:54 PM

        Go for it!

        I love this stuff..thanks again Antonio….

        Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/22 at 9:55 PM

        Ha. Maybe after I recover from a brain injury caused by Denver’s selection of Tebow in the 1st round…

        Reply

  18. Posted by Scweeb on 2010/04/22 at 5:42 PM

    So why wouldn’t Lando go to Everton?

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/22 at 5:44 PM

      Now that they have their players back from injury, is he guaranteed a starting place?

      Reply

      • They have all their starters back NOW…there’s still a few weeks of season left, the way they’ve gone that’s bound to change :-)

        Reply

  19. Posted by Wilson on 2010/04/23 at 7:25 AM

    I am most dissapointed with the draft. why is Buddle drafted so high(#11), when the coca-cola leagues don’t want him. no one is going to draft eddie johnson either? Buddle is a less athletic version of EJ. not to mention much slower. Have you guys seen the youtube highlights of EJ and Adu tearing up the Greek league together?

    Reply

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