TSG takes a pass at covering the MLS draft. Given the little information available on the players, with the minimal “staff” (and I use that word lightly since we have no real staff), TSG focuses on a little more in-depth pieces on more far-reaching material.
That said, certainly an exciting time for MLS. And first, you have to applaud MLS marketing, especially this offseason, with its expansion draft, followed by the re-entry draft, followed by the MLS SuperDraft.
In business, I guess the best term for it is “excuse marketing”–as in it’s MLS and since you’re a fan we’ve got a good excuse to market to you about something going in.
The staggered scheduling and again marketing is well done, keeping the MLS fan engaged throughout the offseason. Ups to MLS there.
As for the coverage, TSG is first looking for someone who want to host a chat on the draft on Thursday.
As for the players, we are just a few things that I would be looking at if I was a talent scout:
• Has the player’s game grown exponentially…lately?
You might call this the Freddy Adu Syndrome. A player impresses early on, but then the talent and skill in his age group catch up to him. Has the player put together two seasons of growth?
• Is there a defender in that attacker?
Defensive players are all well and good…and just last year out came Tim Ream and Ike Opara who look to have promising careers ahead of them.
However, if you’re looking to take a shot at a player–much like the NBA goes for height–take a player with offensive skills–who’s played in the attack–maybe they can be converted backward.
Even Ream started out as midfielder. Eric Lichaj a striker. Omar Gonzalez, striker. Jonathan Spector, striker. Preston Zimmerman, now playing rightback.
Maybe there’s a nugget of a player out there who hasn’t been tried on the backline yet.
• Performance record against the best.
Call this one the Peyton Manning factor, sort of. The great Colts’ QB is 9-10 now in playoff games.
College soccer is a little different as the disparity in talent between the cream and the rest is so vast. How did the player fare when going up against competition that was as good or better than him.
Another no brainer….but you’d be surprised how many folks fall the, “Well he scored three goals against so-and-so.”
• Hipbone? Check!
Call this one now the Greg Oden Alert.
If a player is struggling against injuries with the speed of the college game. That is an asterisk as they try to compete at the next level.
Physicality is one thing. It’s a little easier to suggest or project whether a player can bulk up or not.
But speed injuries–hamstring, ankles, even knees…less broken bones–has to make a scout wonder.