1. Montreal Impact Austin Berry D Louisville The Montreal Impact will be the 19th team to join the MLS in 2012. The MLS currently has 18 teams in the league at the moment.
Soony Saad was supposed to be the clear cut #1 overall pick as a sophomore forward at striker straight out of Michigan. Soony Saad left Michigan and Sporting Kansas City won his rights in an auction.
Now there is no clear cut #1 overall pick at this point thanks to Saad bolting for the MLS and withdrawing from the 2012 MLS Super Draft.
At this point Louisville defender Austin Berry is the favorite to go #1 overall in 2012 at this point.
As a freshman Austin Berry helped a Louisville defense record 8 shutouts. Louisville recorded 5 shutouts under Austin Berry during his sophomore year.
Berry was named Big East Player of the Year during his junior campaign. Austin Berry has been the cornerstone for the Louisville Cardinals defense for the past three seasons. Austin Berry scored in the first half of the 2010 Semifinal matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Akron lost to Virginia in the final the previous year in 2009 then Akron defeated Louisville to win the Mens Soccer Championship in 2010. Akron had 2 first round picks in 2010 and 7 draft picks drafted in 2011. 5 Akron soccer players went in the top 8 of the 2011 MLS Super Draft.
Louisville has a lot of first round talent returning and looks like the favorite to win the 2011 Mens College Soccer Championship in 2011.
Austin Berry is best used as a defender who contains the middle of the field. The only knock on Austin Berry at this point is that Austin Berry had some durability issues during his 2010 campaign.
Austin Berry can be used as a defensive midfielder who can keep midfielders from shooting the soccer ball or Berry can keep midfielders from creating a huge breakaway opportunity by containing the middle of the soccer field forcing the midfielder to find another passing option.
You can also use Austin Berry as a center back and have him keep strikers who try to shoot from medium distance in check with his defensive ability. Center backs are best used to contain strikers while defensive midfielders shut down the ability of a midfielder.
Berry is my frontrunner to go #1 overall in 2012 at this point. If Austin Berry wins an NCAA Championship for Louisville this season and puts his durability issues to rest he has a chance to stand out among the prospects in the 2012 MLS Super Draft.
Austin Berry will go #1 overall in 2012 if he can win an NCAA Championship, a Hermann Trophy for top college soccer player, and makes scouts forget about his injury early in the 2010 regular season against Notre Dame leading up to the 2010 NCAA Mens Soccer tournament as a junior.
Austin Berry has a golden opportunity to be the #1 overall pick in 2012. Austin Berry will have some competition this season with players like Andrew Wenger, David Bingham, Casey Townsend, and teammate Colin Rolfe all challenging Berry for the right to go #1 overall. Austin Berry would be foolish not to cease this golden opportunity because he has a chance to go #1 overall thanks to Soony Saad leaving Michigan.
2. Vancouver Whitecaps Andrew Wenger D Duke I predicted that the Whitecaps would have the worst record in the MLS, but their playing better than their record indicates. The Whitecaps have talent in place. The problem is Vancouver still needs some time to gel and their not making the most of golden opportunities.
Vancouver has their offense in place right now at forward and midfield. Camilo is a proven center forward as the teams main striker with Eric Hassili as the teams secondary striker. First round pick Michael Nanchoff is the left winger with Abita Harris at right wing. 2011 #1 overall pick Omar Salgado is being used as an attacking mid fielder. Vancouver has Davide Chiumiento who leads the team in assists and Jeb Brovsky as the center mid fielders.
This leaves the defense and goaltending to address by process of elimination. Alain Rochat is a left back playing fullback on the left side who can create some opportunities now and then as a left wing back. Bilal Duckett can play the center back, left back, or right back. Duckett is not a wing back, but can play anywhere in back on defense at center back or fullback. Duckett is best used as a right back.
Duke defenseman Andrew Wenger is the 2nd best player available in this draft. Wenger is center back who can also play the defensive midfielder role. Vancouver lacks a defensive midfielder. Bilal Duckett can play center back, but Wenger is a huge upgrade who can be a center back or a defensive midfielder. Drafting Wenger also allows Duckett to move to the right fullback position which is where he is best suited to play.
Vancouver Whitecaps goalies Jay Nolly and Joe Cannon are splitting playing time at goalie. David Bingham the California goaltender would have been the 2nd goalie behind Zac MacMath taken had he declared last season as a junior. Bingham has a chance to be a top 5 pick now that he returned for his senior year.
Vancouver can draft for need and take Zac MacMath while having faith in Duckett at center back or they can take a center back who can also play the defensive midfielder role getting a goalie prospect in round 2.
Andrew Wenger is the best player available and he provides an upgrade over Duckett which is why Vancouver would take him 2nd if the season ended today and they picked 2nd overall in 2 months from now.
Wenger started all 20 games for Duke at center back last season. Durability is not an issue with Wenger. plus he was a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy who was 1 spot shy of being a finalist for the award last season.
Louisville defender Austin Berry has some durability issues. Wenger has a chance to be the top pick in 2012 if injuries pop up for Austin Berry this season.
3. Toronto FC David Bingham GK California Toronto FC had the 3rd worst record. 3/3 with predicting the MLS Draft Order so far. If you look at our 2011 Prediction page and scroll down to the MLS predictions you can see what I thought of each team back in March.
The Toronto FC have surrendered 37 goals in 22 games that’s more than any MLS team in 2011. The goaltending isn’t the only poor quality this team displays. The other main concern with the FC is their inconsistent play and constant showing of mental mistakes.
Usually there is not a goalie in place to draft at this point when you surrender as many goals as Toronto. In this case the Toronto FC take the best available player and address a huge need by getting a goalie.
David Bingham isn’t a top pick right now. Goalies are such a premium in soccer so Montreal may opt for David Bingham with the top pick given their hockey teams track record for finding top notch goaltenders. I know that hockey and soccer goalies have different abilities in their sports despite playing their respective roles. I’m just looking at the possibility of David Bingham being the top pick.
4. Chicago Fire Casey Townsend F Maryland I had the Timbers picking 4th in my MLS Season preview. That means I was wrong about the Timbers picking 4th a the moment.
Chicago has only scored 20 goals so far this year ranking 15th out of 18 teams in goals scored. No one has really stood out despite the fact that Chicago’s only allowed 25 goals while having some bad breaks go their way.
Casey Townsend scored 9 goals for Maryland. Townsend would provide enough offensive firepower for Chicago to contend because this team is barely losing games despite the huge lack of goal scoring.
Casey Townsend is a Generation Adidas Player. Generation Adidas players usually go higher than most players. The fact that Townsend is a pure striker at center forward and is the top striker prospect in this draft. If Townsend can have a career year at striker in 2011 he could be the top pick in 2012.
5. New England Revolution Colin Rolfe F Lousiville New England has scored fewer goals than any MLS team in the league. In 20 of the games New England has played in they have been shut out 9 times.
Rolfe was a 2010 Herman Trophy Finalist scoring 9 goals and 25 points last season. In 2009 he had 10 goals while scoring 14 goals as a freshman. You cannot question Rolfe’s consistency or dedication.
Colin Rolfe can be used as center forward, secondary striker, winger, or attacking midfielder when it comes to the forward position. Rolfe can play defense too when he’s not on the attack. You could move Rolfe to midfield and possibly convert him to a wing back role over time with his defensive skill set. Rolfe is best suited as a forward or attacking midfielder up front on offense creating scoring chances for his team.
Townsend may be a pure striker, but Rolfe is the more complete soccer player. I’d rather have the more complete player than the pure striker that’s just me though.
Colin Rolfe plans on majoring in Communications so he’s going to impress a lot of scouts during the interview process. It really would not shock me if Rolfe jumped his Louisville teammate Austin Berry on MLS Draft boards and ultimately ended up going #1 overall.
6. Portland Timbers Sebastian Ibeagha D Duke Next to Toronto FC Portland has surrendered the most goals in the league despite scoring 22 goals. Sebastian Ibeagha played for the Houston Dynamo Academy. John Spencer was an assistant coach for a Houston Dynamo team that won back to back MLS Cups. Spencer used year one to focus on boosting the play of the forwards considering the fact that Spencer is a former forward as a pro soccer player.
In year 2 Portland will shift their focus to defense. Like Andrew Wenger Ibeagha can be used as a center back or a defensive midfielder. Finding two way defenders who can contain the strikers or the midfielder is key. Ibeagha missed 4 games due to injuries, but has the talent and skill set to be the Portland Timbers defensive anchor at center back. John Spencer got a glimpse of Sebastian Ibeagha at a Houston Dynamo soccer Academy so he has better insight on him than any other team in the league.
Igeagha could jump Andrew Wenger and end up going #1 overall if he stays healthy while outperforming Wenger on a deadly Duke defense.
7. Chivas USA Darren Mattocks F Akron Chivas USA is just behind in the points standings. They have scored 24 goals while allowing 23 goals so far this year. The teams playing much better this season and may even get a chance to play for a playoff spot with a late season run. Chivas USA only posted 28 points all year in 2010 while scoring 31 goals all year in 2010 during 30 games. In 20 games this year Chivas USA has scored 24 goals while posting 23 points. I’m kind of shocked that Chivas has improved this much in such a short time span.
Darren Mattocks scored a mind boggling 14 goals on the Akron Zips last season as a freshman. Why isn’t Mattocks a top 5 pick? Mattocks was on an Akron team with a lot of talent that won the 2010 NCAA Mens Soccer Championship. This Zips team was also a runner up to Virginia in 2009.
Akron had 5 players drafted in the top 8 of the 2011 MLS Super Draft with three top 5 picks in 2011. The Zips also had a total of 7 players drafted in 2011 along with their 3 total draft picks in 2010. In 2009 Steve Zakuani went #1 overall to the Seattle Sounders. This would make Darren Mattocks the 12th Akron player to be drafted over a 4 year period. Mattacks would also be the 9th first round pick Akron has produced since 2009 when Zakuani went #1 overall.
Mattocks lost a lot of talent around him with the 7 players gone to the MLS. Mattocks posted top 5 pick numbers with 14 goals. Mattocks will be the #1 pick if he scores 15 goals this season without a supporting cast.
8. DC United Dillon Powers D Notre Dame Dillon Powers is a pure defensive midfielder who plays a box to box game as a midfielder. Dillon Powers has such an amazing work ethic and attitude.
Powers lost a talented defender at Notre Dame that included 3rd round pick Bilal Duckett. If Powers can prove he is a true defensive midfielder without Bilal Duckett at center back he could climb up on draft boards to the point where he is in the discussion to go #1 overall.
9. Sporting Kansas City Keiyn Rowe M UCLA Keiyn Rowe is an attacking midfielder who stood out as a freshman with 24 points during his freshman campaign. Sporting Kansas City is stacked with talent at forward. Sporting Kansas City now has Omar Bravo their team captain, CJ Sapong this years first round draft pick in 2011 who I thought was a huge reach I take the part about Sapong being a huge reach back he may win MLS Rookie Of The Year honors in 2011, Kei Kamara an underrated striker, Teal Bunbury a 2010 first round pick that they got in the top 5 is on Sporting Kansas City as a forward and finally you got Soony Saad the forward from Michigan who was a clear cut #1 overall pick for the 2012 MLS Super Draft who would have been the #1 overall pick in 2012 before he left Michigan to look for a European Soccer gig overseas. Saad could not find a gig so Sporting Kansas City was fortunate enough to win his services in a bidding war.
There is no doubt that Sporting Kansas City has the forwards to win. Now Sporting Kansas City just needs to get an attacking midfielder who can create scoring chances for these forwards and the offense will display really good ball control skills. Sporting Kansas City needs to find a new coach who can reach out to his players if they cannot get to the postseason by 2012 because the firepower at the forward position is so strong in terms of depth.
Rowe could surge up draft boards and be the #1 overall pick in 2012 with a breakout season.
10. San Jose Earthquakes Brian Ownby F Virginia Brian Ownby was a frontrunner along with Anthony Ampitakwong to go #1 overall in 2011. Ownby has had injury issues his whole career. Ownby was injured as a sophomore, but recovered in time to help Virginia win the 2009 NCAA Mens Championship as a sophomore.
Ownby’s durability concerns continued to occur as Ownby suffered injuries during his junior campaign. Ownby could skyrocket up draft boards and end up going #1 overall with an injury free senior campaign.
11. Houston Dynamo Tony Cascio M Connecticut Cascio had 10 goals last year as a junior. He is a top 12 prospect and will solidify his first round status with another strong year. Cascio could propel himself into the top 10 with a 15 goal campaign. He could be a top 5 pick with a 20 point campaign. If he gets 25-30 points along with 20 goals he may even go #1 overall.
Cascio can play anywhere at forward or midfield plus you can use him as an attacking midfielder.
12. Columbus Crew Ryan Finley F Duke Finley can be an attacking midfielder or anywhere at forward. Finley scored 17 goals and 37 points in 2010 for the Duke Blue Devils.
Some people consider Ryan Finley the #1 player in the 2012 MLS Super Draft at this point in late July after Soony Saad had he returned to Michigan only to declare in 2012. If Finley matches his numbers he may go #1 overall in 2012. Thanks to Saad’s departure Finley is one of twelve players in my top 12 for my 2012 MLS Mock Draft. There is a crapshoot of MLS prospects for 2012 with 12 players in contention to be the #1 overall pick. Hopefully with some college soccer this draft process straightens itself out.
13. New York Red Bulls Matt Kassel M Maryland The Red Bulls were my pick to win the Supporter’s Shield this season. I look foolish for picking the Red Bulls as my 2011 Supporter’s Shield Winner. Last night the Colorado Rapids defeated the New York Red Bulls 4 to 1. Some Red Bulls fans are already calling for their head coach to be fired due to their poor performance this season.
Matt Kassel recorded 9 goals and 11 assists in 2010. Kassel could go as high as #9 overall. Kassel isn’t as good as the 12 prospects above him on this draft list, but has the potential to be a top 10 value pick.
Kassel plays center mid fielder and the attacking midfielder role.
14. Colorado Rapids Aaron Maund D Notre Dame The Rapids won the MLS Cup in 2010 and surprised every MLS team.
Maund is another center back. Maund has the athleticism to convert to wing back or full back. Dillon Powers makes Maund’s job easier which is why he dropped to this spot.
15. Real Salt Lake Karo Okiomah F High Point Real Salt Lake upset the Los Angeles Galaxy to win the MLS Cup in 2010. They have allowed a league low 12 goals so far this season. I really believe that Real Salt Lake could get back to the MLS Cup for the 2nd time in 3 years with their talent. The problem with Real Salt Lake is they need to convert more scoring opportunities.
Okiomah is a small school player with mind boggling offensive numbers. Okiomah posted 14 goals, 26 points, and went 3/4 when kicking penalty kicks.
I haven’t seen Okiomah play yet, but his name sounds awesome plus he has the production for a small school striker at High Point. If I’m going to pick an MLS prospect to to be the dark horse in this draft I’m picking Karo Okiomah to be that dark horse player.
16. Philadelphia Union Enzo Martinez M North Carolina Enzo Martinez is a forward who is best suited as an attacking midfielder. He recorded 10 points for the Tar Heels during his freshman campaign. Martinez enters his junior season after a sophomore slump.
17. Seattle Sounders Darren Amoo F Liberty In March I predicted that the Seattle Sounders would defeat Real Salt Lake in the 2011 MLS Cup. The Sounders will probably throw a parade hosted by team owner Drew Carey. Feel free to insert a Drew Carey game show host joke here. Carey has hosted Whose Line Is It Anyway, the Price is Right, my favorite game show Power of 10, and he has a new game show called Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza. Carey’s hosted 3 more game shows than Alex Trebek ever will. That’s my way of saying Carey>Trebek don’t take it personally Jeopardy fans.
Darren Amoo recorded 33 points and 14 goals as a center forward at the striker position. He could move to secondary striker or attacking midfielder.
18. FC Dallas Matt Lampson G Ohio State After losing the 2010 MLS Cup to the Colorado Rapids FC Dallas headed into the season with a huge chip on their shoulder. The team got off to a really bad start, but is now one of the hottest teams in the league. FC Dallas could have been in contention to challenge the Los Angeles Galaxy for the 2011 Supporter’s Shield.
I get the feeling that 2 goalies will go in round 1 since 19 teams are picking. Matt Lampson is a 2nd round talent that had a lot of good defensive players for a supporting cast last season. I predict that Lampson sneaks into the late part of round 1.
Lampson had a 0.73 GAA as a redshirt freshman in 2009. He had a sophomore slump. A strong junior redshirt campaign could make Lampson a late first round pick.
19. Los Angeles Galaxy Ben Speas M Akron Speas is going to have to step up for Akron thanks to their numerous losses. Ben Speas is a top 20 talent and the Los Angeles Galaxy will take him if he slides to #19 overall.