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MLS Draft Rankings Update

With the 2011 College Cup nearing its finale the 2012 MLS Super Draft is starting to shake up. This article will list the top 20 players for the 2012 MLS Super Draft and give you an exclusive sneak preview of the top 20 2013 MLS Draft prospects at this point.

Below is a list of your final 4 2011 College Cup Teams who play on Friday.

Charlotte 49ers The Charlotte 49ers have knocked off the 2010 College Cup Champion Akron Zips plus they upset a Connecticut team that was the top seed in their bracket.  The Charlotte Bobcats have done to the 2011 College Cup what Virginia Commonwealth did in the 2011 March Madness Tournament.  You simply have to love it and I’m pulling for the 49ers to capture the College Cup in 2011 because I am not a huge supporter of North Carolina or UCLA as a fan.  You could say I look at those teams as a rival school to root against.  I don’t hate either school, its just I prefer to root for some of their rival schools.

Creighton Blue Jays Creighton entered the tournament as the 2nd best team in college soccer.  Forward Ethan Finlay, left back Tyler Polk, and goalie Brian Holt anchor the Creighton Blue Jays.  The winner of the Charlotte VS Creighton game will be a heavy underdog next Sunday against the UCLA VS North Carolina Winner.

Creighton entered the 2011 NCAA College Cup as a #2 overall seed and the top seed in their bracket.

UCLA Bruins UCLA entered the year as the #2 overall team in the preseason polls.  A sluggish regular season performance caused the Bruins to be a 13 seed once the 2011 College Cup started.

North Carolina Tar Heels North Carolina was the top ranked team heading into the 48 team 2011 College Cup.  Now the Tar Heels are the overwhelming favorite to capture the College Cup.  The UCLA VS North Carolina winner will be a heavy favorite to capture the College Cup next Sunday.

2012 MLS Super Draft Top 20 Draft Board

1. Darren Mattocks Forward Akron Sophomore Mattocks is the complete striker who continues to showcase amazing ability.  Mattocks should sign a generation adidas deal and may even try to make a European Ball Club in the English Premiere League.  Mattocks is that talented as an MLS prospect.  Mattocks had 18 goals as a sophomore after scoring 18 goals as a freshman while losing 9 teammates on Akron’s roster heading into his sophomore season.

2. Andrew Wenger Defenseman Duke Junior Wenger has already stated that he plans on signing a Generation Adidas Deal Wenger will be the clear cut #2 player after Darren Mattocks.

There will be a huge following of agents who want to sign Wenger as a client in a bidding war sometime next week.

Wenger is a two way defender.  Wenger displays the goal scoring offensive defender skills while showing the skill set of a defensive defender as well.

Wenger is very versatile defensively.  He can line up as a center back or a defensive midfielder.

Wenger is graded out higher than Mattocks by some.  This draft is stacked at forward plus their could be a huge drop off in defenseman after Andrew Wenger so it would not surprise me if Montreal took Wenger with the top pick even though I still believe the Impact will take Darren Mattocks at the end of the day.

If Montreal does take Wenger they need to package a deal to move back into the first round for a striker.  The 2012 MLS Super Draft is stacked at striker.  As many as 9 of the top 15 picks in the 2012 MLS Super Draft could play forward at the next level at some point.

Montreal is stacked everywhere at midfield, defense, and goalie.  Building the offense is the final need before the Impact have a major Impact on the MLS.  Building an offense all starts at striker by obtaining that primary goal scoring forward.

3. Enzo Martinez Midfielder North Carolina Junior Enzo Martinez has done enough to remain in the top 3 of the 2012 MLS Super Draft conversation.  Martinez scored 10 goals as a sophomore.  Martinez recorded 9 goals and 10 assists as a junior.

UCLA midfielder Kelyn Rowe and Enzo Martinez are 1A and 1B in terms of MLS midfielder prospects.  Friday’s College Cup Semifinal between North Carolina and UCLA.  Friday’s matchup will decide who the top midfielder is in the 2012 MLS Super Draft.

4. Kelyn Rowe Midfielder UCLA Sophomore UCLA Sophomore Kelyn Rowe has the potential to be a 10 goal and 10 assist midfielder.  Rowe was the #1 prospect in the 2012 MLS Super Draft at one point.

Rowe should be a top 5 pick if he declares.  Rowe was the top pick by some heading into this year.  He would probably be considered the top pick for 2013 if he decided he wanted to return to school.

5. Billy Schuler Forward North Carolina Junior Redshirt Schuler has been in games where he comes off the bench plus there are some durability concerns I have with Schuler.  Schuler has already announced that he will sign a Generation Adidas Contract so he should be a top 5 pick.

After Mattocks, Wenger, Martinez, Rowe, and Schuler there is a huge drop off in MLS prospects in terms of Generation Adidas Players.  Mattocks and Wenger consist of that tier 1 list of prospects while Martinez, Rowe, and Schuler are considered the 2nd tier Generation Adidas prospects with the rest of the top 20 players outside of the top 5 at this point.

6. Luis Silva Midfielder UC Santa Barbara Senior Luis Silva scored 17 goals and 10 assists for UC Santa Barbara in 2011.  Silva should be a top 10 pick with his masterful playmaking ability in 2011 despite the fact that he plays for a small school.  When you post 10 goals and 10 assists you have earned the right to be a top 10 selection.

7. Casey Townsend Forward Maryland Senior Casey Townsend is considered one of the most coveted MLS Draft prospects.  Townsend has been considered a future MLS first round pick since he arrived on campus at Maryland as a freshman straight out of high school.

Townsend managed to record 17 goals, 2 assists, and 36 points as a senior at Maryland.  Townsend got a hat trick against West Virginia who displays one of the countries top defenses.

8. Matt Hedges Defenseman North Carolina Senior Hedges is a blue collar defensive defender with a 6 foot 4 200 pound frame.  Hedges displays excellent size and the top notch physical tools to prevent goal scorers from executing scoring chances.

Hedges is arguably the most MLS ready center back.  The downside is that his potential has sort of maxed out because you have not seen much offensive ability to compensate for this.

Hedges has recorded 5 goals and 1 assist as a senior.  Hedges has played well in some games like the Indiana game during the College Cup while he struggled during other games.

9. Nick DeLeon Midfielder Louisville Senior DeLeon has the versatility to play forward, midfield, or defender just like Duke defenseman Andrew Wenger.  DeLeon has generated 6 goals and 6 assists.

DeLeon is a central midfielder who has experience playing forward as a secondary striker, he can be used as an attacking midfielder, DeLeon can be utilized as a central midfielder, he can line up at defensive midfielder, and he also displays the ability to convert to a center back role.

Nick DeLeon’s versatility alone is enough to attract a team to draft him in the top 10.

10. Chandler Hoffman Forward UCLA Junior The UCLA Bruins goal scoring striker has obtained 18 goals and 4 assists in 2011.  Hoffman should be a top 10 pick and could soar even further on MLS Draft Boards with a signature game against North Carolina on Friday.

11. Dom Dwyer Forward South Florida Junior Dom Dwyer is an MLS Ready Striker.  Dwyer really excelled in the 2011 College Cup with 16 goals.  Dwyer helped lead South Florida to a quarterfinals appearance before South Florida lost to Creighton in the round of 8.

12. Tony Cascio Forward/Midfielder/Defenseman Conecticut Senior Cascio is a very undersized player who failed to impress scouts in 2011.

Cascio’s versatility allows him to excel practically anywhere on the field.  The fact that Cascio is 5 foot 11 165 while underperforming in 2011 gives you the impression that Cascio could be a tweener.  Someone will take a flyer on Cascio relatively early in this draft.

13. Colin Rolfe Forward Louisville Senior Rolfe got off to a sluggish start after entering the preseason as a potential top 5 pick.  He has managed to bounce back with his recent play.  Rolfe should be a top 15 pick in 2012.

14. Sam Garza Forward UC Santa Barbara Junior Redshirt Sam Garza of UC Santa Barbara should be the final Generation Adidas Player for 2012.  There is talk that Garza may play for Europe, Spain, or Mexico internationally.  Garza is as good as gone if these rumors are even remotely true.

15. Aaron Maund Defenseman Notre Dame Senior Aaron Maund is one of two center backs on Notre Dame’s 2011 College Soccer roster.

16. Hunter Jumper Defenseman Virginia Senior Virginia Commodore left back Hunter Jumper is the top left back in the 2012 MLS Super Draft.

17. Brian Ownby Forward Virginia Senior Brian Ownby has the potential to be a top pick when he is healthy.  Durability concerns cause Ownby to slip to this spot.

18. Austin Berry Defenseman Louisville Senior Austin Berry was my projected #1 pick in my preseason mock draft.  Berry has really slipped in terms of draft status and looks like a borderline first rounder.  Berry could get bumped down even further.

19. Ethan Finlay Forward Creighton Senior Creighton Forward Ethan Finlay is a top 20 pick that will get borderline first round consideration if only 8 Generation Adidas Players sign like I anticipate.

20. Chris Blais Goalie South Florida Senior Redshirt The former Michigan transfer has a 0.86 Goals against average while recording 8 shutouts.  Blais looks like the only goalie with a shot of cracking the first round at this point.  Right now Blais looks like the top prospect available heading into the 2nd round of the 19 team 2012 MLS Super Draft.

2013 MLS Draft Board Top 20 Debut

1. Eriq Zavaleta Forward Indiana Sophomore As a freshman in 2011 Zavalata managed to score 10 goals being the top recruit out of high school.

Darren Mattocks is my clear cut best available 2012 prospect.  The 2013 MLS Super Draft could be a 3 horse race between Indiana forward Eriq Zavalata, Connecticut defender Andrew Jean Baptiste, and Virginia midfielder Brian “Cobi” Span.

One of these 3 players should be the top pick in 2013 assuming that Span and Jean Baptiste both return to school.  Depending on who picks #1 in 2013 and depending on what the teams needs are that would decide which of the 3 players is the top pick.

Zavaleta is a striker and strikers usually go #1 overall so Zavaleta gets a landslide edge over the other 2 prospects at this point even though I believe its a 3 horse race between Zavalata, Jean Baptiste, and Span for the top pick.

2. Andrew Jean Baptiste Defenseman Connecticut Junior Andrew Jean Baptiste is currently a sophomore at Connecticut.  Andrew will have a tough decision to make.  Does he opt to sign a Generation Adidas offer if he gets one or does Andrew return to school to help the Huskies win a National Title in 2012?

I think Andrew would be the top player in terms of being an immediate impact player with long term potential in this years draft after Darren Mattocks if he came out as a sophomore.

The consensus MLS Scouts view Andrew as a borderline Generation Adidas Player plus Connecticut lost to Charlotte today in upset fashion so Andrew could return to school.  Its just tough when you lose to an underdog like Charlotte in penalty kicks.

Either way you have to wish Andrew the best of luck and support his decision.  Andrew Jean Baptiste has had an excellent sophomore season for Connecticut and I would not hesitate to draft him with a top 5 pick when he decides to go pro.

The bottom line is Andrew can play defense very well at center back helping goalies out.  If I’m looking for defense I want Andrew on my team.

3. Brian “Cobi” Span Midfielder Virgina Junior Brian “Cobi” Span will be a top 10 pick if he comes out as a sophomore.  If he returns he could be a top 5 pick competing to be the #1 pick in the 2013 MLS Super Draft.  I think returning is the no brainer decision on Span’s part.

4. Jared Watts Defenseman Wake Forest Junior Jared Watts is a defensive midfielder who can play very aggressively for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.  Watts was a very coveted recruit coming out of high school.

Watts has a tendency to get red cards despite having the versatility to convert to center back.  I’ve made bold predictions on this site before.  My bold prediction with Watts is that he channels his aggressive tendency to get red cards and shows major signs of blossoming as an MLS Prospect.  Watts performs so well that he enters the top 5 discussion.

5. Aodhan Quinn Midfielder Akron Junior Akron head coach Caleb Porter has helped coach one Generation Adidas Top 5 pick every year since 2009.  Porter first took over Akron in 2006 as the Zips College Soccer Head Coach.  Porter is now coaching the US Under 23 Team.

I love Porter’s coaching philosophy.  I strongly believe that if Team USA wins the FIFA World Cup in the Next decade Caleb Porter will be the head coach on the team when Team USA Captures the .  Porter brings that it factor that a Championship coach needs to bring.  I really believe that Porter could be to Team USA in FIFA what Herb Brooks was to the 1980 US Mens Hockey Team.  That’s what I see when I look at Porter as a potential head coach for Team USA.  Porter is currently 36 years old.

Herb Brooks was 42 years old when he guided Team USA to a Winter Olympics Win .  Porter will turn 42 years old when the 2018 FIFA World Cup Approaches.

Porter will not coach Team USA in the 2014 World Cup, but he should get the chance to coach the USA Team for 2018 if Jurgen Klinsmann does not get the job done in 2014.  Herb Brooks won the 1980 Winter Olympics when he was 42 years old.  I keep comparing Porter’s coaching style to Herb Brooks.  Anyone else think its a coincidence that Porter will be 42 when the 2018 World Cup approaches?

Porter continues to develop talent.  Zakunai Akron forward #1 overall pick in 2009 MLS Draft.  Teal Bunbury 2010 Top 5 pick.  Akron had 3 of the top 4 picks and 5 of the top 7 players in the 2011 MLS Super Draft.  In 2012 Akron forward Darren Mattocks looks like he could have the potential to be the face of the MLS Down the road once Landon Donovan leaves the MLS because Mattocks matched his 18 goal total from last season despite losing 9 players.

Porter will continue to develop MLS Talent as long as he coaches Akron.  I’m seriously wondering when Porter will get his chance to coach Team USA in the FIFA World Cup.  Porter has that presence as a head coach to mold young upstart soccer players into men who compete for a championship.

That’s the exact mentality and mindset that Herb Brooks brought to the 1980 USA Mens Hockey Team.  Team USA knocked off a heavy favored Soviet Union USSR team in the 1980 Winter Olympics.  That’s exactly what Team USA needs if their soccer team will ever get on the map with all these countries like Brazil, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and England competing every 4 years in the FIFA World Cup.

Aodhan Quinn is currently a sophomore at Akron.  Quinn has managed to fly under the radar.  Quinn is not getting enough recognition for Mattocks success because Akron is such a young soccer team on paper after losing 9 players from their 2010 Championship Team.

Quinn generated 10 assists in 2011.  In 2012 when Mattocks leaves Quinn will have to step up and become the teams leader.  I think Quinn will have a lot of questions that Mattocks had entering this season.  There were questions about Mattocks because he scored 18 goals as a freshman before the team lost 9 starters with 7 to the MLS and 2 to transfers.

Like Mattocks, Quinn manages to answer those questions and step up for Akron silencing the critics who doubt his ability.  With Mattocks gone many people will expect Quinn’s production to decline.  The exact opposite will happen as Akron head coach Caleb Porter grooms another Generation Adidas Player who joins the MLS.

6. Mamadou Diouf Forward Connecticut Junior Diouf managed to tally 13 goals as  a sophomore in 2011.  If he returns for his junior season then he could be a Generation Adidas Player in a year from now.

7. Tyler Polak Defenseman Creighton Junior Polak plays for a small school that should get more national exposure with Creighton.  Polak is a left back who is best suited on the outside as a sophomore.  Polak needs to return next season to continue to improve his game even if the Creighton Blue Jays capture the 2011 College Cup.

8. Andre Blake Goalie Connecticut Sophomore Generation Adidas usually signs one very exceptional goalie and there are 8 Generation Adidas Players.

2012 will not have that top tier blue chip goaltender prospect.  2013 may haul in that highly coveted goaltender.

Andre Blake has had an outstanding freshman campaign for the Connecticut Huskies.  Blake has started in 25 games as a true freshman for Connecticut while playing 2,337 minutes at goaltender.

Blake has only allowed 10 goals in 25 games as a true freshman.  Blake’s goals allowed average is .385 which is the 2nd lowest goals against average in the country.  That is a good thing because the fewer goals you allow the better.

Blake is an exceptional goalie prospect who will get could get some Generation Adidas Consideration in a year from now.

 9. Dillon Powers Defenseman Notre Dame Senior Powers is an intriguing prospect.  He turned down a chance to be a Generation Adidas Player in 2011 after his sophomore season.

Powers returned to Notre Dame despite being captain of the US Under 20 Team in May.  Powers has really regressed for Notre Dame as a junior.  Powers has considered going pro this season.  The problem is that he may not be a Generation Adidas Player in 2012 which would force him to return for his senior season.

Powers would still warrant a top 10 selection if he returned for his senior season at Notre Dame.

10. Eric Schoelne Defenseman West Virginia Senior Eric Schoelne has the versatility to play left back, center back, or right back.  Schoelne should return for his senior season.  Schoelne looked like a Generation Adidas Player for the 2012 MLS Super Draft before Casey Townsend dropped a hat trick on West Virginia’s defense in the 2011 College Cup.

Since that game, Schoelne has fallen off the map.  Schoelne needs a strong senior campaign to redeem his top 10 draft stock.  Even then, it may not be enough.

Schoelne should return for his senior season vying for a top 10 selection.  If Schoelne returns there could be as many as 5 defenseman selected in the top 10.

11. Will Bates Forward Virginia Senior Redshirt Will Bates scored 14 goals in 15 games as a junior redshirt.  Bates can be an effective goal scorer.  The problem with Bates is that he has some durability issues to clear up.

12. Blake Smith Forward New Mexico Senior Blake Smith is a left winger at the forward position.  Smith scored 10 goals for a New Mexico college soccer team that took College Soccer by storm in 2011.

Smith could be just as effective if he returns for his senior season.  Its easy to find strikers and secondary strikers in the first round.

Left wing and right wing players who play on the outside do not come along every day so Smith’s stock could increase a bit.

13. Kevin Durr Midfielder Air Force Senior Kevin Durr is an attacking midfielder for the Air Force Falcons.  Having an attacking midfielder who plays on Air Force just sounds awesome in general.

Durr generated 10 assists as a junior in 2011.  He should match those numbers as a senior in 2012 next season.

If an MLS Team wants to take Durr with a top 10 pick I really cannot blame them.  In fact I will applaud a team for taking Kevin Durr with a top 10 selection.

 His name sounds cool, the position he plays on his team is ideal for him, but most importantly the man serves his country off of the soccer field which is always something that we should be thankful for.

I’ve never heard of an MLS draft prospect that is involved in serving their country off of the field.  Durr plays midfield on Air Force plus he is very devoted and disciplined when it comes to responsibility off of the field.  That’s really what makes Durr such a valued 2013 MLS Draft Prospect if he ends up going pro.

If an NFL quarterback with Tim Tebow’s skill set went to Air Force and became an NFL player  who won games I don’t think they would be getting the all the scrutiny that Tebow receives on a weekly basis.  Something tells me that MLS Scouts are going to fall in love with Kevin Durr if he decides to pursue a professional career at the next level in the MLS.

Here are a few more fascinating facts about Kevin Durr.  Durr was a member of the 2005-2006 USA Under 15 National Team as a teenager.  Durr has experience playing prep soccer internationally in France and Germany.  Durr wants to major in piloting with a minor in German.  Durr speaks the German language in fluent fashion plus he also speaks French well.  Finally Durr is member of Cadet Squadron 35.

Some athletes are so exceptional in society when it comes to leading by example that they earn the recognition of their peers off the field.  Kevin Durr is an exceptional person with a feel good story that every sports fan should be honored to witness.

14. Matt Lodge Midfielder Kentucky Senior Matt Lodge recorded 10 assists last season as a junior.  Lodge should be a first round pick if he returns for his senior campaign at Kentucky.

15. Carlos Alvarez Forward Connecticut Senior Cascio can be used as a secondary striker or an attacking midfielder.  Alvarez is currently a junior who is projected to return for his senior season at Connecticut.  If Mamadou Diouf, Andrew Jean Baptiste, and Carlos Alvarez all return next season then Connecticut should be the preseason favorite to win the 2012 College Cup.

16. Victor Rodriguez Goalie New Mexico Senior Redshirt Victor Rodriguez was the goalie for an undefeated New Mexico team in 2011.  New Mexico was the only unbeaten heading into the College Cup.  Rodriguez looks like a late first rounder.

17. Marcello Castro Defenseman Sacred Heart Senior Redshirt Castro is currently a junior redshirt at Sacred Heart.  Castro has played against some of the best future soccer prospects in Brazil growing up.  Castro’s father played soccer when Marcello was a child in Brazil.

Castro seems like a player who could emerge as a late first round pick.  Castro did well in 2010 for Sacred Heart as a sophomore redshirt at center back.

Castro has become so popular in the eyes of College Soccer that he even has his own documentary on Youtube.  Just type in Marcello Castro documentary on Youtube to find out more about him.

18. Ashani Fariclough Defenseman South Florida Senior Fariclough has versatility to be a defensive midfielder or a center back at the MLS level.

Fariclough will have to step up as a senior in 2012 with goalie Chris Blais expected to turn pro.

19. Matt Lampson Goalie Ohio State Senior Redshirt Matt Lampson was projected to be my top goalie selected heading into this season.  His sluggish 2011 season will probably  prompt him to return to school.  Lampson could be a late first round pick if he finishes his senior redshirt campaign on a very strong note.

20. Yannick Smith Forward Old Dominion Senior Yannick Smith scored 16 goals as a junior for Old Dominion in 2011.  Smith could be a 2013 first round prospect if he continues his dominance for Old Dominion in 2012.