It’s a long time till the draft comes around again, but there is already some fantastic talent to be seen in next year’s senior class. As bad as this year’s forward class was, next year’s has the potential to be dynamite just with seniors alone. It’s just the opposite in the back where the defensive pickings look much slimmer than the packed 2007 class.
For the purpose of this list I’m just going to look at seniors and not try to predict a year in advance who might be a Generation adidas target, although they will of course be highly coveted.
Ten Seniors to Watch for the 2009 MLS SuperDraft
Marcus Tracy, Wake Forest, Forward – The top two forwards appear to be the cream of the crop at this point and are kinda similar. Which one you like depends on your taste; college production or hypothetical upside. I happen to really like Tracy as he’s a big game player for the big stage with massive upside in my opinion. He’s tall, strong, super fast and has really great touch. He’s the prototypical pro forward package, which is why MLS was so hot to sign him to a Generation adidas deal this year.
O’Brian White, Connecticut, Forward – Another player MLS actively sought to sign this year. Herman Trophy winner, NSCAA Player of the Year, and Soccer America Player of the Year with an astounding 23 goals in 2007. Same skill set as Tracy and he scored more goals in college, although in a slightly weaker conference. He might just be the slightest bit less valuable cause he’s a Jamaican International born in Canada.
Bruno Guarda, SMU, Midfield – The Ponies terrific two-way Brazilian midfielder, he’s a touch short but stocky and strong. Guarda is a gifted passer with terrific vision and anticipation, reads the game well in advance of the ball. MLS ready two years ago, but never a GA target due to citizenship. Already twice C-USA Player of the Year and twice an All-American.
Alejandro Bedoya, Boston College, Midfield – After two years at Fairleigh Dickinson University Bedoya moved to Boston College and immediately nabbed the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award. Soccer American MVP, College Soccer News First Team All-American, First Team NSCAA All-American, and most recently a US U23 call up are also on his resume. A tremendously gifted midfielder with all the tools for the pro game.
Mike Grella, Duke, Forward – Not as large and physically gifted as White and Tracy, but still scores a bunch of goals in the tough as nails ACC. Second Team All-American as a junior, smart and savvy goal scorer and a terrific soccer player. US U18 and U20.
Chris Clements, Tulsa, Defender – Tall and mobile with a terrific soccer mind, he has a reputation as a srtong reader of the game in the back for Tulsa. Third Team All-American and First Team C-USA. Out of the storied Dallas Texans club, Clements is also a former US U20.
Brad Ring, Indiana, Midfield – Two years ago a MLS coach told me Ring was going to be special and that’s proving to be the case. Ring led Indiana in scoring out of the midfield this year and was a unanimous First Team Big Ten selection. College Soccer News Second Team All-American, NSCAA Second Team All-American, and Soccer American 2nd Team MVP.
Zack Simmons, Massachusetts, Goalkeeper – A former walk on who almost single handedly carried UMass to their first ever College Cup with 118 saves and a 0.79 GAA. UMBRO/Soccer News Net National Player of the Year, NSCAA Third Team All-American, Soccer American MVP, A-10 Tournament MVP, A-10 First-Team, and A-10 Men’s Soccer Student-Athlete of the Year.
Sam Cronin, Wake Forest, Midfield – A very smart soccer player who controls the middle of the park for Wake and dictates the pace of the game. Great vision, but less nifty on the ball than Guarda. Can win the ball, hold it, and disperse to danger positions. Second Team All-American, Soccer America MVP, and First Team All-ACC.
Calum Angus, St. Louis, Defender – A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, Second Team All-American, Third Team College Soccer News All-American. The British central defender does contribute a little on the offensive end with 6 goals through his first three seasons.
If your favorite player’s not on here, We’d love to hear about him. It’s a long way to the 2009 SuperDraft and things will certainly change. These are ten players already getting attention who have some upside. There are a great many more out there and it will make for an interesting season finding them all.