The SuperDraft has come and gone and the Supplemental Draft is this Thursday. There are some nice players to be had, and if you want the best of them you can take a look at the rankings and see who is left. I figured instead I would offer some names and player that I find intriguing or interesting. Perhaps a few I just like even if I didn’t rank them as high.
Top Ten Interesting Players For the Supplemental Draft
1. Xavier Balc, Ohio State, F – Ok so right out the gate I go with a highly ranked guy who is still available. I think I continue to underestimate how much MLS coaches are about speed at forward. Despite guys like Blanco, Preki, and even Abe Thompson, MLS guys continue to go with some speedy type raw player or some big body project from god knows where. Balc has the best left foot and the best passing vision in the entire draft . He’s the player in the pool with a chance to score with a free kick. I know speed kills but sometimes a guy can just play.
2. Saidi Isaac, Winthrop, F – A small player from a small school, but with some serious goal scouring and technical skills. Scored 12 goals this year, with 17 each in the two previous season. As a freshman at NAIA Park University he scored a stunning 39 goals. That’s 85 college goals in four seasons. Another international, Isaac has been capped by Kenya and was a U20 and U18 for them as well.
3. Pat Healey, Towson, M – A very smooth midfielder with terrific vision and awareness. Not fast but with a good motor and range. He reads really well, gets ahead of the play, and is plays good on defense. For most of the combine I liked him better than Ciaran O’Brien. 2007 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year as he led the league in scoring. 25 career goals and 22 assists are nice totals for a midfielder.
4. Joe Donoho, Bradley, D – Bradley’s sweeper who helped lead the Braves on their deep playoff run after their season of tragedy. 2007 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and Third Team All-American. A smart player who will need to convert to a pure central defender type role at the pro level. Started his career at Rutgers and plays PDL with the Michigan Bucks. Scored six goals for Bradley this year, four of which were game winners.
5. Yannick Reyering, Virginia, F -This guy is a monster at 6 foot 5 and 205 pounds. 39 goals and 10 assists in just three college seasons, but he’s out of eligibility. The season ending injury probably scares people off but he had 13 goals in 16 game this year before losing his season. That’s almost a goal a game in the incredibly tough ACC. He’s German and the international status probably hurt his status a bit, but he’s far and away the best target striker in this pool.
6. Jason Landers, St John’s, GK – At 6’7″ Landers is an immense presence in the net but drops down because he was injured his senior year. Three straight seasons with a GAA below .80 in the Big East is remarkable and he’s a former Big East Goalkeeper of the Year. A former US U18, Landers holds the Red Storm record for shutouts with 32 in three seasons of play.
7. Andrew Wheeler, York, F – A two-time D2 All-American with 45 career goals and 26 assists. Proved he can do it against the big boys as he made the 2007 Premier Development League All-League Team with Hampton Roads. Heck is he one of the big boys at 6’3″ and 180. Wheeler finished the season with 19 goals and 11 assists.
8. Brandon Owens, UCLA, D – A US player all the way up, U14, U16, U17, U20… but had his career derailed by a torn ACL at UCLA in 2006. He should just now be rounding back into top form. Terrific athlete with all the tools to be a fantastic pro defender either in the middle or wide. UCLA’s first four-time All-Pac-10 honoree since 2003. Has everything you want in a pro defender, fast, big, powerful, strong, and with above average feet for a defender.
9. El Hadj Cisse, NC State, M – A striker with a heartwarming story to get to this point. Originally from the Ivory Coast, Cisse moved to the US at 14 due to some difficult experiences back home. A good athlete, smart player, great leader. He’s missing the pure goal scoring skill to be a top not striker, but I think he’d be a tremendous winger or wide midfielder. Scored from a deeper position on a nice comb and run play at the combine.
10. Omar Alfonso, St John’s, F – A bit undersized at five-nine for a traditional striker. Moved to St John’s as a senior, likely in an attempt to play on a higher stage and garner more attention. At Loyola was a dynamic scorer as a three-year starter with 26 goals and 19 assists. Led the nation in freshman in scoring with his 17 goals in 2003 to earn Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year.