2011 MLS SuperDraft Preview

A look at rumors and history for clues about this year’s SuperDraft

The 2011 MLS SuperDraft will be held this Thursday in Baltimore, Maryland. The draft is scheduled to begin at noon local time, meaning a 9:00AM start for those watching on the West Coast. The first round will be televised on ESPN2 and the remainder will be streaming live on MLSsoccer.com.

Chivas USA has the fourth overall pick this year, and is looking to draft a key rookie into the squad for next season.

The fourth overall spot has produced great players in previous years, including Rookie of the Year Award winners Carlos Bocanegra (2004) and Sean Franklin (2008). Last season’s fourth overall pick was striker Teal Bunbury of Sporting Kansas City, who is currently training with the US Men’s National team in Carson.

In a few different “mock-drafts”, MLS experts have named Akron defender Kofi Sarkodie a likely candidate to join the Goats via the fourth pick.

The 19-year-old Sarkodie is an outside back who gets up down the flank, providing attacking help to pair with his strong defending. Sarkodie scored 8 goals this season as a junior, and was a key part of Akron’s National Championship winning team.

Another name being mentioned by league insiders as a possibility for the Goats is US U-17 striker Omar Salgado. The physically imposing target-man was part of the Chivas de Guadalajara youth system until last summer, when he accepted an invitation to the US U20 training camp. Salgado, who turned 17 in September, is expected to be one of the first selections in Thursday’s draft.

Although the Red-and-White’s first pick is grabbing most of the headlines, the club also has a selection in the third round, number 40 overall. That pick may not seem as exciting as the first rounder, but if recent history is any judge, this selection is worth paying attention to as well.

Last year the Goats drafted Ben Zemanski in the third round, and the midfielder quickly became a key part of the team. In 2006 the club selected Jonathan Bornstein in the third round, and we all know how that turned out. Jonny went on to win the Rookie of the Year award that year and eventually played in the 2010 World Cup.

Are you looking forward to watching the SuperDraft? Who do you want to see the Goats select? Do you think Chivas USA can get another 3rd round steal this year? Leave a comment below, and be sure to watch the draft on Thursday!