Top prospects in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft
With the 2012 SuperDraft fast approaching and Chivas USA holding the fifth overall pick, the following is a look (in no particular order) at some of the top prospects available in the upcoming draft.
Darren Mattocks, Akron
Just about every mock draft in the blogosphere has Mattocks going number one overall to newcomers Montreal and with good reason. The 6’0 sophomore from Jamaica notched 21 goals in 22 matches for the Zips this season for a two-year total of 39 in his collegiate career.
Kelyn Rowe, UCLA
The UCLA product was named to the U-23 National Team that recently began preparations for the Olympic qualifying process. The goal linked here is enough to make MLS scouts drool, but Rowe’s real talent may be ball distribution. The midfielder led the Pac-12 and was eighth nationally in assists in his sophomore campaign and half of his six goals were game winners.
Luis Silva, UCSB
The Los Angeles native led the Big West conference and was in the top-ten nationally in goals and assists, 10 and 17 respectively, in his senior season with the Gauchos earning his conference’s Midfielder of the Year award.
Nick DeLeon, Louisville
The 5’10’’ 170 pound player is a classic attacking midfielder, with both the ball skills to run at defenses on his own and the field vision to set up his teammates. DeLeon finished his senior season with six goals and six assists, including a game winner in the NCAA tournament.
Andrew Wenger, Duke
One of the highest rated defensive minded players in the draft, Wenger certainly doesn’t forget about offense. In 22 games as a center back for the Blue Devils, Wenger notched 17 goals—good enough for a three way tie with fellow draft prospects Luis Silva and Casey Townsend for sixth in the country in scoring.
Chandler Hoffman, UCLA
Hoffman wins the award for self promotion—look closely at the video and you’ll see that Hoffman himself uploaded it to YouTube—but his skills don’t stop there. Hoffman was a first team All Pac-12 honoree and tied for fourth nationally in scoring with 18 goals—a Pac-12 record. Hoffman also tied a UCLA record by scoring a goal in five consecutive games.
Enzo Martinez, UNC
Martinez scored nine goals and added 11 assists this year for the National Champion Tar Heels including the game winner in North Carolina’s first postseason game against Costal Carolina. Seven of his 22 career goals for North Carolina were game winners. Martinez was a College Soccer News All-American in 2011.
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Matt Hedges, UNC
Martinez’s teammate at North Carolina, Hedges played his first three seasons of collegiate soccer at Butler before moving to Chapel Hill. Hedges was a model of consistency both at Butler and North Carolina, starting all 85 games he played. He was named an All-American in his senior season—one of three Tar Heels on the College Soccer News All-America team.
Casey Townsend, Maryland
Townsend finished his high school career as a top ten recruit and continued on that form into the college game en route to a four year career with the Terrapins in which he scored 43 times in 85 starts. Townsend’s hat trick in the first round of the NCAA tournament led the Terps to a 4-0 win over West Virginia.
Billy Schuler, UNC
Schuler scored 29 times in a four-year career at North Carolina and had a stellar senior season with 16 goals—half of which were game winners—in 25 appearances. That tally could have been higher had it not been for a season ending injury just two games into his junior season.
So the Goats will have several opportunities Thursday, January 12, when the 2012 SuperDraft takes place in the “City of Fountains,” Kansas City, Missouri.