Whitecaps To Pick First In Superdraft… Ho, Hum

August 25, 2010 at 4:49 am | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps In MLS, Whitecaps Season 2010 | 5 Comments

Today the Whitecaps chose to pick first overall in the superdraft and left Portland to have first pick in the dispersal draft.  If you understand what this means, you have done better than myself!

In spite of the best efforts of the Whitecaps to explain the process of selecting a new team upon entering MLS on their website, you need a PHD in both history and rocket science in order to understand it all.  You also need the patience of Job.  Because I have none of these attributes I have given up on trying to understand how our team for next year will be assembled.  What I do understand from today’s news is we will get first crack at up and coming young players.

Getting excited about picking a young potential star is difficult for me.  It was not so long ago the MLS was touting Freddy Adu as the Micheal Jordan of the MLS.   His picture was everywhere as the league looked to cash in on this 14 year old phenom (there are doubts he actually was that age).    But where is Freddy Adu now?  He has never really commanded a first team place wherever he has gone, and looks to have fizzled out into obscurity on a subs bench in one of the lesser European leagues.

It is not clear at all that you can predict with the same accuracy as other sports about how young players will fare on turning pro. In football, young players are developed by clubs from an early age.   Picking players out of college is too late in football because they are too old to be developed to high quality professional standards by the time they graduate.

We have lost the opportunity to see young Omar Slagado because the proper permits could not be obtained.  Now he has gone running into the arms of the Portland Timbers.   I feel this will sorely tempt the Vancouver Whitecaps to draft him first overall, and I hope they are sending a spy down to Portland to see how he is coping down there.

In football, the strength of a team is not on any one star, but on the overall strength of the squad.  Very few stars are able to take a bunch of average  players and lift them up to a higher level.  Only a Maradona can do that.  If any type of player can do this it is usually an experienced veteran, not a young player.

This is why I find it hard to get very exited about having the first pick in the superdraft.  No matter how big a potential star our first pick might be, we will not know the strength of the Whitecaps until we see the entire squad formed.   Are we likely to draft the next star in world football?  No, because such a player would have been signed by one of the big European clubs at the age of 12.

Furthermore, if you look at the roster of Toronto FC you will see a radically different team than the one they entered the league with.  They used most of their expansion draft picks as trade bait.   A similar scenario could play out here.

I don’t envy the task of the person who has to be the one to understand how to pick a team for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS.  Lets hope they did well in school…


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  1. I think both Vancouver and Portland realize that having the first pick in either draft won’t be super important. The expansion draft is pretty straightforward, with current teams allowed to protect only 11 players and the two new teams able to pick any unprotected players. Teams can then re-protect their players, and if they have two picked from them they are then exempt from the remainder of the draft. DPs don’t count. There may be a few excellent players available, but probably not one that will stand out.

    Philadelphia (and ex-Liverpool) striker Sebastien Le Toux has been excellent this season and he was the top player in the expansion draft. On the other hand, TFC took O’Brian White and Stefan Frei in the first round of the 2009 Super Draft and they’re both pretty good, I would say. But the difference between picking first and second probably won’t matter in the long run.

  2. […] So Vancouver chose to pick first in the MLS SuperDraft, then Portland chose to pick first in the Expansion Draft, so we get second in the Expansion Draft and they get second in the SuperDraft. Or as the good folks at Whitecapsfanblog put it, ho hum. […]

  3. One word for you … “marketing”

    Vancouver or Portland getting 1st or 2nd in the Stupordraft isn’t a big deal for either team. But for the MLS, and each city trying to generate interest in the new league it’s a talking point at least and something that will get VWFC (don’t give a toss about the Timbers) some ink and some air-time.

    And I agree 100%, the draft rules in the MLS are … ummm … convoluted to say the least.

    • Good point. Any soccer news in January related to the Whitecaps will be a good thing.

  4. Well spoken Arne. You’ve got it all figured out.

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