Whitecaps To Pick First In Superdraft… Ho, HumAugust 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…