2012 MLS Mock Draft: Projecting Future Stars from First Round
Major League Soccer’s SuperDraft has a plethora of top young players that will help whichever teams they are drafted to from day one. It's an exciting time, as for the first time ever, the Montreal Impact will make their inaugural draft pick.
They have a number of top prospects that could be the face of their franchise that they build a potential championship team around. However, after Montreal, Vancouver, in their second year, picks second.
The young club looks to build after last year’s two top 10 picks of Omar Salgado and Michael Nanchoff.
With the addition of the 19th team, it makes for an even tougher first round. Here are where the future stars of the MLS should go on Jan. 12.
1. Montreal Impact (First Year): Darren Mattocks, Forward, Akron
This Montreal team needs to build around someone that can excite the fans to keep on coming back if they struggle in their first year. Mattocks may be young, as he is only a sophomore from Akron; however, he has breakaway speed and finished with 21 goals in 22 games for his school this year.
2. Vancouver Whitecaps (6-18-10, 28 pts.): Andrew Wenger, Forward/Defender, Duke
Who should be the top pick?
Vancouver finished last in the MLS last year in goals scored and near the bottom in goals allowed. They need help in both categories, and Wenger could be that person to fix it next year. Last year, Wenger won the Hermann Award as the best collegiate player and the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.
3. New England Revolution (5-16-13, 28 pts.): Matt Hedges, Defender, North Carolina
New England needs help on defense after allowing 58 goals last year. Hedges is one of the best defenders in the draft.
4. Toronto FC (6-13-15, 33 pts.): Casey Townsend, Forward, Maryland
Toronto does need help at defense; however, with New England selecting Hedges prior to their selection, they will take the next best player on the board in Townshend. Townshend has impressed scouts at the recent MLS combines and had 16 goals in his senior year at Maryland.
5. C.D. Chivas USA (8-14-12, 36 pts.): Chandler Hoffman, Forward, UCLA
Chivas only has three forwards on their roster, so taking Hoffman is a must for this team.
6. San Jose Earthquakes (8-12-14, 38 pts.): Kelyn Rowe, Midfielder, UCLA
San Jose struggled to score this year, only putting 40 goals into the net. With the selection of Rowe, they improve their scoring, which will move this team into a playoff contender.
7. D.C. United (9-13-12, 34 pts.): Andrew Jean Baptiste, Defenseman, Connecticut
D.C was able to score this year; however, they gave up just as many goals (52) as they scored (49). WIth the glaring need for defense, United will select Jean Baptiste from UConn.
8. Portland Timbers (11-14-9, 40 pts.): Austin Berry, Defenseman, Louisville
The Timbers were one of the worst teams in goals allowed in their conference, and they need someone like Berry to fix this problem. The 6’2" defender will help lower the goals against for the Timbers next year.
9. Chicago Fire (9-9-16, 43 pts.): Luis Silva, Midfielder, UCSB
Chicago needs a big-play forward, and with San Jose taking Rowe, they will get one of the best midfielders in the draft in Silva. Last year at UCSB, Luis had 17 goals and 10 assists and was a first-team All-American.
10. Columbus Crew (13-13-8, 43 pts.): Enzo Martinez, Midfielder, North Carolina
Columbus will have a steal with Martinez at No. 10. Martinez may be small, standing 5’7”; however, he is a dynamic playmaker who will give Columbus an exciting midfielder. Last year, Martinez had nine goals and 11 assists, which helped UNC reach the national championship game.
11. FC Dallas (15-12-7, 52 pts.): Sam Garza, Forward, UCSB
FC Dallas struggled to find the back of the net this year, only scoring 42 goals. WIth the selection of Garza, they get a scorer that has had 17 goals in the last two years at UCSB.
12. Toronto FC (From New York Red Bulls) (6-13-15, 33 pts.): Tommy Meyer, Defender, Indiana
With their selection of Townsend at No. 4, Toronto will need help on their defense. They will take the 6’2” defender who helped IU to an impressive 13-4-5 record last year.
13. Philadelphia Union (11-8-15, 48 pts.): Nick DeLeon, Midfielder, Louisville
Because Deleon missed the MLS combine, he will fall to No. 13 in the draft. Deleon can come in and help this Union team that Deleon would bring to this club. Deleon had 12 points last year for Louisville, with six goals and six assists.
14. Colorado Rapids (12-9-13, 49 pts.): Calum Mallace, Midfielder, Marquette
The Big East Midfielder of the year and second team All-American will be a great addition to this Rapids team that needs to improve on their 44 goals scored and 41 goals against. With Mallace, they can improve to fifth in the Western Conference to the top three.
15. Seattle Sounders (18-7-9, 63 pts.): Kohei Yamada, Midfielder, Japan
Yamada has impressed MLS scouts by his work at the MLS combine. Yamada has an excellent work rate and can connect with a team from day one.
16. Sporting Kansas City (13-9-12, 51 pts.): Dom Dwyer, Forward, South Florida
Sporting KC was one of the best teams in scoring and defending, so the move is more of an addition to their deep roster. Dwyer was the Big East Offensive Player of the Year and an All-American with South Florida while scoring 16 goals
17. Real Salt Lake (15-11-8, 53 pts.): Tony Cascio, Midfielder, Connecticut
Real Salt Lake was tied for second with goals against this year (36); however, they struggled scoring goals this year, only scoring 44. With the selection of the midfielder from UConn, they address the need for scoring. Plus, Cascio has worked out with Real Salt Lake before.
18. Houston Dynamo (12-9-13, 49 pts.): Andy Rose, Midfielder, UCLA
The Dynamo finished as the runner-up for the MLS Cup this year. With a good number of players returning to their team, they will select Rose as more of a depth move. Rose did captain the UCLA Bruins this year to the Final Four of the NCAA Soccer Tournament.
19. LA Galaxy (19-5-10, 67 pts.): Aaron Maund, Defender, Notre Dame
With the last pick in the first round, the defending MLS Cup champion will bolster their defense with the selection of Notre Dame’s Maund. Maund has been a rock on the Fighting Irish defense for the last three years. With the addition of Maund, the Galaxy gets a solid defender and a player that can play center as well.
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