With the MLS SuperDraft tomorrow, it's time to look at which drafted players will shine the brightest in the professional ranks.
Below are just a few players who can make a difference in the MLS.
Ryan Hollingshead, MF, UCLA
Ryan Hollingshead was the 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year after scoring three game-winning goals and leading the great Bruins team in points. He finished third in the conference in points.
The true senior excelled in both phases of the game and will add tremendous value to whichever team selects him.
Kofi Opare, D, Michigan
Kofi Opare is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. Playing at Michigan, that could come in handy. More importantly, though, he was a key member of the U-20 USA team.
His improvement as a collegiate player is evidenced by his increased impact at the offensive end throughout his career. At 6’2”, 200 lbs. he possesses the size to compete at the MLS level. His experience will no doubt come in handy as a rookie.
Carlos Alvarez, MF, UCONN
Alvarez is expected to be drafted with the second pick by Chivas USA, as intimated by Kyle McCarthy here. Players selected second in any sport are expected to make an immediate impact.
That can be rightfully said of Alvarez, who is an excellent defender when playing in the right system. McCarthy points out questions of Alvarez and his abilities. They should not be overlooked, but can be explained away by noting what some scouts say: “playmaker,” “great vision,” “good passer” and my favorite, “has a pro mentality.”
James Belshaw, GK, Duke
James Belshaw is a 6'3" goalkeeper from Nottingham, England. His nationality should not be pushed aside, as it is the primary reason he was able to secure training sessions with British clubs.
Though some scouts question elements of his game, he is the most solid and ready-to-go keeper available in the draft. As a result, he will likely start from Day 1 for whichever team selects him.
Ashton Bennett, F, Coastal Carolina
Few players put up the kind of numbers Ashton Bennett did in his two years at Coastal Carolina, after he transferred from Cincinnati State Technical College. As a junior, he registered 23 goals (first in the nation) and seven assists.
As a senior, Bennett's scoring dropped to 16 goals, but his assists increased to nine. His team found their way to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament as a result of Bennett's efforts.
A natural scorer, Bennett will provide some explosive punch from the beginning for some lucky team.