MLS

MLS SuperDraft 2014: Complete Round-by-Round Results and Reaction

USA Today
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2014

The 2014 MLS SuperDraft started with a bang, as the Philadelphia Union acquired the top overall selection in a trade with D.C. United. By moving up one spot, the Union ensured they could draft goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Even though the draft expanded to four rounds this year, only two took place on the first day of the event. As Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times points out, teams will make the remaining selections via conference call on Jan. 21.

Here are the draft results from the first two rounds, followed by a recap with reaction to some of the most notable moves and picks.

 

Round 1 Results

2014 MLS SuperDraft - Round 1
PickTeamPlayerPosition
1Philadelphia Union (via DC)Andre BlakeGK
2D.C. United (via PHI, CHV)Steve BirnbaumDF
3Vancouver Whitecaps (via TOR)Christian DeanDF
4New England Revolution (via CLB)Steve NeumannFW
5Montreal Impact (via DAL)Eric MillerDF
6FC Dallas (via PHI)Tesho AkindeleFW
7Vancouver WhitecapsAndre LewisMF
8Seattle Sounders (via CHI)Damion LoweDF
9San Jose EarthquakesJJ KovalMF
10Toronto FC (via PHI, DAL, MON)Nick HagglundDF
11New England Revolution (via COL)Patrick MullinsFW
12Colorado Rapids (via NE)Marlon Hairston MF
13Chicago Fire (via SEA)Marco Franco DF
14Columbus Crew (via LA)Ben SweatDF
15Philadelphia Union (via TOR, NY)Pedro RibeiroMF
16Houston DynamoA.J. CochranDF
17Portland TimbersSchillo Tshuma FW
18Real Salt LakeRyan Neil DF
19Colorado Rapids (via NE, KC)Grant Van De CasteeleDF
MLSSoccer.com

 

Round 2 Results

2014 MLS SuperDraft - Round 2
PickTeamPlayerPosition
20Chivas USA (via DC)Thomas McNamaraMF
21Seattle Sounders (via CHV)Jimmy OckfordDF
22New York Red Bulls (via TOR)Chris Duvall DF
23Los Angeles Galaxy (via CLB)Kyle Venter DF
24Toronto FC (via DAL)Daniel Lovitz MF
25Philadelphia UnionKevin CopeMF
26Portland Timbers (via VAN)Taylor Peay DF
27Philadelphia Union (via CHI)Robert DerschangDF
28San Jose EarthquakesJoe SofiaDF
29D.C. United (via MON)Victor MunozMF
30Vancouver Whitecaps (via COL)Mamadou DioufFW
31New England RevolutionAlec SundlyMF
32Houston Dynamo (via SEA)Mark SherrodFW
33Colorado Rapids (via LA)Jared WattsMF
34New York Red BullsEric StevensonMF
35Colorado Rapids (via HOU)John Berner GK
36Portland TimbersAaron LongMF
37Montreal ImpactGeorge MalkiMF
38Sporting Kansas CityAdnan GabeljicFW
MLSSoccer.com

 

Recap and Reaction

Philadelphia's radar must have been locked in on Blake because the Union felt the need to move up one spot to get him rather than risk losing him to another club. After they made the pick, the goalkeeper couldn't even turn his emotions into words, as the team noted:

In a draft class that's a step down from recent years, Blake is one of the players capable of stepping right in to make an instant impact. ESPN Stats & Info points out he also earns the distinction of being the first goalkeeper ever selected No. 1 overall in the MLS draft:

D.C. United already have Bill Hamid in goal, which means moving down brought in the extra allocation money while still allowing the club to grab their main target. It turns out that was Steve Birnbaum, an MLS-ready center-back with plenty of upside.

Birnbaum has good size, which makes him an asset on set pieces both offensively and defensively, and is as steady and reliable as any player in the class. United provided remarks from general manager Dave Kasper, who expects the Cal product to have a long career:

Interestingly, the first selection made with a pick still in possession of its original owner didn't come until No. 7, when the Vancouver Whitecaps selected Andre Lewis. The Jamaican midfielder is a technically promising prospect but needs experience.

Another pick of note came at No. 11 as the New England Revolution moved up one spot to grab Patrick Mullins. He slid a little bit after being viewed as a potential top-five selection heading into the draft, but all that will do is give a player with solid attacking talent extra motivation.

The New England Soccer Journal notes Mullins is a two-time Hermann Trophy winner as the top college soccer player in the country:

One of the most intriguing players in the class, A.J. Cochran, went to the Houston Dynamo with the 16th pick.

A defender with terrific size and strength to match, he has all the physical tools to become a very good center-back. He's still working on the finer points of the position, though, so his development is going to take some time.

Ives Galarcep mentions he does land with a club needing depth at the back, which should help his cause:

The opening round came to a close when the Colorado Rapids selected defender Grant Van De Casteele. Another central defender with good size, the only major question mark is if the Notre Dame star has enough short-area quickness to keep up with top attackers at the MLS level and beyond.

Two of the league's most high-profile clubs, the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy, finally got into the action in the second round after not having a pick in the first.

New York opted for right-back Chris Duvall. He's an interesting prospect because he has the speed necessary to run up and down the right side to help on the attack. His one-on-one defending still needs work before he can be totally counted on, though.

The Galaxy were up next and took Kyle Venter. The New Mexico center-back is another one of the large group of big central defenders available in the class. He isn't as polished as some of his counterparts taken earlier in the draft but is still a good value pick.

Another potential steal out of Round 2 is Mamadou Diouf, whom the Whitecaps selected. He lacks consistency out of UConn, which isn't uncommon for young players, but he's a great athlete with finishing ability and useful versatility, as he can play as an attacking midfielder or atop the formation.

The Red Bulls' second pick of the round was midfielder Eric Stevenson. He's a developmental prospect with a strong foundation of technical skills. New York will hope he's able to improve his game in MLS.

After a lot of activity early in the draft, things slowed down near the end of the second round. The final selection in the opening half of the event was Adnan Gabeljic by reigning champions Sporting Kansas City.

 

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