The 2012 MLS SuperDraft is just a couple days away with expansion Montreal Impact set to make the first overall selection. The draft is where teams can stock up on young talent in hopes of contending for a league title in the coming years.
There will only be two rounds this season, which is reduced from the usual three. That means 38 picks will be made on Thursday. There's also a four-round supplemental draft scheduled for next week to help teams fill out their rosters.
This season's first pick will follow in the footsteps of Omar Salgado, who was selected first by the Vancouver Whitecaps last year. The 18-year-old forward scored one goal in 14 appearances during his rookie campaign.
Where: Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.
When: Thursday, Jan. 12 at 12 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN2 and ESPN3.com
1. Montreal Impact
2. Vancouver Whitecaps
3. New England Revolution
4. Toronto FC
5. Chivas USA
6. San Jose Earthquakes
7. D.C. United
8. Portland Timbers
9. Chicago Fire
10. Columbus Crew
11. FC Dallas
12. Toronto FC (via New York Red Bulls)
13. Philadelphia Union
14. Colorado Rapids
15. Seattle Sounders FC
16. Sporting Kansas City
17. Real Salt Lake
18. Houston Dynamo
19. Los Angeles Galaxy
20. Montreal Impact
21. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
22. New England Revolution
23. Chicago Fire (via Toronto FC)
24. Real Salt Lake (via Chivas USA)
25. San Jose Earthquakes
26. Columbus Crew (via D.C. United)
27. Portland Timbers
28. Chicago Fire
29. Columbus Crew
30. Sporting Kansas City (via FC Dallas)
31. New York Red Bulls
32. Philadelphia Union
33. San Jose Earthquakes (via Colorado Rapids)
34. Seattle Sounders FC
35. Philadelphia Union (via Sporting Kansas City)
36. Real Salt Lake
37. Houston Dynamo
38. Los Angeles Galaxy
Mattocks is the best pure goal scorer in the draft class and possesses enough pace to continue his dominance at the next level. He scored 39 goals in 47 games with the Akron Zips, which is a program that continues to develop elite MLS talent.
The Jamaican native would seem like the perfect franchise building block for the Montreal Impact. He could gain some valuable experience by getting an extended run right away since the team will lack depth. That immediate playing time will pay dividends in the long run.
There isn't a more versatile player in the draft than Andrew Wenger. He can serve as either a center back or a defensive midfielder and has also improved his distribution game during his time at Duke. He could benefit from adding a little more muscle to help him survive the MLS grind.
That said, he has enough skill to start right away. The Vancouver Whitecaps gave up the most goals in the Western Conference last season, which makes them a likely landing spot for Wenger. It's going to be awhile before the Whitecaps are contenders, but he'd be another step in the right direction.
Rowe is going to need a little bit of development time before he's ready to make a major impact, which has caused his draft stock to fluctuate, but it's impossible to deny his potential. He could very well become one of the league's top attacking midfielders.
He would be a nice fit for Toronto, which had the MLS' worst goal differential last season. TFC could live through his growing pains since they aren't going to be contenders anyway. It's a low-pressure situation that should allow the UCLA product to thrive.
Sleepers To Watch
The Creighton midfielder has enough pace to cause matchup problems on the outside. He scored 43 goals with the Bluejays and earned a myriad of honors. Despite that, he's no expected to go until late in the first round at the earliest.
That should make him a target for the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy. Secondary scoring remained an issue for the Galaxy last season even though they won the title and Finlay would provide some depth in the midfield.
Allen is probably the most underrated defender in the draft. Not only is he a steady right back, but he can also get forward to create scoring chances. If he had more ideal size for the position, he would probably be pushing the top 10.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see Vancouver grab him early in the second round to team up with Wenger at the back. Instead of trying to fix all their problems at once, the Whitecaps can really help out their back line and then worry about adding some offense moving forward.