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MLS SuperDraft 2012: Top Prospects, Draft Order, TV Schedule and More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2012

BALTIMORE - JANUARY 13: Head coach Bruce Arena of the L.A. Galaxy and front office staff follow proceedings during the 2011 MLS SuperDraft on January 13, 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

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

Draft Order

First Round

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

Second Round

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

Top Prospects

Courtesy: SoccerByIves.com
Courtesy: SoccerByIves.com

Darren Mattocks

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.

Andrew Wenger

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.

Courtesy: 3four3.com
Courtesy: 3four3.com

Kelyn Rowe

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

Ethan Finlay

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.

Courtesy: gomuhawks.com
Courtesy: gomuhawks.com

R.J. Allen

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.

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