MLS Draft 2012: Budding League Still Figuring out Fine Art of Drafting

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 11, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 13: MLS Commissioner Don Garber speaks from the podium 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

Every professional sports league would love to find out the secret to amateur draft success. MLS is starting to realize that the non-exact science can be quite frustrating.

Every draft is rife with landmines, and the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday is no exception. For every superstar that gets picked late, there are those Ryan Leaf and Sam Bowie pratfalls that malign just about every sport. 

Steven Goff of The Washington Post highlights this issue, as most first overall picks in MLS have their careers overshadowed by later draft selections. 

This is an issue that expansion team the Montreal Impact hope to skirt. This is a deep draft with a ton of midfielders and forwards to be had. If defense is what you crave, you may want to target one of the few great center backs around early. 

What this crop lacks, however, is a few superstars that will infuse this league from the moment they hit the pitch. That is not to say that there isn't a presumed first overall pick. Many believe that Darren Mattocks from the University of Akron is the no-brainer selection. 

That leaves a great deal of wealth to be had for those who want some playmakers in the middle. Luis Silva is one name that continues to pop-up. He came in as an underrated player but quickly gained notice at the combine. 

All of this is to say that someday, one of the players who is seen as simply good may one day be great, superseding anything that Mattocks or whoever the first selection might be. 

Goff illustrates how difficult drafting in the MLS has been by supplying a rundown of each first overall pick with the best career to have come from that draft. You can see the list at the report

What you see are players like Carlos Bocanegra, Taylor Twellman and Ricardo Clark being overlooked. Even Clint Dempsey was selected eighth. 

Draft selections are a frustrating thing that would make any general manager go mad. There can only be one overall selection on Thursday. For all the rest, we say, "Chin up." The order you are selected means little. 

After Thursday, is a whole new day, and one where many of these amateurs will illustrate how futile this draft process really is. 


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