10 Bold Predictions for 2015 MLS SuperDraft
While the MLS SuperDraft may not receive as much publicity as other drafts in American sports, it has the potential to produce the same amount of craziness on draft day.
The 2014 edition of the draft saw Philadelphia trade up a single spot to select Andre Blake with the No. 1 pick. FC Dallas also took an unknown prospect with the sixth-overall pick.
We can expect a few trades to go down Thursday in Philadelphia, but who goes where is still up in the air.
With that in mind, we made 10 bold predictions about what will go down inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center Thursday afternoon.
New York City FC Will Trade the No. 2 Pick
With Cyle Larin presumed to be picked by Orlando City with the first-overall selection, New York City FC would be in line to take Cristian Roldan with the No. 2 pick.
Although Roldan is seen as a star of the future, NYCFC may have already acquired a player for its midfield in Mix Diskerud. An ESPN FC report claimed Diskerud would be announced as a player for NYCFC Tuesday.
The deal for Diskerud has not been made official by the club yet, but if it secures the signature of the United States international before Thursday, it may put the No. 2 pick on the trading block.
With only one other pick in hand Thursday, it would not be a major surprise if the NYCFC brass opt to drop down to select two or three players instead of one big name in the first round.
Montreal Will Not Pick Khiry Shelton
Many mock drafts have the Montreal Impact taking Oregon State forward Khiry Shelton with the No. 3 pick in the first round. But since we're in the business of making bold predictions, we are going to say the Impact will throw a major curveball in the first round.
Behind Larin, Roldan and Shelton on the draft board are plenty of solid prospects, but none of them is expected to be taken before the No. 4 pick as of now.
The other candidates for the No. 3 pick at the moment are Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono, Notre Dame midfielder Nick Besler and Central Florida forward Romario Williams.
If anyone other than those three players receives a call from Montreal Thursday afternoon, we will be in total shock.
Nick Besler Won't Have a Chance to Reunite with His Brother
If you're a Sporting Kansas City fan hoping to see two Beslers on the field at once next season, you better hope the team trades up from the 10th-overall pick.
Although Sporting KC's selection of Nick Besler would provide us with a great story, there is no way he will fall that far on draft day.
Montreal may not be in for Besler at No. 3, but San Jose and Portland should take a good look at the Notre Dame prospect with the next two picks.
If the Earthquakes and Timbers both pass on Besler, expect a bidding race to occur for the first of Toronto FC's three first-round picks.
If the Reds do not get a good offer from anyone else, they could be inclined to take Besler at No. 6 before Chicago and Houston have a chance to snatch him up.
Toronto FC Won't Screw Up the Draft
Putting faith in Toronto FC to make the right decisions on Thursday may be the boldest prediction of them all.
The Reds have a dubious history of poor personnel moves, a list which is topped by the Jermain Defoe fiasco.
With three picks in quick succession in the first round, the Reds have a chance to build up their depth and quality at the same time.
If the Toronto front office is smart enough, it will take a strong look at Alex Bono with the sixth-overall pick. Despite their depth at goalkeeper, the Reds could be in the best-player-available mindset when they pick sixth.
Whom Toronto picks ninth and 11th overall is a bit of mystery, but there will be some quality talent left at that point in the draft.
If all goes well, the Reds could leave Philadelphia with Thursday's best draft grade.
Alex Bono Will Be the Most Coveted Player in the First Round
If you haven't jumped aboard the Alex Bono hype train, it isn't too late to do so.
The Syracuse goalkeeper, who earned a spot in the United States men's national team's January camp, is the top goalkeeper in the draft talent pool.
The clubs that currently own the first five picks shouldn't be in the market for a goalkeeper, but after the fifth-overall selection, things could get very interesting.
Toronto could easily take Bono with the No. 6 pick, or it could use the pick as trade bait for a club willing to develop a young keeper.
If the Reds don't bite at No. 6, expect Houston to make a major run at him with the eighth-overall pick. There is an outside chance Sporting KC and D.C. United could be in the market for Bono as well if the price is right.
Once Bono is picked Thursday, expect the flurry of trade action to subside, as he is expected to be the last potentially elite prospect to be picked.
Dzenan Catic Will Be This Year's Tesho Akindele
When FC Dallas selected Tesho Akindele out of the Colorado School of Mines with the sixth-overall pick in the 2014 draft, the entire league let out a collective "who?"
Twelve months later, the selection of Akindele looks like a stroke of brilliance since the forward captured the Rookie of the Year award and a USMNT call-up.
With Akindele's unexpected arrival still fresh in our minds, a few clubs could be willing to take a chance on Dzenan Catic out of Davenport University.
The Bosnian product has turned heads at the MLS Combine. According to MLSSoccer.com, the reason he had to play for the NAIA school in Michigan was his professional experience in Germany.
He may not be the sixth-overall pick like Akindele, but don't be surprised if Catic's name gets called late in the first round by a team willing to take a calculated gamble.
Everyone Will Stay Away from Leo Stolz
If Leo Stolz was interested in joining MLS, he could have been the top pick in the 2015 SuperDraft. But due to issues during the negotiation process with the league, Stolz will be off to Germany soon.
According to American Soccer Now's Brooke Tunstall, Stolz was offered a contract of a lesser value compared to the one he was offered last season.
With MLS out of the picture because of the failed negotiations, Stolz will pursue his career in the lower levels of the German footballing pyramid.
Despite his lack of interest in MLS, one daring club could draft the rights of the 2014 Hermann Trophy winner.
Stolz's rights may not be valuable in the first round, but they could be later on in the second round. Despite the intrigue surrounding Stolz's future MLS rights, no one will be bold enough to waste a pick on the UCLA product.
The Red Bulls Will Come out of Nowhere to Make a Splash
The New York Red Bulls are in the middle of a public relations crisis after the firing of beloved manager Mike Petke.
One way to start the healing process would be to make a bold move during the first round of Thursday's selection process.
The Red Bulls possess the 18th pick in the first round, which is not an enviable position in the draft order. With that in mind, New York could make a splash by trading with either Toronto or Sporting Kansas City, both of whom have three first-round picks.
Since it is a tradition for New York fans to be obnoxious at a draft, expect Red Bulls supporters who make the short trip down to Philadelphia to be vocal all day.
With the pressure literally looming over their shoulders on draft day, the Red Bulls may be inclined to make a move to please the fanbase.
Sporting Kansas City Will Be the Busiest Club During the First Round
With three first-round picks heading into Thursday, Sporting Kansas City could easily trade away one or two of their selections.
The No. 10 and No. 12 picks should be targeted by other clubs as star players begin to drop off the draft board. If a certain club wants to move up for a specific player in the middle of the first round, Sporting KC would be a perfect trade partner.
It is no secret that the Sporting KC front office is one of the best in terms of player evaluation, which means it doesn't have to select a player at No. 10 to get the best value out of the pick.
If a club offers a package deal with a few picks, do not be surprised if Sporting KC jumps at the offer and moves down in the first round.
FC Dallas Will Make the Best Selection
If recent history is any indication of who will benefit most from the 2015 SuperDraft, it will be FC Dallas.
The Hoops had the guts to take Akindele with a high first-round pick in 2014, and it reaped a ton of rewards in Oscar Pareja's first season as manager.
Part of the reason why Akindele succeeded in Dallas last season was Pareja, who has an impeccable eye for talent.
Before he left for FC Dallas, Pareja left his mark on the Colorado Rapids by selecting Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers in 2013.
Although Pareja's side has one pick Thursday, expect the Colombian boss to pick someone special with the 15th-overall selection.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.