Team-by-team MLS draft needs (cont.)
Key Losses: Cory Gibbs, Khano Smith, Preston Burpo
Key Additions: Ryan Cochrane
Draft picks: 6, 24, 39, 42, 54
After missing the postseason for the first time since becoming head coach, Steve Nicol is looking for a remedy to his team's problems. Nicol has a history of drafting league-ready talent from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and even though he'd be a reach at No. 5, North Carolina's Michael Farfan could be the playmaking midfielder to step into the lineup and contribute after re-entry draft selection Fred spurned the team for other options.
The Revolution also could use help at forward, as the team has yet to find a scorer with that killer instinct to replace the injured-turned-retired Taylor Twellman. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Generation Adidas signees Bruin or Hertzog wind up in New England if either is available when the Revolution pick.
Key Losses: Pat Onstad, Joseph Ngwenya, Ryan Cochrane, Richard Mulrooney, Adrian Serioux
Key Additions: Hunter Freeman, Jason Garey, Jordan Graye
Draft picks: 7
After being in the unusual position of missing the postseason, Dom Kinnear's squad is gearing up to rebound in a big way in 2011. Finding a complement to veteran forward Brian Ching is a must, as is retooling the defense, which has already gotten a boost by the addition of Freeman. A selection of Salgado, if available, would go over quite well with the large Mexican contingent of Dynamo fans and would fill a need up top. Depending on where the versatile Geoff Cameron is stationed next season, the team may have a more immediate need at center back.
With only one pick in the draft, the Dynamo may want to make it count with a 2011-ready defensive prospect like California's A.J. Soares or North Carolina's Jalil Anibaba.
Key Losses: Brian McBride, C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde, Freddie Ljungberg, John Thorrington, Peter Lowry
Key Additions: Cory Gibbs
Draft picks: 9, 45, 49, 51
The Fire swung for the fences and missed last season by adding Ljungberg and Nery Castillo and then missing the playoffs. The team still has some young attacking options (Patrick Nyarko, Marco Pappa), and Castillo is still a wild card, but finding a dependable forward is extremely necessary.
With Conde's departure and Brown's retirement, there's also a need to restock at center back. Gibbs and 2010 rookie Kwame Watson-Siriboe could theoretically start, but if Soares and/or Anibaba are available, Chicago will have to seriously consider both of them.
Key Losses: Jimmy Conrad, Josh Wolff, Aaron Hohlbein, Jonathan Leathers
Key Additions: Omar Bravo
Draft picks: 10, 32, 46
Kansas City lost a major locker-room and on-field presence in Conrad, and finding a replacement for him in central defense won't be easy. No rookie is going to step in and fill that void completely, but there are two top central defenders available in Soares and Anibaba who would be good fits and could be available when the team selects 10th. If neither is available, SKC could reach for UCSB bruiser Michael Boxall or try to find another catalyst in central midfield to add to the 30-year-old Davy Arnaud. Scoring goals was bit of a problem for Kansas City in 2010, and ensuring a strong link between the midfield and star strikers Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury and the club's new designated player, Bravo, is a must.
Key Losses: Sanna Nyassi, Tyrone Marshall, Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas
Key Additions: Erik Friberg, O'Brian White, Julian Baudet
Draft picks: 11, 21, 27, 29, 47
With five picks, including three in the second round, the Sounders have some flexibility, but one area that must be addressed is the midfield, which was the missing link between a solid defense and a prolific front line. The team signed Friberg, a 24-year-old Swedish central midfielder, but adding a player like Farfan or Akron's Anthony Ampaipitakwong would augment Sigi Schmid's attack even more.
A speedy, right-sided midfielder like Tulsa's Ashley McInnes would be a nice fit if he's available when Seattle picks at No. 21. Finding depth at fullback and a backup goalkeeper to groom for the post-Kasey Keller era should also be on the docket.
Key Losses: Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Frankie Hejduk, Duncan Oughton, Gino Padula, Brian Carroll, Eric Brunner, Jason Garey, Adam Moffat
Key Additions: Sebastian Miranda, Aaron Hohlbein, Jeff Cunningham (unsigned)
Draft picks: 12, 28, 48
It's a rebuilding year of sorts for one of the league's more consistent franchises. After committing itself to getting younger and bidding farewell to the likes of Schelotto and Hejduk, the Crew have holes to fill in the midfield and at fullback, even after the signing of Chilean defender Sebastian Miranda.
Augmenting the striker options for Robert Warzycha is also a must. Sarkodie would be a dream fit given his dynamic ability, position and local connection, but unless the team trades up, he'll be long gone by pick No. 12.
Akron midfielders Michael Nanchoff and Ampaipitakwong would also be popular and fitting selections.
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