Team-by-team MLS draft needs (cont.)
Key Losses: Juan Pablo Angel, Luke Sassano, Mike Petke, Seth Stammler, Jeremy Hall, John Wolyniec
Key Additions: None
Draft picks: 13, 25, 30, 38
It's been a rather quiet offseason for the Red Bulls, who expect big things out of 18-year-old striker Juan Agudelo after losing the longtime face of the franchise, Angel. Finding a long-term solution at center back to pair with Tim Ream would be ideal, along with adding depth at both fullback positions.
While New York's brass is praying for an injury-free campaign for designated player Thierry Henry, the recent past suggests that might not be in the cards, so complementing Hans Backe's pool of strikers would be a useful move. To do so the Red Bulls could use their second-round picks to target either UMBC's Levi Houapeu or James Madison's C.J. Sapong, two small-school players with big-time talent.
Key Losses: Robbie Findley, David Horst
Key Additions: Arturo Alvarez
Draft picks: 14, 52
Even after losing Findley, Salt Lake has had quite a strong offseason, adding Alvarez to in the midfield, re-signing Alvaro Saborio under the designated player tag and keeping the bulk of the already championship-caliber team throughout the expansion and re-entry drafts. If there's an area to address, it's overall depth, as the team hopes to seriously contend on the CONCACAF Champions League stage as well as make a run at another MLS Cup. RSL needs more bodies who can compete immediately, making senior forwards like Justin Meram and Jason Herrick or senior midfielders McInness and Cole Grossman viable candidates for the team's first selection.
Key Losses: Khari Stephenson, Joe Cannon, Geovanni, Arturo Alvarez, Eduardo, Cornell Glen
Key Additions: None
Draft picks: 15, 33
Chris Wondolowski scored an astonishing amount of goals for the Earthquakes last season, tallying a career-high 18 and winning the league's Golden Boot. Regardless of whether he can repeat that effort in 2011, coach Frank Yallop needs more ammunition up top and in the midfield to ease the burden on 2010's unlikely MVP candidate. The Earthquakes also have lost several attacking options, meaning both of the team's selections should be offense-first players. Meram would be an excellent fit if available at No. 15.
Key Losses: Edson Buddle, Tristan Bowen, Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis
Key Additions: Frankie Hejduk, Juan Pablo Angel (unsigned)
Draft picks: 16, 34, 50
Now last month's Bowen-to-Chivas trade seems even more unsettling. With Buddle reportedly leaving MLS to join FC Ingolstadt 04 in Germany's second division, the Galaxy must completely revamp their striker options, and that starts with signing their re-entry draft selection, Angel. Even if the Galaxy do that, when their first pick comes up on Thursday, adding another forward is a must. Potential options available for the 16th pick include Meram, Herrick or Ecuadorian youngster Victor Estupinan.
Key Losses: Dax McCarty, Atiba Harris, Jeff Cunningham
Key Additions: Chris Seitz
Draft picks: 17, 35, 53
Reigning MLS Coach of the Year Schellas Hyndman did wonders in 2010, guiding FCD to the MLS Cup final. However, the team lost three dependable attacking options and has yet to adequately replace them, making Hyndman's job even tougher in 2011. Reigning league MVP David Ferreira needs more help in front of him, so targeting a finisher is a priority.
Captain and starting defensive midfielder Daniel Hernandez will be 35 in July and is coming off of knee surgery, so grooming his successor should also be a consideration. Dallas-area native and North Carolina product Stephen McCarthy could be an ideal fit if available.
Key Losses: Julian Baudet, Claudio Lopez
Key Additions: Tyrone Marshall, Sanna Nyassi
Draft picks: 18, 36
The Rapids had it all come together under coach Gary Smith a year ago, but finding eventual replacements for the 34-year-old Pablo Mastroeni and star striker Omar Cummings, should he turn some heads with his trial at Aston Villa, should be on the to-do list.
The Rapids could also use more attacking prowess from the wings, where Brian Mullan isn't getting any younger, though the acquisition of Nyassi will help. Even though the team added a veteran like Marshall in the re-entry draft, picking up a player like Boxall would improve the team's depth at center back behind established starters Marvell Wynne and Drew Moor.
Key Losses: O'Brian White, Nick Garcia, Fuad Ibrahim, Mista
Key Additions: Nathan Sturgis
Draft picks: 26, 43, 44
Toronto has a ton of holes, but the team has no first-round pick after dealing its eighth overall selection to Canadian rival Vancouver for defensive midfielder Nathan Sturgis. Toronto's attack lacked bite and continuity for much of 2010, and it was way too reliant on Dwayne De Rosario. While the Reds could use help just about everywhere, securing a sharp-passing, comfortable-in-possession midfielder should be at the top of the team's shopping list, especially if new Dutch coach Aron Winter expects to bring "Total Football" north of the border.
Given his Canadian citizenship, towering Alabama-Birmingham center back Curtis Ushedo could also be a target with the team's second-round pick to help fortify the defense.
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