Work in Sports
MLS SuperDraft Central Division
Posted: Monday February 07, 2000 02:10 PM
ATLANTA (CNNSI.com) -- Following is a Central Division team-by-team analysis of the 2000 MLS SuperDraft, in order of first selection:
Comments: Like D.C., the Fire provided an example of the rich getting richer, if the team's gamble on youth pays off.
After selecting left-sided defender Carlos Bocanegro of UCLA with the fourth overall pick, the Fire made a swap with L.A. to pick up one of the league's hottest prospects: 17-year-old DaMarcus Beasley, winner of the silver ball as the second-best player at the recent u-17 World Cup.
"He probably needs a little time before he can meet the demands of one game after another," Fire coach Bob Bradley told the Chicago Tribune about the speedy 5-7, 126-pound Beasley. "But we think he can play this year."
Both Bocanegro, who left school early, and Beasley are Project-40 players who won't count against the Fire roster.
In the Chicago Sun-Times, Bradley addressed reports of the Fire pursuing Bulgarians Hristo Stoichkov, a legendary forward, and midfielder Krassimir Balakov, who plays for Bundesliga club Stuttgart.
"Our talks with Stoichkov are ongoing," Bradley said. "It's hard to comment on them. Balakov is a very good player, one I've kept track of for a long time, but from what I gather, he will be staying where he is."
Comments: Burn coach David Dir was pleased to snag Indiana forward Aleksey Korol, a transitional international who formerly played with Dynamo Kiev's youth team, with the fifth overall pick. Said Dir, on the Revolution's Internet broadcast: "We thought he might go to New York [with the first overall pick]."
The Burn traded away forward Dante Washington, effectively for two first-round picks, in large part to clear room under the salary cap, Dir said. "We got a forward in Korol that can start for us, a first-round pick in next year's draft, and we created cap room that will enable us to go after a top international defender."
Comments: Instead of gambling on youth, the Crew traded its No. 3 overall pick to Dallas for what coach Tom Fitzgerald described as "a proven goalscorer," former Crew forward Dante Washington, 29.
Washington played in three games for The Crew in 1996 before being traded to the Burn for the allocation rights to former Crew goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
He will be counted on to pair with Brian McBride and help overcome the loss of top scorer Stern John to Nottingham Forest of the English First Division.
The Crew used its second-round pick on Roland Vargas, who comes to the league through a partnership with Bolivia's Tahuichi Academy. He will not count against the roster.
"Overall, we are very happy with the players we got in the draft. We felt Roland Vargas was the best youth international available and Brian Winters is a very successful member of the Olympic team," said Fitzgerald.
Tampa Bay Mutiny
Comments: New general manager Bill Manning has wasted no time in making his mark on the Mutiny. Manning joined the club from A-League champ Minnesota Thunder last week, and on draft day he brought two Thunder players south with him.
The Mutiny had the lowest first selection of any team, not picking until the sixth pick in the fourth round. With that, the Mutiny took Minnesota forward Amos Magee, also picking up Thunder midfielder Mike Gentile with its last selection in the sixth round.
Magee and Gentile arrived in Tampa on Sunday and are scheduled to train with the Mutiny at least until the club's roster is trimmed from 23 to 21 on Feb. 21. Magee is the Thunder's all-time leader in professional goals (66), assists (38) and points (170).
"With not being able to draft until the fourth round, we're pretty happy," Manning said. "Of the six players, maybe two or three wind up on the final roster."