2018 MLS SuperDraft thread

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by xbhaskarx, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is exactly the wrong way of thinking about the MLS draft, like the polar opposite of what an intelligent draft strategy would be.

    Maybe 10% of these draft picks end up being difference makers, 15% might be regulars for a while, 25% are mere roster filler, and 50% will soon be in the lower divisions or out of soccer entirely. The best draft strategy is to take the best player available, not to draft based on need. If you select a player based on position, even though he isn't "pick X worthy" you've likely thrown away your pick on some guy who is going to be in the third division soon enough. Also, a lot of these players take 2-3 years to fully develop after being selected, so it doesn't matter if you're set at their position at the time of the draft because that will almost certainly change over the next few years. Philly didn't need a goalkeeper in 2014 when they took Andre Blake, people made jokes about how they had so many goalkeepers. A couple years later he's the starter and one of the best in the league. Seattle didn't need a midfielder when they drafted Cristian Roldan in 2015. Now Ozzie Alonso is on his last legs and Roldan is getting called up to the USMNT.

    If you draft a guy who ends up roster filler (a "replacement level" player) or not even MLS level, you've turned the asset into nothing... in fact it's worse than nothing because you're wasting time / money / a roster slot.
    What's the worst case scenario if you draft the best player available? There's no such thing as too much depth, given the long grind that is the regular season. But if you really have an embarrassment of riches at any one position (a "problem" the Quakes have not really had at any position since their return to MLS a decade ago), you can always trade one of your assets for allocation money or help at a position of weakness.
     
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  2. Tom Szabo

    Tom Szabo Member

    Dec 31, 2014
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    I think one thing that makes it complicated is the "best player available" becomes very difficult to discern after the top few picks in a typical draft class. While Chad Marshall was a #2 pick, in the same draft Clint Dempsey went at #8 and Michael Bradley at #36 in the 4th round. Part of the problem is that players don't necessarily show their full potential at the same age and therefore it will be more of a crapshoot the younger a player being selected. The bigger problem though is that teams simply aren't good at evaluating talent as they tend to place too much emphasis on the wrong qualities or on combinations of qualities that will not translate to success at a higher level. There are exceptions of course but in general this is a condemnation of the entire U.S. system.
     
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  3. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I understand this point of view, and I even think it has some merit. However, when we drafted Tarbell, we passed up useful field players who could at the very least be quality depth for us now. Sure, Tarbell is our starter, but Bings was more than serviceable and is probably still the better keeper, we just screwed that pooch completely.

    We should have been using late round draft picks the last three years to take defenders, send them to a lower division side (before we had Reno) and train them into the kind of guys we want. Sure, our hit rate there might have been one in three or four, maybe five, but late round draft picks are all but free.

    I'm not talking about drafting starters, but we should hope that anyone we draft will be able to sub in either this season or next. We've got too many central mids now, but we're short at outside mids, especially speedy ones, and outside defenders, and we could use another forward.

    And we desperately need CB's.

    IF we think that our roster is nearly set - a huge change and improvement from previous seasons - then we should be more confident of taking players for positions of need and even still spending a year or two getting them ready for the show.

    Yes, we could take the best guy available and then trade him later for someone else, or a bag of shekels. But then we're almost certainly over paying for a player at a position that we do need.

    Don't be so dismissive. We have control of a USL side now. We can control the training of young players. So even grabbing someone who isn't ready for prime time now - as most draftees are not - we know that we need more bodies at certain positions, and will continue to do so. So let's get those guys now.

    For too many years, we have relied on signing veterans and have disregarded the youngsters. This has put us in the position of always paying a premium for the guys we need. We have to stop that.

    Yes, we might get hurt taking players at positions of need, but we could get screwed taking the best available player too. Some of those guys will look at their position on the depth chart and lose all motivation. Some will get hurt. Some will decide to go back to school. Some won't get any better ever. It's a bit of a crap shoot. And we don't want to develop players for other teams either.

    Yes, many players will only ever be good enough for USL. That's true no matter who you draft. How many former MLS #1's are in USL or NASL right now? It's more than a few.

    The conventional wisdom here - take the best guy available - is not necessarily the best wisdom.

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
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  4. Beerking

    Beerking Member+

    Nov 14, 2000
    Humboldt County
    He has quick feet and a booming long shot, if only we weren't chock full of midfielders.
     
  5. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #55 markmcf8, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    We have to be willing to take these risks. And we have time in abundance. OUR team does not exist in the short run, we're here for decades and will be for decades into the future. It's our lack of patience that has hurt us in the past, that and a total lack of confidence in younger players.

    Draft guys you need, or think will you need in the next year or two. Take the time to train them into the sorts of guys you want. Maybe they come good, maybe they are only ever good enough for Reno. Maybe they get run into by a drunk driver and injure out. The more times we roll the dice the better our chances of getting a hit. And yes, we need to draft as high as possible and take guys that are more likely to pan out than less. But if a guy is rated at 15 or 16 and we take him at 12 because we need his position more than the guy rated at 12, that's a good call. And that's exactly what I'm talking about.

    How many of us thought drafting Beita was a waste? How did that turn out?

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
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  6. Beerking

    Beerking Member+

    Nov 14, 2000
    Humboldt County
    We could throw in Salinas and Quincy to sweeten the deal. :)
     
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  7. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But how many #10's do we have? More to the point, do we even play with a #10?
    We drafted Ampai, one of the top two or three players in his draft, and then pissed him away because we didn't believe in #10's. THAT was a waste of time, effort, and resources.

    We could play TT as a #10 right now, and he's ready to do it. Drafting this guy as a back up and possible future replacement might be a good idea, except that we might never ever play with a true #10. In which case, we'd be better off taking someone else more useful to us. (Especially given that we have so many areas of need and will continue to need those positions into the future.)

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
  8. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ampaipitakwong was not one of the top 2-3 players in the draft. Most people didn't think his upside was high enough for the MLS level. If he was MLS quality, he wouldn't have dropped to the 33rd pick, and then he wouldn't have spent his entire post-Quakes career in Thailand. That Akron team was so good a lot of those guys got overhyped, but it's still telling that along with the quality players like Nagbe and Kitchen, less impressive Zips like Valentin, Sarkodie, and Nanchoff were all gone by pick #8, whereas Ampai dropped to 33.

    But the league is also very different now from what it was at the beginning of the decade. Most of the top teams in MLS have an attacking midfielder who generates chances. If we're not going to spend big bucks on a Valeri / Lodeiro / Almiron or go after one of the Americans who can fill that role like Kljestan / Feilhaber / Nguyen, it makes sense to use a #12 pick on pretty much the consensus best attacking midfielder in college in Santos if he'll drop because he takes up an international slot (if we have one to spare, obviously).
     
  9. due time

    due time Member+

    Mar 1, 1999
    Santa Clara
    Oops. Went by my perception, and didn't check the stats before posting...now look stupid!

    Cochrane really lasted 8 years? He was NOT special.
     
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  10. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Except us!! 'Cuz we're freaking Neanderthals!

    Which makes me wonder whether we should draft a #10. We don't play with one, but we have one (maybe two?). Perhaps new coach Mikael will start using a #10 (or #10-like) player. I hope so, but if not, then we shouldn't draft such a player.

    And as for Ampai (nice that you spelled his name right!), I watched the College Cup tournament that year and he was one of the dominant players. He was the leader of his team and their creative force. The announcers all loved him too. Sure, he plays in Thailand, which is no great shakes. Nevertheless, we drafted him, he was a #10, and we played him on the wing until we got Baca, and then we benched him and never played him again. That's a waste. Makes one suspect that he fell afoul of the coaching staff. Or maybe they just didn't want to use a #10 and thus traded him away. (To another league where he couldn't come back to hurt us.)

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
  11. KMJvet

    KMJvet Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 26, 2001
    Quake Country
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think is a completely wrong example of poor drafting. This is solid draft strategy. Tarbell is the starter. It would be nice if he could continue to get better and he may well. It could be he won't and JTM will just overtake him. Either way, it was a good draft since Bingham wasn't a sure thing to be staying. That was because they thought he might leave for Europe. Turned out the reason was wrong and he stopped playing well and became a head case. But no matter what, it's damn lucky we had Tarbell. And it's the fact he was on a Generation Addidas contract and we spent no money on him until this season, is what frees up $$ to spend on field players you've acquired thru methods that aren't the crap shoot that is the draft. And certainly John Doyle and company were failures as using those other methods of acquiring players to full advantage. But that's still the smart approach and hopefully the new front office has better execution. GA players are not particularly like to fall to us this year. But if one does and we think it wasn't a full on mistake by MLS to sign that player, then we should always given them extra consideration for the GA status. Players that don't count against your cap are valuable in this league.
     
  12. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ryan was OK. When he came back to us (because he really wanted to come back to San Jose) he really fell off his form. (He got injured didn't he?) We took him first because he wanted to come back, and we were the only team in the expansion draft, so it didn't matter in what order we picked players.

    We took Nick Garcia too, and he was a thug, and past his use by date.

    And we could have taken either Amado Guevara (a bit of a dick, but a good player). Or we could have taken Jose Cancela (a bit past his best years). But both of those guys are #10s, so we passed on them.

    I hope that Mikael will employ a #10, so someone very like a #10. But I can't count on that.

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
  13. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    #63 JazzyJ, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    IIRC there was a big deal made about Cochrane being our "#1 expansion draft pick", so although it doesn't really matter, it was kind of symbolic thing. I mean he was the "new Quakes" very first pick I believe.

    When Yallop and Doyle got their first look at the available players, they were searching for athletes who can play multiple positions and still have room to improve. Cochrane’s name jumped out.

    “Ryan is what I call a very good reader of the game,” said Yallop, who previously coached the old Earthquakes. “He has a good thought process. There are plenty of great athletes who can never figure out where they’re supposed to be. Ryan has a knack for being in the right place.”


    Earthquakes General Manager John Doyle and Coach Frank Yallop believe he can handle it. Cochrane, 24, is expected to be part of the foundation upon which the new Earthquakes are built. Cochrane’s return, Yallop said, is the perfect fit for both player and team.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2007/12/20/quakes-defender-happy-to-be-back-in-san-jose/

    So much for the whole "room to improve" and "expected to be part of the foundation". He was traded a year or so later (back to Houston IIRC).
     
  14. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We already had a young, quality starter, who will continue to start in this league and is likely still better than Tarbell.

    I blame us for most of Bings' "issues." Watch him do well in smell-lay. Had we not taken Tarbell, Bings would have been just fine, and we had a journey man GK behind him just in case, and JT in the wings in any event. It was not a position of need and all we did was cause ourselves pain. And we weren't able to play both at the same time! (But we'd have stopped an awful lot of shots with two GK's!) Whereas we could have played a backup field player without major disruptions.

    Yes to signing GA players when available and feasible, though signing a GA 'keeper when your starting 'keeper just came off GA is silly at best. Also, Homegrown players don't count against the cap, at least not at first. And there's another category or two of protected not on the salary cap type players, for young guys making under a certain amount. SO, it is possible to play Cap games in several ways. Tarbell was NOT our only option is that regard. So we drafted him and that caused us some issues with another player (who is likely better) and we wasted a lot of time, and we could have drafted someone else more useful to us. Yeah, it was a dumb move.

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
  15. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, it was symbolic. He wanted to come home. So we made him first pick and said nice things about him, as we should have. But we could have taken those players in any order because we were the only team in the draft.
     
  16. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Another GA in the mix for seven total, that's good for us given there were around 9-10 quality players available and we pick 12th...

    Edward Opoku added to Generation adidas class | Combine rosters, schedule


    The most notable change is the addition of Virginia forward Edward Opoku to the Generation adidasclass. Opoku, a native of Ghana who came to the US through the Right to Dream Academy, had a total of 16 goals and nine assists over three seasons with the Cavaliers. The forward is the seventh member of the 2018 Generation adidas class.

    The league also announced Notre Dame forward Jon Gallagher has signed a contract with the league. The Dundalk, Ireland native had a total of 39 goals and 15 assists over four seasons in South Bend.
     
  17. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Almost all the talent in this draft is in the attacking positions, so I'm standing by my statement that the Quakes need to draft the best player available. If they really want a high quality defender, they're going to have to trade up for Tomas Hilliard-Arce or Joao Moutinho. I'd love to have either of those guys, but they will not come cheap. I doubt THA remains on the board past like 3-4, and he could very well go first so if you're trading up for him you probably have to get to the top spot.
     
  18. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So, for clarification, you (and no doubt other observers) think there were about 9 to 10 quality players available in the draft. MLS just added another GA dude. Is he part of that 9 to 10 cohort? Or is he in addition?

    Surely some, perhaps most of the 9 to 10 players that most observers think are quality dudes are on the GA list yes? There must be some overlap? And probably a lot of overlap?

    I haven't followed college soccer this year, so I'm a bit off my game here.

    thanks,

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
  19. lurking

    lurking Member+

    Feb 9, 2002
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    @markmcf8 go back and look at the 2016 draft talent. It was awful. Most of those guys are going to end up in USL. Drafting is an inexact science, you are trying to play the odds and hoping for the best. Of the guys drafted after him who would you rather have? Endoh? He'd be buried on the bench. Buscher? An international who has 26 games for a pretty awful DCU team. Like the only guy on that list I could see as being a better pickup is Johnathon Campbell, but could you have told me in 2016 that he was THE guy we should have taken? I couldn't.

    If Tarbell is just a career MLS backup who starts in fits and spurts we probably did pretty well.
     
  20. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Meanwhile, another defender is off the board, no MLS draft for Maryland's Jake Rozhansky who just signed with Maccabi Netanya:

     
  21. lurking

    lurking Member+

    Feb 9, 2002
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would say the GA list could be assumed to be about 50/50 proposition for the teams drafting them.

    2016 GA class:
    Harrsion - big hit
    Yaro - jury still out
    Holness - miss
    Herbers - jury still out
    Laryea - miss
    Tarbell - jury still out
    Buscher - jury still out

    2015 GA class:
    Larin - big hit
    Williams - miss
    Bono - hit
    Roldan - big hit(went late in the round though)
    Donovan - ill be kind and say jury still out
     
  22. lurking

    lurking Member+

    Feb 9, 2002
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I dont entirely agree with you, in that we cant say for sure all the talent is in the top 9-10. I would say that outside the top 9-10 you are probably hoping to get lucky and find the guy everyone overlooked or talked themselves out of (Roldan in 2015). And that may be no one. But if we stay put we should definitely be looking for anyone we think can just stick to the roster or would make sense to send to Reno for the year.

    For that reason alone I hope that Ian and the Reno staff are at our draft table this year. We are probably going to be drafting for Reno as much as we are for our team, if not more so.
     
  23. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Jury is definitely still out on Romario Williams. He won't turn 24 until mid-August. In his age 22 season he had 10 goals in 27 games for Charleston. In his age 23 season he had 15 goals in 22 games for Charleston. Not sure why Atlanta didn't recall him either when Josef Martinez was injured or when they had a ton of games over just a few weeks, Tata Martino was really bad about rotating/resting players. I think he can be a contributor at the MLS level. He also had 2 goals for Jamaica at the Gold Cup.
     
  24. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

    Oct 18, 1999
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We could use another striker, as we're short on forwards. So I say we take a forward with our first pick, and then see what defenders we can get. Assume guys that will spend a season or two in Reno and get better, or wash out.

    Go Quakes!!

    - Mark
     
  25. lurking

    lurking Member+

    Feb 9, 2002
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Montreal drafted him, and got a 3rd round pick in return. Now, was that impatience on Montreal's part? Maybe, but to me if you are willing to give up a player for a 3rd round draft pick you clearly did not draft a player who fit in your organization.
     
    markmcf8 repped this.

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