Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by jonny, Oct 11, 2003.
The best draft ever?
Way too early to say right now..
While a few of those players have bust on to the scene - Ralph, Clark, Magee and assorted others, it will take about 3 years to see the real deal with this draft..
For my money, the 2001 draft was sick with players who have made big contributions to MLS..
1st round picks:
2nd Round picks:
3rd round picks:
So for now, I'd take the 2001 draft..
Considering Borchers didn't get drafted, I'm not sure we can laud him as part of a great draft. (That's not his fault, BTW.)
I don't know about the league, but there appears to be a good chance that the Metrostars will wind up with the best draft in league history. Their first three picks were Ricardo Clark, Mike Magee and Eddie Gaven and that looks pretty damned good right now.
Add in some youngsters who may develop and who knows...
Interestingly, both the Fire and Earthquakes have also gone three deep with pretty good prospects.
There are various ways to define "best draft" ... if you mean "best ever group of players," then you may have a point. But let's remember that the Metros had a raft of high picks in 2003. In the process of getting them, they gave up Brad Davis, Nelson Akwari, and their top two picks in 2004. In other words, they've consolidated over three years worth of drafts into one.
That's why I think the Galaxy draft in 1998 is still in a class by itself. They had four picks:
#6 Clint Mathis
#18 Daniel Hernandez
#26 Matt Reis
#30 Joe Franchino
Mathis at #6 is easy to appreciate. The other three picks deserve a bit of comment. In that draft, the #16 pick was Billy Walsh. Below him, there were only three guys who stuck in MLS -- Hernandez, Reis, and Franchino. The Galaxy found three useful players where nobody else could find anything.
Compare those three guys to the 2003 Metros' picks:
At most one of those guys will pan out, maybe none.
why do u have memo on the list and not Noonan, who is contending for Rookie of the Year.
Very interesting discussion. All those guys are certainly promising players, however I wonder if the discussion isn't skewed slightly from years post due to the seeming Youth Movement. Would those guys be getting as much playing time as in years past?
IMO, this group has earned its playing time. Clark and Dunivant were immediate starters (and deservedly so), but the others have had to struggle to get onto the field.
So here's the obvious question: why was the 2003 draft so strong? There's a simple answer: the league was able to sign 14 Project-40 players. That's roughly twice as many as usual. In the wake of WC02, lots of young kids decided to turn pro, and learning from the experiences of Donovan and Twellman, they chose MLS. In addition, players like Noonan, Walsh, and Dunivant were seniors in the 2003 draft, having turned down P-40 offers in 2002, which was the contraction year.
I agree with the thread starter. 2003 looks to be the best draft ever by a good margin. The reason is that while many of the class of 2001 have done very well, hardly any of them were this good in their first season.
Faria was rookie of the year in 2001 and he was merely decent. Ralph, Clark, Dunivant and Borchers have all had superior years to his, and a case can be made for several others as well.
Who knows what the class of 2003 will look like in 2005? Maybe there are even more sleepers. In any event, it's ahead of the pace of all previous rookie classes.
Ralph, Dunivant, and Clark are having great years, but only five 2003 draftees have managed to play even half of their teams' minutes. This group has an awful lot of potential, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Let's look at the 1998 draftees and Project-40 signings (who weren't drafted back then). In their first season, 11 of them played at least half of their teams' minutes. That's a pretty impressive pace.
And they proved themselves, too. Howard, Mathis, Wolff, Olsen, and Mastroeni have all made an impact on the national team level. Others -- CJ Brown, Klein, Cunningham -- have earned several caps. On top of that, you've got plenty of other established MLS contributors -- Cullen, Petke, Kotschau, Barrett, Daniel Hernandez, Talley, DiGiamarino, Franchino, Andy Williams, Tyrone Marshall, and Brian West.
So that's the standard ... 5 impact national teamers and 14 more MLS regulars.