Getting a Ph.D. in SuperDraftBy: Brian | January 6th, 2011
If you donâ€™t fully understand the ins and outs of the MLS SuperDraft, donâ€™t worry. It is not a sign of stupidity. I hear Stephen Hawking is struggling to understand it.
Few can understand the craziness and fluctuating criteria which make up the behind the scenes world of bringing an American football style draft to the world of soccer. I often wonder if the suits at MLS really understand how the whole thing works.
The primary purpose of the SuperDraft is have a mechanism to filter the top collegiate talent into the league. Given that our athletics system in the US is largely based on taking â€śamateursâ€ť from colleges and adapting them to the pro game, it makes sense for MLS to adopt this style of development.
Note: I use the terms â€ścollegeâ€ť and â€śamateurâ€ť together in a theoretical sense. Calling SEC or Ohio State football amateur is a bit of a stretch, I know.
Trying to analyze and predict the order and flow of this years SuperDraft would require anyone to quit their job, abandon their family and camp out in Don Garberâ€™s front yard. With traded picks, Generation Adidas and the influx of some solid foreign talent (not to mention Wayne Rooneyâ€™s little brother), January 13th guarantees us nothing but unpredictability.
Here are a few things we can be sure of:
1) The Akron Zips will dominate the day. I would not be surprised to see 5 Akron players taken in the top 10.
2) John Rooney will make headlines not for his talent but for being Wayneâ€™s little brother. Talk about a tough shadow to get out of!
3) Soccer purists will denounce the failure of this draft system and push for a stronger developmental league like those of the European and South American leagues.
Check back here for updates and analysis as the â€śsuperâ€ť draft approaches and in the days to follow as we analyze and criticize the decision made by each club.