VANCOUVER, BC – Who will Vancouver Whitecaps FC select in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft?
We won’t know the answer until Thursday morning, but sometimes it’s fun to guess. One of the greatest things about the MLS SuperDraft is all the speculation it provokes in the days and weeks leading up to the big event.
At this time of the year, soccer pundits and fans from all over North America chime in with their predictions on how the draft might play out. Some are educated guesses, while others are … just guesses.
The reality is that anything can happen on draft day. One trade or off-the-board pick can change the way everything plays out, thereby throwing a wrench into any and all mock drafts.
There’s your disclaimer.
Now, it’s obvious that there’s still a real appetite for mock drafts out there.
And with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at six different ones (from MLSSoccer.com, Soccer By Ives, Top Drawer Soccer, and SB Nation) to give you an idea who people think the ‘Caps might target in the first round of Thursday’s SuperDraft.
Here are the most popular choices:
Each of the six mock drafts we looked at had Whitecaps FC selecting University of Connecticut Huskies goalkeeper Andre Blake in the first round. Five of them had Blake going at third overall, while Top Drawer Soccer predicted he would drop to Vancouver’s second first-round pick (seventh overall). The Jamaican shot-stopper, who posted a 46W-10L-12D record and 37 clean sheets over the last three seasons, is widely considered to be the best goalkeeper available in the draft.
Two of the six mock drafts predicted that Creighton University Bluejays defender/midfielder Eric Miller would go to the ‘Caps at seventh overall. The versatile right back, who also has experience playing at centre back and in midfield, started 62 of Creighton’s 63 matches over the past three seasons and helped lead the Bluejays to consecutive College Cup appearances in 2011 and 2012. According to MLSsoccer.com’s Simon Borg, Miller is “the best right back in the draft.”
Just like Miller, two of the six mock drafts had Whitecaps FC choosing Maryland striker Patrick Mullins at seventh overall. Mullins, who has scored 36 goals over the last two seasons, is a back-to-back winner of the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top collegiate soccer player in the United States. According to Top Drawer Soccer, Mullins “is the best forward in the draft – by some margin.”
Most MLS pundits have suggested that University of California Golden Bears centre back Steve Birnbaum is a consensus top two pick, but Soccer By Ives predicted that he could drop to Whitecaps FC at third overall. Birnbaum, a first-team All-American, started all 19 of California’s matches in 2013, contributing 10 goals and one assist. Soccer By Ives called Birnbaum “the most-pro ready” centre back in the draft.
According to SB Nation’s Jon Szekeres, University of Hartford Hawks center back Damion Lowe’s “tantalizing talent may just be too much to pass up” at seventh overall. As a junior in 2013, Lowe was named to the All-Northeast Region second team after leading the Hawks’ back line to a 0.84 goals against average – a new school record.
The first two rounds of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft will take place on Thursday, January 16 at 9 a.m. PT. Fans in Canada will be able to watch the draft live on TSN2. Stay tuned to whitecapsfc.com and our Twitter and Facebook pages for the latest.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC SuperDraft Picks:
|3rd||First||Acquired from Toronto FC in July 2012|
|30th||Second||Acquired from Colorado Rapids in January 2012|
|51st||Third||Acquired from Seattle Sounders FC in December 2011|
|58th||Fourth||Acquired from D.C. United in February 2013|
Whitecaps FC 2014 season tickets start at just $349, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps are also offering a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.