VANCOUVER, BC – Who’s it going to be?
Now that the adidas MLS Player Combine is complete, all 23 Major League Soccer teams are preparing to select from a new crop of prospects in the upcoming SuperDraft, which will take place Friday morning in Philadelphia (live stream on whitecapsfc.com at 8 a.m. PT).
Barring a last-minute trade, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will select 17th overall.
For those not familiar with college soccer stars or eligible international players, navigating possible draft selections can be a difficult task. With that in mind, we’ve compiled draft projections from Top Drawer Soccer, Soccer by Ives and MLSsoccer.com analyst Matthew Doyle to make things a little easier for Whitecaps FC fans.
“Immediate contributors are also few and far between, with most of the players available wild cards. However, teams in the early stages of the first round could end up with someone that can make an impact, whether this year or next. One of the other unpredictable factors is how teams accommodate foreign college stars. Both Jon Bakero and Rafael dos Santos are two of the most talented attackers in the draft, though they could end up slipping since both are from abroad.” – Top Drawer Soccer
“The draft is stocked with attacking players, but teams must also contend with the reality that many of them are foreign players, and the tricky dance of balancing international player spots could force some teams to steer clear of foreign options in certain situations.” – Soccer by Ives
Here’s a look at three players the ‘Caps could end up with on Friday with the 17th overall pick, according to recent mock drafts made by Soccer By Ives, Top Drawer Soccer, and Matthew Doyle of MLSsoccer.com.
Drew Skundrich, Stanford – Midfielder
“Skundrich's grit and determination will make him a good squad player for any MLS franchise” – Top Drawer Soccer.
Jeff Caldwell, Virginia – Goalkeeper
“The Whitecaps can use [a third] goalkeeper, and Caldwell is the consensus top choice goalkeeper in the draft, though some rate Michael Nelson as a better long-term prospect.” – Soccer By Ives
Ken Krolicki, Michigan State – Midfielder
“It seems like Vancouver are entertaining the idea of switching to a 3-5-2, and in that case Krolicki could give them depth either as a box-to-box midfielder or as a touchline-to-touchline wingback. He's not an outstanding athlete, but he's very, very fit and he knows how to play the game. He'll happily do the dirty work and allow the more attacking players freedom to get into more dangerous spots.” – Matthew Doyle, MLSsoccer.com