The Colorado Rapids made a few savvy moves in the 2014 MLS draft. They grabbed Louisville midfielder Marlon Hairston, a former US youth international and Generation Adidas star. Hairston will be a solid backup to Dillon Powers until he can become a starter. Though the team doesn’t have a huge need for a left back, they did pass on a number of other top options.
Despite having a strong defensive core, the club still needed a center back. Despite his inexperience, Toronto FC considered taking UC Riverside’s center back. The Union lack central defenses and could benefit from a one-on-1 defender. Although it is not yet clear if they will sign him, he would be a great back up to Scott Caldwell.
In addition to drafting a center-back, the Crew also snatched up a promising attacking midfielder, Aaron Long. Long, a 6-foot-1 attacker who played for the University of California Riverside, later playing for FC Tucson. Long scored 13 goals in college and two in PDL. Long was not part of the MLS Combine, unlike the other top-ranked players.
The top three picks were taken from the same school, which included two high school students. Steve Birnbaum, the most MLS-ready defender in the draft, was selected by the New England Revolution. His teammate Christian Dean was selected by the Portland Timbers. The second round was quieter, with teams settling for the picks that they already had. Most picks were used on players with high upside. Montreal Impact jumped the board and grabbed top-rated full back Eric Miller.
New England also brought three high-quality players to the team. The club had a strong defensive unit last year, but struggled on offense without Juan Agudelo. The team traded the 4th overall pick to acquire two more players, Steve Neumann from Georgetown and Patrick Mullins of Colorado. Both of these players will be able to compete for minutes immediately. The Revolution also landed one the most intriguing draft picks of recent years.
The Chivas Copperheads are missing out on several top forward prospects in the 2014 MLS draft. They will be missing out on a promising CB in round one. They may choose a 4-3-2-3 formation as the Chivas Forwards are not good at scoring. Although Chivas are not likely to draft a goalkeeper, they could choose from the wide range of quality forwards available in the draft.
Despite the disappointing season, the San Jose Earthquakes continued to invest in young talent during the 2014 MLS draft. The San Jose Earthquakes went as high as #9 overall in the SuperDraft, drafting Stanford Men’s Soccer senior midfielder JJ Koval. Koval is a strong challenger in the air, and his presence should help the team’s defensive midfield. Similarly, the Earthquakes also signed Ligue 1 star Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi.