Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 Draft - Offseason Review

Draft Complete - Battle Come Out of Offseason Swinging

For obvious reasons the Alamo City Soccer Club wanted to bring back as many players from their 2013 squad as they possibly could.  Henry, Martins, and Garcia were held on too by way of the DP and Retention player mechanisms.  In the draft the club was able to snag Mauro Diaz, David Ousted, and Luis Robles to bring the total to 6 players that suited up at one point last season.  While the opportunity for an additional 1st round pick (2nd overall) was enticing enough to allow the club to part ways with 2013 team MVP Diego Fagundez, it wasn't without heavy deliberation that the move was made.  In the end, having the selection of anyone they had on their draft board was worth the swap.  It ended up being a telling sign, for as the off-season and draft played out, the club ended up making several more trade offs.

With only being able to swing the one deal before the draft, the club aimed at taking a mix of ability, potential, and placement when selecting the players for the 2014 season.  Eyeing the names on the roster for this season shows that that is exactly what the club was able to do ... select a very dangerous and potentially lethal combination of scorers.

Gaston Fernandez - The Argentine attacking player is able to play across the entire FWD line as well as a second ST if needed.  His versatility is the perfect fit for the pacey, attacking style in Portland.  Alamo City loves the fact that he will literally be everywhere.

Mauro Diaz - The young playmaker proved to be worth the transfer battle last season.  This season, he's been given the keys to the Dallas attack and Alamo City looks to reap the benefits.

Vicente Sanchez - The veteran weapon quickly acclimated to MLS/BSL play last season and promptly elevated the Colorado attack.  With young, talented offensive players at his disposal Sanchez looks to facilitate many a goal this season.

Jairo Arrieta - Higuain is the name that pops out when you look at the Crew attack, but it is Arrieta that is the point man.  A new coach and a new focus should make Arrieta the target.

Benny Feilhaber - He slumped a bit last season but the USMNT World Cup veteran has given glimpses of being every bit the threat he was in 2010 with the national team and 2011 in his return to the MLS.  Finally on solid ground and with the #10 shirt in SKC, he's poised to explode.

Kekatu Mennah - 764m and 8pts ... that pretty much sums it up.  Explosive, dynamic, and all the upside in the world.  Carl Robinson has stated he's going to let Mennah run wild, and that suits the Battle just fine.

Dilly Duka - A bit speculative has Duka is still raw, but the skill is there.  Chicago floundered until 'Highlander' Mike Magee showed up.  When he did though, Duka was a bit more free and had a skilled player to link up with.  If Magee continues his form and Chicago can find a regular forward it will be Duka that sees the most positive outcome.

Tony Cascio - All this kid has done, is show he deserves to be starting on the front line.  For whatever reason (and a niggling injury last season) he hasn't, but Houston has looked to resolve this issue.  In a three wide attack up front, the Dynamo found exactly what they needed in Cascio and Alamo City is going to hold on for the ride.

Cristian Fernandez - A veteran with both experience and an attacking mind coming out of the back line ?  DCU needs just that and so do the Battle.  Fernandez will be relied upon to overlap and create more attacking options and Alamo City believes he'll get it done.

Alvaro Rey - Quietly, Rey has remained the constant in the remake of the TFC line up.  A solid, dependable player that provides quality outside play ?  Yes please.  Of course, the additions that TFC has put into place will only benefit Rey as last season there wasn't anyone to take advantage of the chances he created.

Luis Robles - Alamo City knew he was good but a better opportunity found the club while Robles and the NYRB back line figured each other out.  Robles ended the season playing like the guy the Battle knew he could be.  This season he's here from the get go and looks to continue to shine.

David Ousted - The heir to the 'Resident Super Scandinavian GK' in the MLS, Ousted showed last season that he has all the tools and ability to play to the level that Alamo City Battle GK(R) Jimmy Neilsen did.

Offseason thoughts around the league:

- The move of the offseason went to Gateway United.  Finding a way to hold on to Federico Higuain was simply brilliant.  Donovan won't be as consistently available this season and will need to be rested.  Federico will be the key to their season.

- The best pre-draft trade went to Burud Town.  A 2nd rounder landed Tim Cahill ?  World Cup absence be damned, Cahill is a top 10 player in the league and getting him for a 2nd rounder is just stupid good business.

- The best draft picks went to Second City/Capital District - In round 4 Second City snagged Luyindula which was the player on the radar for Alamo City.  That scenario played out again in round 6 when Capital District took Omar Cummings.  Both of these players were on Alamo City's 'breakout' watch list and both are steals in these slots.

- The biggest leap in the draft goes to Pennsylvania - The first pick of round 2 saw the Stoners take newly signed ST Rob Friend of the Galaxy.  It's not that he doesn't have the talent and doesn't warrant the pick.  His situation in LA might lend to limited impact in the BSL.  That makes taking him with the 13th overall pick a bit of a stretch.

No comments:

Post a Comment