Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Battle Training Camp Kicks Off With a Bang

Dilly Duka Hits Double in CCL Play Versus Pachuca

- San Antonio

The big story down in the Alamo City dealt with how the Battle would find a way to impose their will on the 2015 BSL Superdraft despite not being able to make any pre-draft moves.  The BSL may have just found out last night as 5th round selection Dilly Duka netted a brace in Concacaf Champions League play against Pachuca.  With the club gathered in the film room after a long first day of training together they all watched on as the lone missing member of the club took center stage in the opening match of the CCL knock out rounds.    

"We can't tell you how great it was to gather everyone and sit and watch one of our new players light things up,"  stated Alamo City officials.  "The very reason he was selected was on display tonight and the 2015 season could not have started in a more fantastic way."

That reason ?  Well, it was all part of the strategy put in place this year for the draft.  After stockpiling Obafemi Martins, Mauro Diaz, and Tesho Akindele with their DP and Retention Player slots the Battle went in search of an effective strategy to try and maximize each round of the draft.  "We had no shot at roughly half the players we'd want simply due to draft position.  For whatever reason we don't have a snake order in this league so picking late in each round really makes things hard.  That's what we get paid for here in the Battle FO, so we took the challenge head on.  At least on paper it looks like we might have pulled it off.  We went for the POP and Dilly illustrated it perfectly tonight."

POP ?  That would be the Potential Opportunity for Production.  It was the focal point of the draft and is the sole reason the names that make up the Alamo City SC roster for 2015 read as they do.  The first portion of the draft has some selections that need little to no explanation but the good folks in the Alamo City FO were kind enough to give a quip about each selection when we inquired:

Krizstian Nemeth - unbelievably skilled and fits any system he's likely to play in ... he skill set is that big.
Sebastian Jaime - will be a focal point on a perennially good team ... he never got the chance to show why a respected RSL club brought him in ... this season he will.
Andrew Wenger - he was a #1 MLS pick for a reason ... he's got the tools but just couldn't find the fit ... he's not only found the fit, but has a big man up top to play off of now.
Frank Lampard - it's Frank Lampard.
Dilly Duka - MLS first rounder due to potential as a playmaker ... never had the chance really to shine ... in a position this season, with another playmaker, to exploit his talent.
Diego Fagundez - suffered a lost season as New England which we kind of felt was coming ... they figured out their identity and he fits very well going forward
Jaime Calle - when Jason Kries pursues you there isn't much else that needs to be said.
Luis Marin - unsung signing in our opinion ... will play for a very good defense team and comes with an amazing resume that includes international call ups
Dairon Asprilla - Caleb Porter attacks mercilessly and he fits the mold ... already abundance of experience at 22 and has shown he's more of a finished product than most at this age
Adam Kwarasey - as a GK he's been the captain of a Norwegian champion and also started for his national team at the last World Cup, and he's only 27 ... yeah.
Luke Moore - big names came on board but he's already proven himself with his team and the league ... he's a constant among the moving parts and fills several roles
Kwadwo Poku - pure potential and chance to fulfill it in a variety of ways on a club that will try any and everything this season ... dark horse talent ready to explode.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Early Rounds Yield Gold

- San Antonio

"You've got to be kidding me ..."

That was the response from Alamo City as their clock began on their 4th round pick in the BSL Superdraft.  Looking over the names of those remaining, one stood out above the rest.  World class talent Frank Lampard was still on the board.

"Send the freaking card up ..."

It took all of two seconds for Alamo City to jump on what very well could end up being one of the biggest draft picks in the history of the league.  Forget the controversy over his signing with the MLS and BSL.  Forget that he won't be here until this summer.  "This is Frank freaking Lampard ... in the fourth round."  The selection punctuated a fantastic run in the early rounds for the Battle.  Kicking off the draft was Krisztian Nemeth, a player they wanted with their first pick.  A few unexpected picks early in round two left the Battle scrambling a little as they had to quickly realign their targets.  However, it just might have ended up for the best as Sebastian Jaime was taken.  The RSL designated player never really got the chance to get going last season but the expectation and potential are still there.  That's exactly what led to the Battle's third selection in the draft being Andrew Wenger.  He's finally found the right fit.  That also seems to be the case with Dilly Duka which is why he was made Alamo City's fifth selection.

All in all it was one hell of a first day for the Battle.  Now though, the league is won.  The second half of the draft will make or break the season.

Friday, February 20, 2015

2015 Superdraft Kicks Off

- San Antonio

The wheeling, dealing, and posturing is all said and done.  Now it's down to the front offices of the Bigtime Soccer League clubs.  The 2015 Superdraft kicked off this morning and the first two picks went as everyone figured.  Sitting at the number eight slot, the Alamo City brass had to wait and see if they would be able to enact their plan.  With the unwillingness of teams to answer the phone during the off-season the options were limited for the club.  Undeterred, the front office put together a carefully formulated list of players they felt would track with their draft position in each round.  As the Battle came up with the eight overall pick in the 1st round the plan got off on the right foot.  "We've been an admirer of Krizstian from afar for quite a while.  For whatever reason his skill and ability just hasn't been utilized up to this point.  He's an unbelievably talented player and fits right into the system that he'll be playing here.  We're really excited that we got him."

Heading into the second round the Battle already had to mark a couple of their hopeful selections off their list as, in their opinion, a couple of clubs might have reached in the first round.  No stranger to taking gambles though, the Battle adjusted and thought they'd pinpointed a steal.  Then though, the 16th pick was handed in and Fernando Aristeguieta came off the board.  It hurt, but the Battle saw another opportunity as they reshuffled their list.  With pick number twenty in the draft, Alamo City might have snuck one in on the league.  Sebastian Jaime is an absolute wild card with a huge potential upside.  "We were in the bidding for him when he came into the league last year.  He was unfortunate to get hurt and never have a chance to really gel.  That's not an issue this year and he's going to be given the chance to be a center piece on a club that always plays very good soccer.  He very well could be the break out star of both the BSL and the MLS this season."

The Superdraft will resume in the morning.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Battle Looking for 3rd DP Slot or 2nd Round Pick

- San Antonio

Over the weekend the Alamo City Soccer Club held it's first pre-season press conference to address general items and give basic updates to the local media, supporter's groups, and sponsors.  While there was some talk about certain issues the only specific talking items that came from the presser were that the Battle are still looking to make a deal.

Alamo City is looking for either a DP slot or a 2nd round pick.

"Looking over our roster and looking at our positioning in the draft, we feel we might need to try and make a move in order to set up our roster as close to perfect as we can before people really start coming off the board.  To best do this, we feel that obtaining a 3rd DP slot or an additional 2nd round draft pick will give us the best opportunity to have our roster where we want it heading into the crucial stage of the player selections."  When asked if buying the 3rd DP slot was an option, Alamo City management re-iterated that they are in too strong of a position with their allocation money to give up that advantage heading into the season.  Management also stated that they'd already attempted to contact a couple of teams with these specific points of discussion.