The 2011 MLS SuperDraft took place in Baltimore on Thursday. The twelfth installment of the MLS draft consisted of three rounds, with eighteen picks each (for a total of 54 players). Vancouver Whitecaps FC, one of the two expansion clubs that will be joining the league in 2011, had the first pick and surprised everyone when they took Omar Salgado, a 17-year old forward from the US U-20 National Team, with the first overall selection.
With this pick, Vancouver is obviously going with high upside over immediate impact. Salgado has a lot of room to fill out his 6-foot-4 frame, as he currently weighs just 170 pounds. He most recently was in the Chivas de Guadalajara youth system, but was jettisoned when he chose to represent the United States in international competition, rather than Mexico.
A pair of teammates from Akron, both mentioned as likely No. 1 overall picks, went No. 2 and No. 3 -- Darlington Nagbe to the Portland TImbers and Perry Kitchen to DC United.
The New England Revolution -- 9-16-5 a year ago, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2001 -- had the No. 6 overall pick, which they used to draft AJ Soares, a defender from Cal. From SBNation.com's live stream of the draft:
Chances are, Steve Nicol saw a player that could help his team immediately, as the Revolution are coming off their first playoff-less season during the last nine years. Soares is expected to play center back in MLS and has shown flashes of offensive ability during his four years at Cal. He scored 10 goals and has four assists, including five goals his senior year.
From there, the Revs had four more draft picks took
- No. 24: Stephen McCarthy, M, University of North Carolina
- No. 39 (from DC): Steven Perry, F, University of Notre Dame
- No. 42: Ryan Kinne, M/F, Monmouth University
- No. 54 (from Colorado): Alan Koger, F, College of William & Mary