Editorial (January 11, 2016) – The 2017 MLS SuperDraft is this coming Friday and Tuesday. The Colorado Rapids have four picks in this year’s draft. With two solid Homegrown signings already done, what could the Rapids be looking to do in the SuperDraft? Let’s break it all down.
Colorado Rapids SuperDraft Preview: Depth And Diamonds In The Rough
The Rapids have four picks in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft: the 15th pick in the first round, 2nd pick in the second round, 1st pick in the third, and the 20th pick in the fourth round. That’s the 15th, 24th, 45th, and 86th overall. With their finish in the 2016 MLS season, they naturally had the 20th pick in each round.
How The Picks Got Here
Colorado had already traded their natural first, second, and third overall picks months ago. The New England Revolution got the Rapids first round pick as part of the Jermaine Jones acquisition. The Philadelphia Union got the second round pick in a trade for goalkeeper Zac MacMath. D.C. United got the third round pick in exchange for Conor Doyle.
The front office did a good job acquiring picks elsewhere. Colorado got their first rounder from the LA Galaxy for the negotiation rights to Jermaine Jones, who they weren’t going to re-sign anyways. They then sent an international roster slot for 2017 and 2018 to Atlanta United FC for their natural second rounder. The club sent Joseph Greenspan (a back up center back) to Minnesota United FC for the third round pick.
It’s been reported that both trades with expansion teams included a deal that no Rapids players would be taken in the Expansion Draft.
Who They Could Pick
The Rapids don’t have a pick in the top half of the first round, so they won’t be getting an impact player in this draft unless they trade up. They probably aren’t even going to get a starter for 2017. Fortunately, they don’t need much help right now.
Colorado’s defense is solid and everyone important is coming back. The attack needs some improvement, but that could come from the growth of Marlon Hairston and Dominique Badji. I still think the team could use Kevin Doyle more effectively. Plus, Shkelzen Gashi is only going to get better in his second year in MLS.
Sporting Director Padraig Smith will likely use their four draft picks to build depth.
They could still use some attacking options. I agree with Matt Doyle that Russell Cicerone would be a good winger option, or even a back up No. 10.
It’s hard to predict names beyond the first round, but Colorado could go for a holding midfielder and a left back. Sam Cronin and Michael Azira are great holding midfielders. After that, it’s Dillon Powers, who still didn’t look fully comfortable in that role in 2016. After that, there’s really no one.
Smith and Pablo Mastroeni could go after a holding midfielder who could be a 2-3 year project. They could do the same thing with a left back. Eric Miller is still trying to lock down what position suits him. Mikel Williams and Dennis Castillo might both be better suited on the right.
The Rapids could use a natural left back and some depth at holding midfield. What they do after that is anyone’s guess.