CARSON, CA (January 13, 2017) – The first two rounds of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft is in the books. With the 15th and the 24th overall picks, they selected Sam Hamilton and Liam Callahan, respectively. Hamilton in a holding midfielder out of local Denver University. Liam Callahan is midfielder/defender (primarily a left back) out of Syracuse University.
Colorado Rapids Address Depth Needs, Draft Sam Hamilton And Liam Callahan
Hamilton is 6’0″ and 185 lbs. The Evergreen, CO native spent four years at DU. The program had a record setting year in 2016. Hamilton started 24 games during the season, recording nine assists.
Callahan is 5’9″ and 160 lbs. He played four years of college soccer, starting at Villanova, before moving on to Syracuse. In his senior season, he started 18 games, recording two goals and one assist.
Once you get past the top half of first round, teams probably aren’t going to get impact players or immediate MLS starters. While neither of these players are going to set the world on fire in 2017, they both fit needs.
Hamilton grew up in the Rapids back yard essentially. The club must be very familiar with him and know his strengths and weaknesses. He’s got two great holding midfield mentors on his new club in captain Sam Cronin and Michael Azira. Hamilton can serve as a back up to these two along with Dillon Powers. He can learn a lot from all three of them.
This pick allows the Rapids to have depth at a position of strength just in case. It also means Hamilton has little pressure his rookie season. This gives him time to develop. Training with these three will help him grow tremendously. Worst case scenario, he gets loaned down to USL where he’ll surely get playing time.
Callahan was quietly one of the better left backs on the board by the time the Rapids were on the clock in the second round. Marc Burch had possibly the most underrated season of any starter for the Rapids. Eric Miller and Mekeil Williams are probably better on the right than they are on the left. Dennis Castillo is also more of a right back.
Now the Rapids have a natural left back to back up Burch. He won’t be expected to start right away, but he’s a safety valve if Burch gets injured. Just like Hamilton, he has a veteran teammate he can shadow to help with the learning curve of turning pro.
The Rapids drafted two solid college players. They added needed depth at positions of strength, going full #NextManUp. With the way their depth chart is set up, they’ve given both players an excellent opportunity to grown and develop into solid pros. They’re both skilled enough to play at the USL level should the Rapids want to loan them down to get minutes.