Home Uncategorized Bring on the longshots: How the Canadian teams did at the Supplemental Draft

Bring on the longshots: How the Canadian teams did at the Supplemental Draft

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Hakan Ilhan, selected by the Impact
In the case of the majority of the players picked in Tuesday’s MLS Supplemental Draft, this may be the only time you’ll hear their names in conjunction with the clubs that picked them. Some will come on trial, some will never sign. Some will go to NASL or USL. Many you’ll never hear of again. And, maybe, just maybe, one or two will stick it out and make it into an MLS match. The Supplemental Draft is all about finding diamonds in the rough, gambling on prospects whose stock dropped during the combine or have been battling injuries. But all three Canadian teams were active, stockpiling prospects — including Jamaican Ashton Bennett, who also carries Canadian residency. He will get the chance to try his luck at Toronto FC. Here’s a look at the three Canadian teams’ draft days: Montreal Impact After learning that second-round draft pick Paolo Del Piccolo had signed with Eintracht Frankfurt, the Impact selected four players, led off by the pickup of University of North Carolina Greensboro and Carolina Dynamo forward Hakan Ilhan, who scored 29 times in 58 NCAA matches after coming to America from Germany. The Impact also nabbed Jordan Leblanc (Old Dominion University) a midfielder who tallied five goals and three assists in 2012. Three of the goals came on penalties, as he was OD’s designated taker. Lower in the draft, the Impact got the rights to Wake Forest midfielder Luciano Delbono, who scored once this season, and Virginia Commonwealth’s Juan Monge Solano, a Costa Rican left back who was with Saprissa’s youth setup before going to the NCAA. He could be a real wild card for the Impact. Toronto FC How far did Coastal Carolina forward Ashton Bennett’s stock fall? All the way to the second round of the Supplemental Draft, where TFC finally nabbed him. The forward had been tabbed as a SuperDraft selection but, despite that Canadian residency card looming large for the three clubs north of the border, he went unselected on draft day. Now, as a no-risk option for TFC, the Reds have a chance to encourage Bennett to show the world to show why everyone was wrong about him. Like Bennett, Creighton midfielder Jose Gomez was expected to be a SuperDraft pick, and some rated him as a top-10 prospect. And, like Bennett, Gomez slumped to the Supplemental Draft, where TFC snapped up the playmaker, who scored six times and added nine assists in the NCAA this season. TFC grabbed University of New Mexico midfielder Nik Robson, a New Zealander who scored five goals this season, and forward Taylor Morgan out of George Mason University. Vancouver Whitecaps The Whitecaps went with some interesting strategies, choosing to draft NCAA teammates. Many scouts will tell you bringing in two players who know each other can be helpful, as they will help eac h other adjust to a new environment. With their first two Supplemental Draft picks, the Whitecaps chose two fifth-year holdovers out of Notre Dame, Adrian Mena — a left-sided mid who has a scoring touch — and Michael Rose, a right-sided mid who can also play fullback or forward in a pinch. Rose missed all of the 2012 season due to an ACL issue — and that obviously hurt his draft value The Whitecaps also took Duquesne teammates Adam Clement and Joshua Patterson. Clement, a defender, was a 2011 Atlantic 10 All-Conference team selection, while Patterson, a striker, scored 27 times in 73 NCAA matches. The Caps also took two very long shots with forward Brian Rogers out of Harvard (14 goals in 53 matches) and Alejandro Sucre, a Venezuelan who attends Amherst College in Division III. There are likely CIS picks who might have more realistic shots at MLS than Rogers and Sucre — but time will tell if this is the last we hear from these two players, or not.

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