Home Featured Klazura’s deal with Whitecaps proves just how unscientific the MLS draft process can be

Klazura’s deal with Whitecaps proves just how unscientific the MLS draft process can be

Greg Klazura
If you weren’t convinced that the MLS draft is more of a crapshoot than any other draft held by any of the North American sports league, maybe Wednesday’s news from the Vancouver Whitecaps will be what gets you on board.

On Wednesday, the Whitecaps announced that the club has signed 23-year-old defender Greg Klazura, who played five seasons at Notre Dame.

Klazura was drafted in the second round of the MLS supplemental draft. Or, if you put the SuperDraft and supplemental draft together, the fourth round overall. The supplemental draft is so important (insert irony here), that it’s held via conference call.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a member of such a storied club and excited to start my professional soccer career with Whitecaps FC,” said Klazura in a release issued by the club. “Vancouver has the reputation for having some of the best fans in MLS and I look forward to seeing and hearing them at BC Place.”

Now, think back to the weekend. On Saturday, the Whitecaps cut ties with defender Chris Estridge, who was a second-round pick. He actually got taken at the SuperDraft. He got the scarf and the handshake. But he didn’t even make it to the club’s final stretch of preseason games. Meanwhile, Klazura emerges from draft afterthought to squad player.

Maybe it’s the fact that combines do a good a job to distort the truth about players. Yes, the combine can help a diamond in the rough show his stuff, but it can also hurt a player — a guy who has had a fine college career — thanks to a poor 90 minutes. Estridge got to play in the combine

It’s true of all sports that hold combines: They exist mainly to keep media interested, and place way too much emphasis on an athlete’s performance on a single given day, rather than looking at an entire career.

To be fair, Estridge, by all accounts, didn’t have a stellar combine. But he got to that showcase, while Klazura didn’t. And just getting onto that field is a big deal.

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