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In Their Wake

With Wake Forest's stunning exit from the College Cup, speculation has begun about the Demon Deacons' outstanding lineup and who has a pro future. How high will forward Marcus Tracy and midfielder Sam Cronin be selected in next month's MLS draft? Are junior forward Cody Arnoux (17 goals) and sophomore midfielder Corben Bone (17 assists) ready for the next level? Will sophomore defender Ike Opara leave school early? We'll know the answer to all of those questions in the coming weeks.

However, one item I can share: Senior midfielder Michael Lahoud, a four-year starter from Annandale, Va., has drawn preliminary interest from German-based representatives. No specific clubs to pass along at the moment.

For those of you who have seen Wake play regularly this year, what are your thoughts on their professional candidates?

By Steve Goff  |  December 13, 2008; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Well, based on past history, it depends on the draft. If the Revs draft them they have a good professional future, if we draft them, not so much.

Posted by: ncguy | December 13, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Opara - can't go pro soon enough. May take a year (at most) to fully adapt to MLS but a future standout pro.

Tracy - overrated. Has some exceptional tools but doesn't seem able to put it all together. Few domestic strikers last long in MLS. May do ok given his pace but I'm thinking future EJ-lite and think previous suggestions by "Sandon Mibut" (bigsoccer) of a position change are valid. A risky pick to take high in the draft but almost surely will be taken in the first round.

Arnoux - much improved from his freshman year. Has a chance as a pro. Not sure he should leave early. But then again I didn't think Adam Cristman could cut it in MLS.

Cronin - a very nice player who should make an impact in MLS. A low-risk pick for late in the first round or early in the second.

Bone - seems talented and I've heard good things. For whatever reason I haven't seen enough of him on the ball in the several Wake games on tv this year. Based on reputation, maybe it's time to go pro (2 years is enough for a midfielder). I don't think he'll be a dominate pro for at least a few years but could be pretty good in a year or two.

Lahoud - could have a decent career in the 3rd tier of German football. He's worth a look in an MLS preseason camp but I've never been sold he'll stick in MLS.

Posted by: undrafted | December 13, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I dunno man, Opara didn't look so hot in the game I watched versus North Carolina...

Posted by: PEddy | December 13, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Not his best game but there were flashes of why he's one MLS should invest heavily in. But then again MLS seems too willing to lose defenders on free transfers (Bocanegra, Nelsen, Califf, Parkhurst, Goodson). I think his deficits are mostly due to inexperience and correctable within a pro rookie year.

Posted by: undrafted | December 13, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

We need midlfielders.

Posted by: TheJim1 | December 13, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Well -- if Lahoud is looking at German clubs, I'm sure DC United will pick him.

Posted by: fischy | December 13, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Opara looks ready (yesterday notwithstanding...then again, no one at Wake should be judged by their play against UNC). Tracy looked better last year to me, but he's got the potential to become a decent MLS player (though I don't think it will be immediate). I think Cronin's rookie year will resemble what Stephen King did in Chicago this year, in that he'll probably appear as a sub in around half of his team's games and will get the occasional start. He'll play enough that it will be obvious he's trusted by the coaching staff at whatever team picks him.

Arnoux should make the jump now. Wake is going to lose a lot next year, and it seems to me that he's more likely to get better fighting for minutes with pros than carrying a (still strong) college program on his back. I think he could actually make his mark somewhere, though again I think it'll be a year or two before he really starts to put it together.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 13, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

i have been following maryland closely this season, so i have mostly just seen wake in the game against maryland and in the acc tourney. i must say watching the games tracy seemed like a man against boys. He is strong, fast, and can position himself. BUT, it doesnt always translate to the mls or higher level. There are going to be men in the mls, and no boys. Hes going to be among peers, and it might be a little harder for him. One example of this might be jason garey from a couple of years ago. in 2005, he could muscle his way through defenses and score at will. But i think tracy has a couple more weapons. bottom line is, you cant teach speed, and tracy has that. Sorry, i dont have a take on the other kids, besides Opara, who will definitely would make a great pick in the draft. He can play any position in the back, and has the build (6-2, 180) to make in the mls.

Posted by: jayphu | December 13, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

cant give an honest opinion on the midfieders, i feel that you have to watch a lot of games to really see how the midfield meshes. to be honest, i am still shocked that t hey didnt make it to the end. being a diehard terps fan, and going to all home games, i am realistic. I knew that wake had a lot of top tier players, but it just shows anyone can win on any day in college soccer! very exciting.

Posted by: jayphu | December 13, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

With Wake Forest losing, and some of the players not playing very well, maybe some will drop a few places in the draft, enough for DC United to pick some.

Posted by: Barracudas | December 14, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse


But Opara is going to be an outstanding pro.

Posted by: WFU03 | December 14, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Wake may not be that bad next year. Opara should probably go, but Bone and Arnoux could possibly return, I suppose, which would make Wake a strong title contender. The Deacs also had the number two recruiting class last year, and Wetzel was the only freshman who saw any playing time. They are still deeper than most realize.

Opara is the brightest pro prospect as many have already said. He's a bit raw technically, but made up for it quite easily with his athleticism in the NCAAs. He just needs a little more seasoning. He also is a menace on set pieces. He had 5 goals this year and peppered the woodwork a couple times.

Bone is incredibly talented as well but I wonder if he may go the way of the Moose if drafted this year. I think he could use another year and then would be a top three pick in next year's draft.

Tracy vanished the second half of the year after averaging almost a goal a game in his first twelve games of the season. When he fell off Arnoux began to light it up. This is in part because defenses were keying on Tracy which provided Arnoux a bit more room to operate. Still, he was not much of a factor in the ACC tourney or the NCAAs. It makes me wonder about him a bit.

Cronin should be quite solid. Similar to Pat Phelan with more offensive skills. He took Wake's PKs this year and I don't recall him missing one.

Posted by: JaimeSegundo | December 14, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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