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Draft Wrap

Before we take a final look at D.C. United's draft, you should know that Seattle is among two or three finalists to host MLS Cup in November. Sources tell the Insider that many factors are being weighed, including whether a West Coast site works for ABC's TV window (currently 12:30 ET, but might be adjusted). A decision is not expected for several weeks.

Okay, as for United today.....

RODNEY WALLACE, Maryland, left back

On choosing Wallace over Kevin Alston, GM Dave Kasper said: "We just re-signed Bryan Namoff. I think Alston is better as a right back, he's right-footed, and Rodney is a left back. We have seen Rodney play a number of games this [past] year and every game he was always at a very high level, and we think he's only going to get better. How many attacking left backs do we have in this country? Not a lot."

FYI: Wallace was born in Costa Rica and moved to the D.C. suburbs when he was 9. His mom works for the Organization of American States.

CHRIS PONTIUS, UC Santa Barbara, forward

Kasper: "You can never have too many quality forwards and we thought he was the top forward in this draft even though there were three selected before him."

FYI: Pontius has a brother who lives in the D.C. area and works in the anti-terrorism field. Pontius says he has signed with the league.

MILOS KOCIC, Loyola (Md.), goalkeeper

Kasper: "We felt Kocic was the second-rated keeper in the draft. We had him at our own combine in December and liked him. We thought he was very close to [first-round pick Stefan] Frei in ability, so to get him at No. 21 is a steal."

FYI: Kocic has not signed with the league and might have European options, but "we've been told his first priority is to stay here."

LYLE ADAMS, Wake Forest, defender

He is right-footed but started at left back for the Demon Deacons and can play on either corner. He has European options, but his agent told DCU that United was one of only a few MLS teams with which he would consider signing.

BRANDON BARKLAGE, Saint Louis, midfielder

Coach Tom Soehn: "We just saw a lot of qualities in him that we think translate into the next level. He kind of had flashes of a Ben Olsen to me. He's a hard worker, a good passer, scrappy." Plays wide left or right.

Of note: DCU has arranged a trial for a young, right-side midfielder from Jamaica who has played for the national team and is currently with a domestic club. Kasper declined to identify him.

Kasper said the club hopes to sign two veteran foreign players in the coming weeks: Honduran forward Walter Martinez and an unidentified defender.

Much more on DCU's draft in Friday's print-edition story, which is available online late tonight.

By Steve Goff  |  January 15, 2009; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Draft Day Mega-Thread
Next: Hall of Fame and WPS News

Comments

Be champions!

Posted by: fischy | January 15, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The great thing about having Kocic is that if he gets really good, he'll bolt to Europe, saving DCU lots of money.

Posted by: fischy | January 15, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Excellent work Goffinho!

Posted by: strago | January 15, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

This is fantastic reporting. Thanks Goff. Cised about Pontius. And it's great to have legitimate depth at wide back instead of just using converted midfielders all the time. Still no new central defenders though :/

Posted by: DCUMD | January 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks SG. Interesting stuff. I look forward to finding out who the Jamaican is.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 15, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Is Wallace an international or does he have a passport/green card?

what would you give the team as a grade on the draft, Goff? I assume that TFC is the gold standard this year, and we know that drafts are, well, fungible, but as a letter grade?

thanks for all your reporting on this hullaballoo. when's the first game again?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 15, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Let us not forget that Goffinho has reported DCU is in talks to bring in a foreign defender. Hopefully, someone better than last year's crop. It's too mcu to expect these guys to contribute right awaym anyway.

It would be great to see Wallace work his way into the lineup sometime this year. He could be the left back we've needed. As for Pontius and Kocic, if they show enough growth to give the team real options in 2010, then this will be an excellent draft. And, if Adams develops enough to get real playing time in 2010 or 2011, then it will be a superb draft.

Posted by: fischy | January 15, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

MLSnet says Wallace has a green card.

Posted by: fischy | January 15, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I figure Pontius gets some quality time in the Hunt Cup (what round do we have to join as defending champs?) and maybe some garbage time in the league. Wallace, with any luck, is up to at least 45 minutes by June, we will need the options as we get into CCL and (hopefully) playoffs.

I do think that Pontius means that Quavas should be looking for work.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 15, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the great report but I am sure you were hoped to be in the post head quarter today!

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | January 15, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"..., including whether a West Coast site works for ABC's TV window (currently 12:30 ET, but might be adjusted)"
----

Dang it, that needs to be adjusted to at least 3:30pm EST, if not later, regardless of where it's played.

Posted by: Juan-John | January 15, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Goff, do you know who the other MLS Cup candidates are?

Posted by: Rjbatzler | January 15, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Chris Pontius, eh? THE Chris Pontius?!! Well, he's gonna have to get used to wearing more than a jock strap and tuxedo choker, that's for sure. Also, let's hope he hasn't been influenced by his pal, Steve-O's crack habit. We don't need any more of that kind of nonsense in the locker room. Off to purchase my season tickets!

Posted by: jeffResistor | January 15, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Goff, for some reason the formatting on this page is all messed up on FireFox.

Secondly, after looking at the Jamaican national team it looks like Ricardo Cousins or Roland Dean. I've heard of neither of them, but they both fit the profile.

Posted by: strago | January 15, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta is out for expansion
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/sports/stories/2009/01/15/blank_mls_soccer.html

and that article mentions Miami and Vancouver are frontrunners

St Louis seems to be told not yet
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2009-01-15-3940625380_x.htm

word from Ives that the decision should come by the end of the month. word from 3rddegree Vancouver folks were treated well during draft day.

Barring last second developments (like Portland funding stadiums), has the decision been made? Miami and Vancouver 2011?

Posted by: undrafted | January 15, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

How good is Wallace? Compared to Mike Randolph

Posted by: Charisma_Man | January 15, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Compared to Mike Randolph, Corey Ashe and Bornstein?

Posted by: Charisma_Man | January 15, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

If MLS Cup is going to be on 11/22 (the last Sunday before Thanksgiving as per last year) then it'll have to be at 12:30 PM, since NASCAR's final race of the year will air at 3PM ET. So much for Seattle as host...

Posted by: EricB1 | January 15, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

We don't need no stinkin' turf for MLS Cup, anyway.

What's wrong with the new Cow Palace? Other than the possible temperatures....

Posted by: fischy | January 15, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

And, why are we talking about MLS CUP now?

United's got a lot of work to do to get there...

Posted by: fischy | January 15, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Any speculation how many of these guys actually sign, and what that will mean for players currently seeking a contract?

I know, I know, I'm inviting wild speculation... but there's a method to the madness. If I read yesterday's post correctly, we're staring down the barrel of:

Sr. Roster Spots: 20
minus Current Roster: 17 (see previous post)
minus Imminent Signings: 2 (Martinez & Unknown defender)
= 1 Sr Roster spot up for grabs from
Seeking Contract: 9 (Thompson, Cordeiro, Mediate, Kirk, etc)

plus

Developmental Roster Spots: 4
from
Draft Picks: 5

Am I doing the math wrong, or have the depth challenges DCU and other teams struggled with through multiple competitions last year just gotten worse? Because if this speculation holds up, compared to last year DCU would be:

* Down the Gonzalos
* Up Martinez and Mystery Defender
* Down 8 former roster players, some of whom (Carroll, Mediate, Cordeiro) played at least semi-regularly in various competitions
* Up 4 out of 5 draft picks

Not trying to be a doomsayer, believe me, because I honestly *do* like the look of the team if they can stay a bit healthier this year... just trying to understand the ramifications of the new rosters...

Posted by: bugmn | January 15, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to those selected. Now lets see if they can earn a spot.


66 days till the first match . . .


and that's likely too soon to tell if this was a good draft.

Posted by: Curious99 | January 15, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

bugmn -- seems like you've got the math right, to me.

Of course, the depth challenges will be far more taxing this year. The geniuses at MLS eliminated 4 roster spots. How could they not get worse?

Some decent players who might have grown in MLS will have to pack their bags for the USL, or give up the dream. This may be a negotiating tactic aimed at the union, but it is a damnsight shortsighted.

For example -- some combination of Zaher, Cordeiro, Thompson, maybe even Doe or Khumalo will be sacrificed, to make room for the draftees and hopefully 2 new internationals. Makes no sense to me -- it's not like these guys on the bubble make much more than poverty wages, anyway. I can't believe this about saving some money -- it's got to be about the labor contract.

Posted by: fischy | January 15, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

There may be a problem with minutes. The guys who got cut aren't real MLS players, they're essentially what would happen if you put a baseball team's AAA affiliate, or an NBA's D-League team, in the same town as the major league team.

As far as talent goes, losing four spots, but having two of them get bumped up to the real roster, is a net gain.

For the guys in camp this year, they'd better bust ass, because there's no getting by on being willing to take chump change wages anymore.

Posted by: stancollins | January 15, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

or, just put the Cup final at the home of the highest ranked participant, so fans actually come watch!

November in Seattle? I love that town, but I'll watch on TV.

Posted by: troy6 | January 16, 2009 5:21 AM | Report abuse

With regard to expansion, the articles cited above mentioned Montreal. I thought the would-be investors had balked at the $40M price of admission. Are they back in the hunt?

Should the selection of that GMU player be considered a bit of a surprise?

Posted by: universityandpark | January 16, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

undrafted, thanks for the Atlanta story...bottom line, having no stadium plan cost Blank.

Shrewd pick by Houston, getting the right to Tracy.

Posted by: Reignking | January 16, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Yohance Marshall undrafted?

Posted by: Reignking | January 16, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

How about we try to find a goalkeeper?

That would be good.

Posted by: lastort1 | January 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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