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Posted at 1:30 AM ET, 01/14/2011

MLS draft wrap-up, Kenny Cooper to Portland Timbers, USA friendlies vs. Argentina, Paraguay

By Steve Goff

Final thoughts from Baltimore:

*Read my full report on D.C. United's eventful draft day.

*According to sources familiar with the deal, United's first-round pick, Akron midfielder-defender Perry Kitchen, will earn around $170,000 in his rookie season. It's a modest base salary with a large signing bonus, which is typical for Generation Adidas players. Kitchen, who was offered a trial but not a contract by Belgian club Anderlecht before committing to MLS, signed a four-year pact, and as a GA, will not count against United's salary cap.

Meantime, the first overall selection, GA striker Omar Salgado, will take in around $140,000, one source told me. Why would the higher pick earn less? Salgado agreed to a deal last summer before there was a sense of where he would end up in the draft.

*Commissioner Don Garber said the league is seriously considering a Pacific Northwest jamboree of sorts by scheduling regular season matches between the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps in a span of a week or so (For example, Seattle at Portland, Vancouver at Seattle, Portland at Vancouver).

The idea is to create a unique event that would stand out in the otherwise mundane regular season. It wouldn't draw the attention of the NHL's Winter Classic but would generate buzz in the respective cities and soccer-mad region, and attract some national curiosity. If it's going to happen, 2012 is much more likely than this year because of logistical issues, one MLS official added.

*Best move not involving draft picks: Portland is on the verge of acquiring proven scorer Kenny Cooper from 1860 Munich, according to his agent, Lyle Yorks. The Timbers' interest in the former FC Dallas star was first reported on the Insider last week. Portland isn't quite ready to announce that a deal has been finalized.

For much more.....

*It's Akron Coach Caleb Porter's world, we just live in it: Five of the first eight selections were from the NCAA champion Zips, and two more went in the second round.

*The first college senior selected: Cal defender A.J. Soares at No. 6 by New England.

*Number of forwards taken in the second round: zero.

*Real Salt Lake is interviewing retired defenders Carey Talley and C.J. Brown for an assistant coaching slot vacated by new Chivas USA boss Robin Fraser, the Insider has learned.

*Best sign: New York Red Bulls' supporters, for all DCU fans to see: "Welcome Home Baltimore United". The United faithful responded by chanting: "We're not staying!"

*Complete club schedules should be finalized in about two weeks. The first couple of weekends of the season were unveiled last month.

*The MLS draft is held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention, which means next year's league festivities will take place in Kansas City, Mo.

*As the draft was wrapping up, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced national team friendlies against Argentina on March 26 at the New Meadowlands Stadium and March 29 vs. Paraguay in Nashville. So in the first three months of the year, the Americans will face Chile (World Cup round of 16); Egypt (African Cup champion); Argentina (world titan); and Paraguay (World Cup quarterfinalist).

By Steve Goff  | January 14, 2011; 1:30 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, Argentina, College Soccer, D.C. United, MLS, U.S. men's national team  | Tags:  D.C. United, MLS draft, U.S. national team  
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Comments

Thanks to DC United for letting us know that banners, signs, flags, drums, etc. would result in our removal from the draft floor, when other groups showed up with all of the above.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | January 14, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

That is a sweet quartet of friendlies. Are we getting ready for something?

Posted by: glfrazier | January 14, 2011 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a good draft. Both in terms of shoring up the defense and putting DC in a good position for the future. At the very least, we can prevent opponents from scoring even if we can't (yet). Looking forward to lots of ties (which sadly would be an improvement over the last season).

Posted by: tundey | January 14, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I totally hated it. We were told that we could not bring anything inside. Every other supporter did. We chanted away but the flags and drums were really needed. So dissapointing! Even with out the drums, and flags, I believe we were the loudest. Vamos United!!!

Posted by: bk2erth | January 14, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the use of drums, they seem to be the autotune of cheering. Just something that makes you sound better instead of using creativity

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | January 14, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I find Payne's comments disappointing as usual. Basically they have some players in mind and they have no idea whether they can afford to sign them or get them on loan. Now we the fans have to suffer watching a team that cannot score due to an ineffective and border line incompetent front office. Payne should have acquired a forward by now and he is just dragging his feet just like he did when he was hiring the head coach because he has no idea what he is doing. I would love to personally thank him for a half a$$ job.

Posted by: no_recess | January 14, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

The Pac NW has to come up with a trophy. Maybe it can be a bong in the shape of a totem pole.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

A totem pole in the shape of a bong would be better.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | January 14, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Darlington Nagbe, Kenny Cooper. Great, an expansion side has better forwards than we do. Oh, wait, true last year.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | January 14, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

So, is this Pacific NW "jamboree" thing going to be all at one site in one day? That would be interesting...just like a youth tournament.

Posted by: fedssocr | January 14, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Darlington Nagbe, Kenny Cooper. Great, an expansion side has better forwards than we do. Oh, wait, true last year.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | January 14, 2011 9:02 AM |

----------------------------------------------------------

More like the third straight year that's true, at least. At this rate, with the front office's lethargy or incompetence, Montreal will make it a fourth straight year in 2012. If the Cosmos don't come into the league until 2013, it will be five straight years.

Posted by: fischy | January 14, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"Welcome Home Baltimore United." That's very funny.

Still, the Red Bulls supporters have it worse -- they have to return to New York or the swamps of Jersey.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | January 14, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I think Perry Kitchen was a great pick up, but I was surprised DCU didn't go after a striker... But you can never really tell if a college striker is going to work out in the MLS--probably better to go with the undeniable talent of Kitchen...

Steve Goff was on TSRC recently and talked about The SuperDraft players and what DC United have to do to improve next season:

http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/blog.php?b=10788

Posted by: dwreck1971 | January 14, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

A totem pole in the shape of a bong would be better.
Posted by: Senor_Funk


Hmm, the world's largest . . . . a tourist mecca . . . people from all around would drive miles and miles just to come toke a look . .

Posted by: delantero | January 14, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Perry Kitchen, will earn around $170,000 in his rookie season.
==============

Does that strike anyone else as a little bit insane? This kid is what, 18 years old? Never played a pro game in his life, and steps on the field earning more than Pontuis, Quaranta, Simms? More than the 2010 pay of Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere and Brian Carroll?

If this kid really that good? I mean, I hope so, but the math seems odd to me.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 14, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Goff says Kitchen got a modest base salary w a signing bonus. So he probably doesn't start off out-earning our veteran established players (I almost called them "stars" before remembering our recent history!)

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 14, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"modest base salary with a large signing bonus," So it will drop next year. If this GA thing is to prevent American talent from fleeing to the German 3rd division or something, then I'm OK with it - mainly because it's not my money.

The other statement I found interesting was:

"While others, most notably Nagbe, are more dynamic, Kitchen is regarded as the most prepared to play professionally right away. "

An 18 y.o. with one year of college is more prepared for the pros than any other player in the draft. He must have come from a great youth club.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

If MLS doesn't offer the chance of a good salary to top college prospects we will lose them the money and glamor of big clubs like Midjytland in Scandinavia.

If MLS presents itself a "Major League" it should try to not lose players like Charlie Davies, Marcus Tracy, and Alejandro Bedoya to foreign leagues that aren't really rated that highly.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 14, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

With all these young defenders we're picking up, feels like they're building for the future from the back forward. Maybe not the worst idea, and they can help mold how this young defense works. If White, Kitchen, Shanosky, Korb, et al work out, at least we'll be keeping the ball out of our net while we're not scoring.

The cynic in me wonders if Payne is picking up more Zips as Porter bait for future years. I've got faith in Benny, so hoping that's not the case.

Posted by: eadc | January 14, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The good news with the Kenny Cooper signing is that DC United goes to the top of the allocation list. i.e.
MLS Allocation Order
1.DC United
2.Chivas USA
3.Philadelphia Union
4.New England Revolution
5.Houston Dynamo
6.Toronto FC
7.Chicago Fire
8.Sporting Kansas City
9.Seattle Sounders FC
10.Columbus Crew
11.New York Red Bulls
12.Real Salt Lake
13.San Jose Earthquakes
14.LA Galaxy
15.FC Dallas
16.Colorado Rapids
17.Vancouver Whitecaps (Jay DeMerit)
18.Portland Timbers (Kenny Cooper)

Posted by: lgsrtraub | January 14, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Scissor me Timbers!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | January 14, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I like DCU's moves so far. With each of their new pickups and re-signings, they DO know what they're getting. They're not packing the roster with fliers, maybes, and sentimental favorites.

Do they lack a forward that can torture the opposition for 90 minutes? Absolutely. But if they can stay even to the later stages of games, they do have guys that can hurt you coming off the bench. Not ideal, but good to know.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | January 14, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Kitchen is a US Youth International, and a starter for the U20's right? So I would reckon that's a pretty decent "youth club", Thomas wRongen notwithstanding.

Posted by: fedssocr | January 14, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Perry Kitchen, will earn around $170,000 in his rookie season.
==============

Does that strike anyone else as a little bit insane? This kid is what, 18 years old? Never played a pro game in his life, and steps on the field earning more than Pontuis, Quaranta, Simms? More than the 2010 pay of Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere and Brian Carroll?

If this kid really that good? I mean, I hope so, but the math seems odd to me.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 14, 2011 10:44 AM

certainly not anymore insane than the practice of another american sports league with a draft, the NFL, where the top draft picks routinely become the highest paid players on their respective rosters before ever taking a snap.

and to joel_m_lane's point, the low 6 figure range seems a modest price to pay to keep young talent from going to lower tier Euro leagues, especially considering the League gets the majority of any potential transfer fee.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 14, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks fedssocr. I didn't know about Kitchen's U20 connection. But there were other U20 players in the draft, so I'm still puzzled at the statement that he's the most prepared to go pro.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Hmm.. Guess Soccer is the new Grunge. Wonder how long the fad will last?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The 'fad' has been going strong since the '70s.

Posted by: DemonJuice | January 14, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty much unanimous in most circles that Kitchen is the "future" backbone of the USMNT midfield.

Posted by: alecw81 | January 14, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If the kid is all that, he and the MNT would be better served if he followed the Lichaj path.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 14, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Most circles in US Soccer are full of unjustified optimism and onerous expectations for young players with a glimmer of talent.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Haha Demonjuice, you sound more like a Flounder than a Timber but I know you well from BS Rivalries my friend...

My whole point is all the rod gobbling that everyone is doing over the PacNW these days is simply reminiscent of everyone trying to get a piece of the ol' flannel and ripped jeans in the early 90's.

The pipe will be a lot smoother of a toke when all the bandwagoneers go back to the NFL, MLB, etc. that's all.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

We need a SCORER or maybe two. Pontius is not a proven forward. Why did management draft a defender? Are they nuts?
And who is our center-mid?
"Otherwise mundane regular season", Goff? Not if we have a ccompetitive team.

Posted by: lemovs1 | January 14, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

With all these young defenders we're picking up, feels like they're building for the future from the back forward. Maybe not the worst idea
Posted by: eadc
_______________________________________

We could have been mediocre last year if we hadn't bled soft goals, often late in games. I think bringing in talent to push people, especially for a team out of the playoffs for three years wth the worst record in the league last year, is EXACTLY the right move.

My read is that the defenders were available to begin a fight for positions in the back and in the defensive part of the midfield. It would be a mistake to miss out on capitalizing on the talent available at the right price. The fact that all of the defensive talent is young suggests a plan for the long-haul. Bringing in a keeper puts our keepers on notice that there will be competition there as well

Grabbing forwards just for the sake of taking players at a position of need - and not because they will challenge for time on the basis of quality and production - is a recipe for disaster. The top pick in the draft is 17 and not an alternative to Pontius,Ngwenya, or even Wolff. The pick who went ahead of ours would have been, but he was gone when we selected. Cooper was locked up by another club because of league rules.

There was not a forward in the draft that would be a clear choice over our forwards. The time may come when we can begin to bring in the right forwards at the right price to challenge in the ways the young defenders will challenge for roster spots and playing time. But that time was not in the two drafts we have just completed.

I like to think that this is a reflection of Ben and what we can expect of his leadership: he is going to put his stamp on a TEAM. We need to move away from thinking this change is going to occur overnight because we are not just a player or two away from a championship. The whining about grabbing whoever is available who happens to play forward seems a lot like what we did to get us to where we are now.

Posted by: rcdwriting | January 14, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

And by the way, Alvaro Saborio absolutely TORCHED the USMNT team in our stadium. So what did out front office do? Right, sign Cristian Castillo and let Saborio find his way to RSL.

You really think this FO can be trusted to evaluate forwards with any confidence? If you do, think back to the second coming of Luciano Emilio. The guy couldn't kick the ball into the open sea from the beach.

Posted by: rcdwriting | January 14, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Kitchen is a US Youth International, and a starter for the U20's right? So I would reckon that's a pretty decent "youth club", Thomas wRongen notwithstanding.

Posted by: fedssocr | January 14, 2011

----------

speaking of Rongen, how does he still have a job coaching in US Soccer (and a very important in that)? The most responsibility he should have is color commentary on the television, and even that is questionable.

Posted by: rightback | January 14, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Rongen is good with the kids

Posted by: alecw81 | January 14, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I know that you guys are mostly just bs-ing but the Northwest already has a cup and has had it since 2004. Its the Cascadia Cup and my Timbers have won it 2 years running (albeit without Shittle in it). Sadly it is not bong shaped. Sorry.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 15, 2011 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Perry Kitchen will very quickly become a DCU fan favorite. This is a young talent with tremendous upside who based on the assessment(s) of Gen. ADIDAS, MLS leadership, U-20 mgt., & overseas scouts is an impact player on and off the pitch. Perry Kitchen is the leader of his USMNT U-20 side. Caleb Porter (Akron Head Coach) raves about PK's talents, leadership & soccer mind.
In addition Chris Korb has the ability (skill-set) to immediately play solid outside defender/man marking defense. A great role player who will drive DCU opponents (forwards) crazy with his tenacious defending, marking them all over the field. Plus he can distribute very well getting the ball to the DCU creative play makers... who those DCU players are right now I don't know but you get the idea.
I just purchased my DCU season tix just to see Perry Kitchen play.
It really is Caleb Porter's soccer world & we just live in it - Akron has 5 of the top 8 picks drafted plus the Hermann Trophy winner & 4 players in MLS already (big) contributing see. Zakuani, Bunbury, Zemanski, B. Gavin...
Shouldn't Caleb Porter be managing the U-20 program TODAY ?! vs. T. Rongen. he is a soccer genius w/a very desirable approach to the game i.e. Total Futbol-possession & he can relate to today's players very well maximizing their productivity. US Soccer needs to consider this unique coaching talent ASAP
Go Zips !! 2010 NCAA Champions

ZipSoccerNation
Alumni
Mid-Atlantic Chapter

Posted by: Zipfutbol | January 15, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Perry Kitchen will very quickly become a DCU fan favorite. This is a young talent with tremendous upside who based on the assessment(s) of Gen. ADIDAS, MLS leadership, U-20 mgt., & overseas scouts is an impact player on and off the pitch. Perry Kitchen is the leader of his USMNT U-20 side. Caleb Porter (Akron Head Coach) raves about PK's talents, leadership & soccer mind.
In addition Chris Korb has the ability (skill-set) to immediately play solid outside defender/man marking defense. A great role player who will drive DCU opponents (forwards) crazy with his tenacious defending, marking them all over the field. Plus he can distribute very well getting the ball to the DCU creative play makers... who those DCU players are right now I don't know but you get the idea.
I just purchased my DCU season tix just to see Perry Kitchen play.
It really is Caleb Porter's soccer world & we just live in it - Akron has 5 of the top 8 picks drafted plus the Hermann Trophy winner & 4 players in MLS already (big) contributing see. Zakuani, Bunbury, Zemanski, B. Gavin...
Shouldn't Caleb Porter be managing the U-20 program TODAY ?! vs. T. Rongen. he is a soccer genius w/a very desirable approach to the game i.e. Total Futbol-possession & he can relate to today's players very well maximizing their productivity. US Soccer needs to consider this unique coaching talent ASAP
Go Zips !! 2010 NCAA Champions

ZipSoccerNation
Alumni
Mid-Atlantic Chapter

Posted by: Zipfutbol | January 15, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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