2012 MLS draft preview: D.C. United looks to bolster attacking depth

Joel Richardson/For The Washington Post - Maryland’s Casey Townsend is likely to be taken in the first round of Thursday MLS draft.

2012 MLS draft

Where: Kansas City (Mo.) Convention Center.

When: Noon.

TV/online: First round on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. The Post’s Paul Tenorio will provide first-round updates at washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider. Second-round results on MLSSoccer.com.

First-round order: 1. Montreal; 2. Vancouver; 3. New England; 4. Toronto; 5. Chivas USA; 6. San Jose; 7. D.C. United; 8. Portland; 9. Chicago; 10. Columbus; 11. Dallas; 12. Toronto (from New York); 13. Philadelphia; 14. Colorado; 15. Seattle; 16. Kansas City; 17; Real Salt Lake; 18. Houston; 19. Los Angeles.

Top 10 candidates

Akron F Darren Mattocks: Jamaican with 39 goals in 47 matches over two seasons.

Duke D-MF Andrew Wenger: ACC defensive player of year in 2010, offensive player of year in 2011.

UCLA F Chandler Hoffman: 18 goals, six assists as junior last fall.

UCLA MF Kelyn Rowe: Pacific-12 player of year as sophomore in 2011.

Creighton F Ethan Finlay: 29 goals last two seasons, Hermann Trophy runner-up to Wenger.

Maryland F Casey Townsend: 43 goals in four years, including 17 in 2011.

Connecticut D Andrew Jean-Baptiste: Powerful center back played two years in college.

UC Santa Barbara MF Luis Silva: 17 goals, 10 assists in senior year.

Louisville MF Nick DeLeon: 14 goals, 9 assists past two years.

North Carolina MF Enzo Martinez: Nine goals, 11 assists as junior for 2011 NCAA champion.

Other local candidates: Virginia D Hunter Jumper and F Brian Ownby.

Top non-college foreign candidate: Japanese MF Kohei Yamada.

D.C. United outlook

After cutting ties with several players last month, United will need to fill many roster spots in the next six weeks. With its only pick Thursday, attacking depth is the likely aim. United’s second-round selection (26th overall) went to Columbus as part of a 2010 trade for D Jed Zayner. In recent years, United has claimed starters Perry Kitchen and Chris Pontius high in the first round. United, which also must address the left back position and the midfield, continues to shop the international market and holds three picks in the four-round supplemental draft Tuesday.

— Steven Goff

 
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