2013 MLS draft preview


Will Coach Ben Olsen and United select local talent with the 17th pick in the MLS draft? (Chris Young/Associated Press)
January 16, 2013

Where: Indianapolis. When: noon.

Online video: ESPN3.com, MLSsoccer.com.

Format: Two rounds (38 selections). Four-round supplemental draft is Tuesday.

First-round order

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

Top national candidates

Louisville D Andrew Farrell; Connecticut MF Carlos Alvarez; Furman D Walker Zimmerman; Indiana F Eriq Zavaleta; Boston College MF Kyle Bekker; North Carolina MF Mikey Lopez; Austin Aztex (club) F Kekuta Manneh.

Top area candidates

Maryland MF John Stertzer (Flint Hill); Georgetown D Tommy Muller; Maryland D Taylor Kemp; Georgetown D Jimmy Nealis; Virginia Commonwealth F Jason Johnson; Georgetown MF Ian Christanson; Virginia F Will Bates.

D.C. United outlook

Without many impact players available, United is not at a decided disadvantage selecting so late in the first round. With the season opener six weeks away, the club is looking for cover at several positions — in the drafts and on other acquisition platforms — and doesn’t seem focused on one particular area on the college front. There is familiarity with two local left backs (Kemp and Nealis), a position where Daniel Woolard was effective last year until being sidelined with a concussion. His replacement, Chris Korb, would become the top choice on the right side if Andy Najar were sold to Belgian club Anderlecht. (Najar is on loan this month.) United, which does not have a second-round pick, has fared well in the draft over the years, claiming, among others, starters Chris Pontius (2009), Perry Kitchen (2011), Korb (2011) and Nick DeLeon (2012). While the technical staff is in Indianapolis, players are scheduled to begin gathering at RFK Stadium on Thursday for meetings and physicals ahead of training camp’s first stage in Bradenton, Fla., next week.

— Steven Goff

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