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The Misleading 'SuperDraft'
New York Times, January 24th, 2008 3:45PM

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Is there anything "super" about the MLS SuperDraft? Well, if an MLS club comes away with the next Landon Donovan or Eddie Johnson for less than $30,000, sure, it is for them, but this seldom happens, says the New York Times' Jack Bell. Not only does the draft yield few players of any real quality (one a year would be super-generous), but they also get paid "laughably low" wages.

So why does MLS insist on calling it the SuperDraft? To make the NCAA feel like college soccer actually matters to MLS when increasingly it's the opposite, says Bell. Here's what New York Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio had to say about the SuperDraft: "I heard that the level was not good this time. In my eyes, there were three guys who could come and compete for a starting position, maybe not in all, but in some MLS teams." Indeed. For the most part, these players are embarking on a professional career at an age when their European counterparts would be starting to establish themselves at their professional club.

That said, the draft has yielded good players in the past, notably Maurice Edu (Toronto) and Dane Richards (New York Red Bulls) last year. Two years ago, the Red Bulls selected an unknown 16-year-old named Jozy Altidore. Other successful former MetroStars selections, made by former coach Bob Bradley, include Michael Bradley, Brad Davis and Ricardo Clark.

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