Soccer pundits gave Real Salt Lake low marks for gambling with every one of its three picks at last week's MLS SuperDraft, writes James Edward. But the team's general manager, Garth Lagerwey, said his coaching staff did much more homework than they're getting credit for.
Lagerwey said it would have been safer to grab a proven college player in the draft's first round, but instead it took Jean Alexandre, a Haitian international from Division II Lynn College, Florida. "When we go into the draft we try and hit home runs. And we think this kid can be a home run," Lagerwey said. "We work for an organization that allows us to take risks and try and bring home a player that's maybe a little bit less conventional but has more upside. And this kid has upside."
Lagerwey recalled how the player had embarrassed RSL in a preseason scrimmage last year. "There's no profound scouting story here," said the GM. "We played a game against Lynn College, we suffered an embarrassing defeat that made us question the work we'd done for the previous six months, and we tried to find the silver lining of this kid."
Introduced to the media Tuesday, Alexandre said, "I'm so excited, I'm actually sweating." Coach Jason Kreis is unconcerned about how outsiders view the pick. "We know in our hearts it's a smart decision," Kreis said. "The first couple times he steps on the field everyone's going to agree with our decision."