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Teams load up on defenders
by Paul Kennedy, January 16th, 2014 4:12PM
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[2014 MLS SUPERDRAFT] It paid to be a defender in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Of the first 28 picks, 18 were defenders. For all the picks in the first two rounds.

Draft Picks (by position):
18
Defenders
11
Midfielders
7
Forwards
2
Goalies

-- California had three defenders taken in the first round (No. 2 Steve Birnbaum, No. 3 Christian Dean and No. 18 Ryan Neil). The Golden Bears are only the sixth team to have three or more players picked in the first round. Maryland was the only other school to have two players taken in this year's first round: No. 11 Patrick Mullins and No. 17 Schillo Tshuma.

-- Jamaican youth international Andrew Lewis, who went to Vancouver, was the only non-collegiate player pick in the draft. Neither of the two players from the Caribbean Combine brought into the adidas MLS Combine went in the first two rounds.

Draft picks (by country):
31 USA
3 Jamaica
1 Brazil
1 Senegal
1 Spain
1 Zimbabwe



-- Despite the attractiveness of undergraduates signed to Generation adidas contracts -- their salaries don't count against a team's salary cap -- the last two GA players weren't picked until the 16th and 17th picks: A.J. Cochran (Houston) and Schillo Tshuma (Portland).

-- Only one other Hermann Trophy winner with intentions of playing in MLS went lower than Mullins did at No. 11. Chris Wingert, still in MLS 11 years later, went at No. 12 in 2003.

2014 MLS SUPERDRAFT:
Round 1
1 Philadelphia (trade from D.C. United) -- GK (GA) Andre Blake (Connecticut).
(Read Blake's story.)
2 D.C. United (from Philadelphia) -- D Steve Birnbaum (California).
(Read Birnbaum's story.)
3 Vancouver -- D (GA) Christian Dean (California).
(Read Dean's story.)
4 New England -- F Steve Neumann (Georgetown).
5 Montreal (from FC Dallas) -- D (GA) Eric Miller (Creighton).
6 FC Dallas (from Philadelphia) -- F Tesho Akindele (Colorado School of Mines).
7 Vancouver -- M Andre Lewis (Portmore United).
8 Seattle -- D (GA) Damion Lowe (Hartford).
9 San Jose -- M J.J. Koval (Stanford).
10 Toronto FC (from Philadelphia, FC Dallas, Montreal) -- D Nick Hagglund (Xavier).
11 New England (from Colorado) -- F Patrick Mullins (Maryland).
(Read Mullins' story)
12 Colorado (from New England) -- M (GA) Marlon Hairston (Louisville).
(Read Marlon's story.)
13 Chicago -- D Marco Franco (UC Irvine).
14 Columbus -- D Ben Sweat (USF).
15 Philadelphia (from Toronto FC) -- M Pedro Ribeiro (Coastal Carolina).
(Read Ribeiro's story.)
16 Houston -- D (GA) A.J. Cochran (Wisconsin).
17 Portland -- F (GA) Schillo Tshuma (Maryland).
(Read Tshuma's story.)
18 Real Salt Lake -- D Ryan Neil (California).
19 New England -- D Grant Van De Casteele (Notre Dame).

Round 2
20 Chivas USA -- D Thomas McNamara (Clemson)
21 Seattle -- D Jimmy Ockford (Louisville).
22 New York -- D Chris Duvall (Wake Forest).
23 LA Galaxy -- D Kyle Venter (New Mexico).
24 Toronto FC -- M Daniel Lovitz (Elon).
25 Philadelphia -- D Kevin Cope (Michigan State).
26 Portland -- D Taylor Peay (Portland).
27 Philadelphia -- D Robbie Derschang (Philadelphia).
28 San Jose -- D Joe Sofia (UCLA).
29 D.C. United (from Montreal) -- M Victor Munoz (UCLA).
30 Vancouver -- F Mamadou Diouf (Vancouver).
31 New England -- M Eric Sundly (California).
32 Houston -- F Mark Sherrod (Memphis).
33 Colorado -- M Jared Watts (Wake Forest).
34 New York -- M Eric Stevenson (Akron).
35 Colorado -- GK John Berner (SIU-Edwardsville).
36 Portland -- M Aaron Long (UC Irvine)
37 Montreal -- M George Malki (Cal Poly)
38 Sporting KC -- F Adnan Gabeljic (Saint Louis)

Note:
Third and fourth rounds will take place by conference call on Tuesday.

Round 3

39 Portland Timbers
40 Chivas USA
41 Sporting KC
42 Columbus Crew
43 FC Dallas
44 Philadelphia Union
45 Vancouver Whitecaps
46 Philadelphia Union
47 San Jose Earthquakes
48 Montreal Impact
49 Colorado Rapids
50 New England Revolution
51 Vancouver Whitecaps
52 Philadelphia Union
53 Real Salt Lake
54 Houston Dynamo
55 Seattle Sounders
56 D.C. United
57 Sporting KC

Round 4
58 Vancouver Whitecaps
59 Chivas USA
60 Toronto FC
61 Chicago Fire
62 FC Dallas
63 Philadelphia Union
64 Vancouver Whitecaps
65 Chicago Fire
66 San Jose Earthquakes
67 Montreal Impact
68 Colorado Rapids
69 D.C. United
70 Real Salt Lake
71 Portland Timbers
72 LA Galaxy
73 Portland Timbers
74 San Jose Earthquakes
75 Chicago Fire
76 Sporting KC
77 Seattle Sounders


1 comment
  1. Kent James
    commented on: January 18, 2014 at 1:33 a.m.
    Kind of interesting given the dearth of defenders on the college all-freshman team (none on the first team). I guess defenders, just like a fine wine, get better with age....

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