Kansas City head coach Curt
, who holds the No. 1 pick in Friday's MLS SuperDraft
(TV: ESPN2, live, 2 pm ET), believes this
year's pool of players is relatively solid, yet readily admits his rival coaches might not share that opinion.
"It's something like beauty is in the eye of the
beholder," says Onalfo, who traded defender Nick Garcia
to expansion San Jose in exchange for the primo pick, which several sources say he is trying to
trade. "It's not like last year, when, obviously, Maurice Edu
was head and shoulders above the rest, but there are definitely players here who can
help teams right away and a few who are worth getting for down the road."
Toronto took Edu with a first pick a year ago, and all he's done is win Rookie of the Year honors
and play twice for the U.S. national team. There's no such slam-dunk this time around. PECKING ORDER
. If Kansas City trades the first pick, it
could well be used on Virginia Tech forward Patrick Nyarko
, one of 10 players signed by MLS to Generation Adidas contracts.
believe FC Dallas will take defender Julius James
of Connecticut with the second pick, which might spark a run on defenders with
and Julian Valentin
(Wake Forest), Andy Iro
(UC Santa Barbara), Sean
(Cal State Northridge), and Chance Myers
(UCLA) all rated highly.
At the MLS Player Combine, U.S. U-18 Brek Shea
dazzled with his pace and precision crossing, and one coach believes he could go high in the first round. Eric Avila
(UC Santa Barbara)
and Roger Espinoza
(Ohio State) are also talented attackers and like Shea, are GAs.
Midfielder Peter Lowry
(Santa Clara) played very well at the combine and is being looked at by those teams with multiple early picks: Real Salt Lake, Dallas, and Kansas City. But with the Quakes playing at Buck Shaw
Stadium on the Santa Clara campus, might San Jose coach Frank Yallop
take Lowry and use ample allocation money to shop for players? REUNION.
San Jose lost its MLS franchise after the 2005 season when operator-investor AEG moved it to Houston. The Dynamo won two straight titles, and the fans in San
Jose got a new team when MLS granted a franchise last year to Oakland A's co-owners John Fisher
and Lewis Wolff
Houston will tune up for the Pan-Pacific Cup in Hawaii next month with two games against the revived Quakes on its way from Texas to the islands. Yallop coached the original Quakes to
titles in 2001 and 2003; his former assistant Dominic Kinnear
, who grew up in Northern California, coaches the Dynamo. WHERE'S RUUD?
He attended the Combine, but former Dutch international Ruud Gullit
won't be at the SuperDraft. The Galaxy head coach is
using the last weeks before the start of the MLS season to pack up and move his family from Europe.
President and general manager Alexi Lalas
and director of soccer Paul Bravo
were also at the combine and will make the Galaxy's selections.
Yallop and Kinnear have been discussing
trades as well as the two-game series, with Yallop seeking players willing to return to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Yallop is trying to land former San Jose and MetroStar defender
from Norwegian club SK Brann, but he is not out of contract and his MLS rights are held by Houston. ARENA, TOO?
The swap of John Harkes
for Eric Wynalda
as soccer analyst for ESPN2 telecasts will be
accompanied by the addition of Bruce Arena
for a three-man booth, according to sources. JP Dellacamera has been offered the play-by-play job.
source says this will be the team for MLS and U.S. Soccer men's telecasts, but an ESPN spokesman would not comment directly. Calls to Harkes' cell phone were not returned.
ZACH BACK. Zach Thornton
, waived by Colorado after the 2007 season, has returned to New York, where he began his MLS career
for all the MLS Offseason Moves.