Saturday, December 4, 2010

Re-Entry Draft Players

The Washington Post has released a full list of MLS players who will be entered into this year's MLS re-entry draft. As I said previously, I am very excited about this draft. There are some tasty individuals available that could help a team add depth or be used in a building/re-building process to push for next season's playoffs. Right away Juan Pablo Angel jumps out at me as a player teams could build around for next season; and if a team wants he is a ready made DP. I am a huge fan of Angel who is a proven MLS goal scorer and leader. The two problems with Angel are, however, DP salary and age. Last season he proved he still has it at the MLS level regarding age, but will many teams give a 35 year old striker DP money for one more season? He has scored 58 goals in 102 games for New York; and it must be said during that time they were one of the worst teams in the league.

The draft will also feature quite a few MLS vets who are passed their prime (Jimmy Conrad, Frankie Hejduk, Nick Garcia) who could add quality veteran leadership to a team and help the youngsters bed in. There are also players who can help a team's frontline (Barros Schelotto, Jeff Cunningham, Fred) and be quality backup players. Then there are players who are only sticking around the league by the skin of their teeth (Joseph Ngwenya, Khano Smith, Luke Sassano).

The biggest surprise (in my opinion) is Chris Seitz. This is a goalkeeper the Philadelphia Union paid $1 million to Real Salt Lake for last winter. A great deal for RSL. Seitz will also join the draft and could be a highly coveted 'keeper for the likes of Chivas USA or Houston Dynamo. But if he is relegated to the bench again will any team want to pay his salary.

The biggest questions is salary. Will MLS teams sign many of these players at the high salary? I doubt many will. However, this could be perfect for a team like DC United whom finished last in 2010 to add some veteran players.

I see many of these players sticking around until day two and only drafted as possible trade bait; or to bring into training camp for a trial. But just like the expansion draft many of these players are spare parts at this point in their careers, and will only be needed as depth or to plug a hole for a season.

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