The 2012 MLS Draft was yesterday as each team added at least one player in the two-round draft, the first official MLS event of the calendar year. You've already read about D.C. United's lone draft pick Nick DeLeon, but what about the other 18 teams in the league? Here's a list of the MLS teams that we think were winners and losers yesterday, and this list doesn't wildly overrate Chandler Hoffman and Enzo Martinez like some other similar lists out there.
- Not only did the Columbus Crew manage to snag Combine standout Ethan Finlay with the 10th overall pick, which was at least two places later than he should have gone, but they also signed Ben Speas to a homegrown contract earlier in the week. Speas scored seven goals for North Carolina in 2011, including the College Cup game winner. Speas performed the rare feat of winning two consecutive championships with two different teams (he played for Caleb Porter at Akron the year before). In addition to Finlay, the Crew also added defender Austin Perry and midfielder Kevan George. If just one of those pan out, this is a great draft. It also makes that trade with United for Jed Zayner look like it didn't quite turn out in our favor, considering that United could have selected left back Hunter Jumper with the 26th overall pick.
- On the same day that FC Dallas announced the loan of George John to West Ham United of the EPL, they acquired his replacement. Dallas grabbed MLS-ready center back Matt Hedges out of UNC with their lone draft pick.
- With the addition of Clyde Simms in the Re-Entry Draft and third overall pick Kelyn Rowe of UCLA in the SuperDraft, the New England Revolution midfield is starting to look damn good. And that's in addition to Benny Feilhaber pulling the strings, Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi running up and down the wings, and Shalrie Joseph going wherever the hell he feels like it. The Revolution managed to add a second Generation Adidas player in Tyler Polak, a left back with high potential.
- The San Jose Earthquakes took Generation Adidas forward/winger Sam Garza higher than he was expected to go, and then supplemented the mediocrity with goalkeeper Chris Blais and Washington midfielder Jacob Hustedt, who wasn't even invited to the Combine.
- The Portland Timbers used their No. 8 pick to select Andrew Jean-Baptiste, a big center back out of Connecticut who the critics seem to universally deem not quite ready - one of those defenders with strong physical traits, but an underdeveloped soccer IQ. But that wouldn't be enough to rate the Timbers as losers. Its because of the Kenny Cooper trade for a 2013 draft pick and allocation money. Not a great deal for a proven striker.
- The trade didn't really make sense for either side though, in my opinion. The New York Red Bulls don't need another forward on their roster that already includes Thierry Henry, Juan Agudelo, and Luke Rodgers. Drafting Fordham goalkeeper Ryan Meara didn't make a whole lot of sense either. Ah, the loser Red Bulls. It just feels so natural.