D.C. United owns the No. 7 overall pick in the 2012 MLS Draft. We're reviewing some of the top college soccer players who might be worth Ben Olsen's consideration in the first round.
Senior midfielder Luis Silva has been one of the standouts at the 2012 MLS Draft Combine so far. He attracted interest from some clubs in Mexico prior to joining UC Santa Barbara, but the Gauchos sure are glad that he did. Silva scored 17 goals and 10 assists in 2011, earning comparisons to Sebastian Grazzini of the Chicago Fire by MLSsoccer.com's Travis Clark. Silva told Adam Serrano of Soccer By Ives that he was close to receiving a Generation Adidas contract from MLS last year as a junior, but came back even stronger.
"There was rumors that I was getting a GA contract [after his junior year], but I never really found out. I heard that I was in the mix, but I never really found out that I was going to get offered," said Silva. "I was definitely interested, so maybe you're a little angry that you didn't get it."
"For me, I take that in a good way, and that made me think that 'They don't think that you're ready, so you need to prove yourself during your senior year,' which I think I did. I think I let people know that I'm capable of playing at that level."
Silva is 23 years old and seen as one of the top prospects who could be ready to start immediately at the MLS level. If selected by United, Silva probably wouldn't be projected to make the starting 11 right away though, given the team's current lineup and preferred formation. On the depth chart, he would be behind Dwayne De Rosario at withdrawn forward and behind Branko Boskovic at central attacking midfield. But Silva could quickly eclipse Boskovic if the Montenegran international doesn't return to his capable form as quickly as we hope and departs when his loan expires in July.
Attacking midfield isn't exactly one of United's greatest needs, but Silva's upside might be hard for Ben Olsen to pass up.