Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
With the 17th pick in today's MLS SuperDraft, the Black-and-Red selected University of Maryland left back Taylor Kemp.
They could have traded the pick; they even took a timeout - possibly to discuss potential trades. But in the end, Ben Olsen and D.C. United exercised their 17th pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and selected product Taylor Kemp of the College Cup semifinalist Maryland Terrapins. Here's some video from MLSSoccer.com:
Many pundits nailed this in their mock draft, but probably not for the reason they thought at the time. Most mock drafts had United picking a left back because it's a position of need, with Daniel Woolard's concussion issues and Andy Najar's possible transfer to Belgium. Of course, we've learned that that's not how Olsen drafts. Instead, he likes to take the player he thinks is the best player who will fit into his system - any positional overlap is basically a bonus. Apparently, Olsen and the rest of the technical staff thought Taylor Kemp was the best player left on the board, and the Maryland product is the newest member of the Black-and-Red.
Our own ChestRockwell is less than thrilled with this pick, saying in his SuperDraft preview:
Taylor Kemp has been the most common mock draft pick for United, but I don't see it happening. He's had injury problems, and despite being a good passer and a reasonable offensive threat, he can be prone to turnovers in bad spots. His 1v1 defending is OK, but his positional play as part of a unit is a long way from being ready for MLS. I say this as a Maryland fan: I don't think he's going to turn into an MLS starter.
So, what do you think of the pick? Will Kemp fight his way through United's thin (and possibly getting thinner) fullback corps to see playing time this year?