Saturday, January 13, 2007

Revs Pick Six

The New England Revolution managed to turn four picks into six, get rid of a horrible player, and grab a 2008 pick while only giving up $125,000 in cap space in yesterday's MLS superdraft.

Coach Nicol surprised many with the fifth pick yesterday. Many observers thought the pick acquired for a portion of the Clint Dempsey allocation money was to ensure Nicol Colaluca would be playing for his local team. Instead, Wells Thompson, a player some thought was a third rounder, was the selection (Colaluca went 6th to Colorado). Thompson is a M/F out of Wake Forest. He appears to be the player the coach had his eye on. Stevie Nicol has shown in the past he could pick'em, but was the cap space worth it? I think it was if Thompson can be a serviceable substitute the first year and ready to start the second year.

There's another way I look at this. Last year, we received a partial allocation for our 13th pick. This year, we got the 5th pick and a conditional 2008 2nd round pick for the same amount. Granted, last year's draft was a disaster for the Revs, but I'm just looking at what a 5th pick is worth. There's also the point that LA also had the 10th pick. They could have traded that pick instead, but Stevie held out for the 5th.

Passing on Colaluca doesn't concern me. He's local and it would have been nice to have another Rhode Islander on the team. However, he practiced with the team last summer and the Revs knew him well. The fact they passed on him means they think Wells can offer more. If Colaluca winds up being the next Dempsey, we know where to place blame.

For our natural first round pick, we selected Amaechi Igwe out of Santa Clara. He's on the U-20 team and players LD. He played forward in his first and only semester in college and can also play LM. He's already 6'0" and has decent speed. He'll join fellow U-20 Micheal Gonzalez on the Revs.

The second round pick was another Wake player in Ryan Solle. He's a midfielder with tremendous feet and passing skills for a college senior. Some had him going in the first round. I'm very happy we got him where we did. That makes four Wake Forrest players on the roster and they were all teammates together for two years. That can't be bad for chemistry.

The third round pick was Bryan Bryne out of UC Santa Barbara. He's a native of Ireland and will turn 25 during the season. Many teams stayed away from him because he'll count as a senior international. I watched him in the College Cup and he is a maniac wide right, will run at anyone, can pass, and is an exceptional crosser. I'm looking forward to watching this character on the field.

In the last round, the Revs traded away Kyle Brown for a late pick. They took target forward Adam Cristman out of Virginia. He seems to have a chip on his shoulder with something to prove after being selected so late. The last pick for us was athletic defender Kyle Helton out of Duke.

All and all, I thought the picks were decent. The Wells Thompson pick had a lot of people scratching their heads. There's always the notion that Nicol just wanted another 1st round pick and the fifth was the cheapest one they could get.

We'll see how this pans out, but this new group looks like a fine young base on which to build the future starting XI on.

Revs Draft Grade: B