Preparing for the 2012 MLS SuperDraft: FOX Soccer's Top 25

BALTIMORE - JANUARY 13: Representing the second selection Darlington Nagbe of the Portland Timbers college head coach Caleb Porter and mother Somah Nagbe poses for a photo with MLS Commissioner Don Garber during the 2011 MLS SuperDraft on January 13 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore Maryland. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

With the 2011 season officially over and the Expansion Draft having come and gone we've begun to see many trades and player movements throughout MLS, including our own Portland Timbers who have dropped a number of players and are bringing on a new DP in the coming days/weeks.

But with all that done, there's still one huge event looming on the horizon: the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. For those that don't remember the SuperDraft is the primarily means of acquiring the top college players as well as some others who enter it via other means (John Rooney, for example). Last year the Portland Timbers selected Darlington Nagbe as the overall #2 pick and, I'd say, came out of 2011 better for it.

With next year's SuperDraft the Timbers will have both the 8th and the 27th picks which gives the FO two chances to score a great player.

But just who are these kids? Well, that remains to be seen. We don't now for sure who will actually be in the draft just yet, nor do we really know who will be picked in what selection. What we do have, however, is some help from FOX Soccer, who has just listed their top 25 picks currently. Obviously this could change but we'll take a look at the overall list and then we'll discuss some possibilities for the Timbers.
  1. Andrew Wenger - M/D
  2. Darren Mattocks - F
  3. Kelyn Rowe - M
  4. Billy Schuler - F
  5. Enzo Martinez - M
  6. Luis Silva - M
  7. Brian "Cobi" Span - M
  8. Nick DeLeon - M
  9. Casey Townsend - F
  10. Matthew Hedges - D
  11. Chandler Hoffman - F
  12. Tony Cascio - D
  13. David Opoku - F
  14. Dom Dwyer - F
  15. Andrew Jean-Baptiste - D
  16. Colin Rolfe - F
  17. Sam Garza - F
  18. Dillon Powers - M
  19. Eric Schoenle - D
  20. Aaron Maund - D
  21. Hunter Jumper - D
  22. Robbie Derschang - M
  23. Brian Ownby - F
  24. Austin Berry - D
  25. Chris Blais - G

There's their full list. You'll notice I bolded Nick DeLeon. Not because I think he's a player Portland should pick, but rather if this did turn out to be the best ordered player list then Nick would fall to the Timbers. I just wanted to give some perspective. Again though, it really means nothing.

So there's some interesting choices here. This list seems to be very stacked towards midfielders and forwards which is a little unfortunate because I'm actually hoping the Timbers can secure a nice young defender for their #8 pick.

Ideally, FOX's #1 would be the best overall pick for the Timbers now. Andrew Wenger played as a forward for his previous season with Duke University and scored 17 goals with 8 assists. Very impressive. For his transition to pro, however, he's expected to shift back to a defensive/midfield position. Whatever the case, Wenger seems to epitomize versatility and that's something that's very important in this league.

Of course, the chances of him falling to the Timbers is fairly low (although not impossible) so let's take a look at some others.

FOX's #10, Matthew Hedges, is also a player who I think could supply the Timbers with some much needed back up. At 6"4' he's a huge defender and would likely pair up really well with Eric Brunner. He's also been dubbed the "most MLS-ready centerback in the draft" by FOX so that's something to keep an eye on.

Finally, the #15 selection, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, is probably ranked a bit too low in my opinion. He's another big defender who played for Connecticut. He also went on to be named "Big East Defender of the Year" which is a great accolade to have. It will be interesting to see how well he performs in the combine (if he attends).

So there's three selection I've highlighted for you. Obviously, like I said, I was leaning more towards the backline as it could use a booster, in my opinion. But it's just an opinion.

Take a look at Fox's list and tell me who you'd pick out of those 25.

[FOX Soccer]

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