In case you're not a regular visitor to the SBNation Soccer hub, today we held our annual mock MLS SuperDraft wherein each one of us blog managers takes on the role of our respective club's General Manager/Head Coach and picks in the same order as they would. It's quite fun, even though I'm usually wrong (2011 mock SuperDraft).
In any case, for my two picks I chose central defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste for the 8th pick and Aldo Panaigua for the 27th pick. Here's why:
When my 8th pick rolled around I was actually in a bit of a conundrum as both of my top choices were still available: Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Matt Hedges. Both of whom are big central defenders who are considered to be MLS ready. My reason for going with Jean-Baptiste over Hedges, despite not being regarded as highly, is two fold. First, Jean-Baptiste is a Generation Adidas player whereas Hedges is not. Having the extra cap room along with a solid center back to develop was a top priority with my first selection. Second, Hedges did not have a great first day at the combine and I was a little worried how the added stress of the professionals would wear on him.Aldo Paniagua
With my second choice I ended up going after a relative unknown in international Aldo Paniagua, despite being well aware of the Timbers current lack of international roster spots. After a break out first combine match I came away very impressed with the young (22) attacking midfielder. Additionally, after some brief research I found that, despite being a midfielder, he has a certain penchant for the net. He scored in his first combine game, but he also scored in his last club game in Paraguay so clearly there's some consistent talent there. With a bit of work I think he could eventually be a nice back-up or replacement for Diego Chara should the need ever arise.
So those are my picks. Keep in mind I couldn't have just picked whoever I wanted as other teams got to pick first. Feel free to check out what the other teams took and criticize my picks accordingly. I promise I won't take it too harshly.
The entire SBNation Soccer list with explanations and commentary is supposed to be live tomorrow. We'll make sure to update with a smidge of extra commentary tomorrow when that happens.