With the NCAA tournament starting today and no Generation Adidas signings yet announced, it might seem premature to to be forecasting the upcoming draft. However, the Top Drawer Soccer guys have been at this for a while now, so it is always interesting to check out their predictions.
Top Drawer's prediction:
|3||Mikey Lopez *||North Carolina||MF||5-8||160|
|Caleb Porter could not ask for a better player with his first pick in charge of the Timbers. The U.S. U20 Men’s National Team midfielder is hard-working, skillful, and determined to succeed at the next level.|
Lopez, a sophomore from Mission, TX, has spent a significant amount of time with the U20's in the last year, most recently taking part in a series of friendlies that the team played in Spain this October.
A two way midfielder, Lopez has not contributed many goals (1) and assists (2) to his Tar Heels, but his play in the center of the pitch has been a large part of North Carolina's number nine ranking despite losing two players to the first round of the draft last year. His 2011 numbers were somewhat more impressive with three goals and four assists in the season leading up to their national championship.
Other notable predictions from Top Drawer's mock draft include nineteen year old center back Walker Zimmerman being taken with the first pick by Toronto FC; center back Eric Schoenle being taken by the Houston Dynamo with the pick acquired from the Timbers in exchange for the ability to negotiate with Kris Boyd; and fullback Joe Franco being taken by the L.A. Galaxy with the nineteenth pick in the draft, a quiet prediction of the Galaxy's triumph in the MLS Cup Final.