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To Draft or Not to Draft: Potential Picks

What should the Timbers do with their first round pick?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With the Portland Timbers holding the 5th spot in the 2014 MLS Superdraft, the team should be able to pick up a good young talent for the future or perhaps a solid player that could step in and contribute right away. The Timbers, however, do not have a great history of utilizing their draft picks.

So, would the Timbers do better to pick up someone with the 5th pick, or would the team be better trading the pick away?

We have looked at some of the previous draft picks and trades, and now we will look at some of the potential picks out there that might be available with the Timbers' 5th spot in the draft.

Potential Picks

Keepers

This seems like an unlikely position for the Timbers to pick from, given the team's needs elsewhere on the field. There are, however, several very strong prospects that the Timbers could look at with their No. 5 pick.

Andrew Wolverton (Penn State)

A keeper long tabbed to be the top in his class, MLS teams have been tracking Wolverton for quite a while. After picking up 24 shutouts over 59 games in his first three years with Penn State, Wolverton currently has ten shutouts in 2014. Also, it helps that he is a 6'6" monster.

Spencer Richey (Washington)

A former Timbers U-23s keeper, Richie has been involved with the US Mens National Team at the youth level. There had been whispers of Richie signing an early contract with the league until he unfortunately missed all of last season due to a broken leg. Still, Richie is back for his year as a redshirt senior and is currently post a GAA 1.17 with the No. 11 ranked Huskies.

Defenders

Joshua Yaro (Georgetown)

Every year there is a player that just gets described as "raw". This year that player is Joshua Yaro. Although MLSsoccer.com doesn't think he is a lock to come out for the pros this year, everyone has been high on Yaro since his debut season with Georgetown last year. A quick centerback who is good with his feet? Sounds just like what everyone wants from the Timbers.

Nick Besler (Notre Dame)

There is not a team in MLS that would turn down Matt Besler, but there is no way Kansas City is letting him go. So, why not get the next best thing? I give you, Nick Besler, the younger Besler. One of the top defenders in the country, Besler II is far from a lock to hit the same heights as his brother, but the potential is definitely there.

Midfielders

Leo Stoltz (UCLA)

Stoltz has been at the top of just about everyone's list for some time now. Other than the occasional reference to his less than impressive physique, it seems that Stoltz is the sort of all-action midfielder that just about every team could make use of. The common comparison seems to be Dillon Powers and, having been stung by several long range bombs from the Colorado Rapids' oft-injured standout, Timbers fans would certainly love to have him as backup for whichever holding midfielder is not lost in the expansion draft.

Fatai Alashe (Michigan State)

Alashe seems to be more Will Johnson than Diego Chara when it comes to his style of play in the midfield, wanting to get forward and get involved from his defensive midfield spot. However, reports seem to speak well of the mental side of his game, so it seems like a Alashe could be the sort of talented player that Caleb Porter could mold into whatever he wants.

Forwards

Cyle Larin (Connecticut)

Everybody is talking about Cyle Larin because Cyle Larin scores goals. You need to score goals to win games. Of course, Larin might not take a Generation Adidas contract, or he might go overseas, or he might just be one of the top picks in the draft, but Larin scores goals and if the Timbers get a crack at the "best player in college soccer" they would be crazy not to pick him up.

Khiry Shelton (Oregon State)

Another former Timbers U-23s player, Shelton has been a game changer whenever has has been healthy and on the pitch. Although he is naturally a forward, Shelton could easily transition to one of the wide spots for the Timbers and provide the sort of direct wing play that the team hoped for from Steve Zakuani. Having seen him play more than any other player on this list, Shelton is a legitimate talent, who should quickly adjust to the MLS level.

Check out MLSsoccer, TopDrawerSoccer, CollegeSoccerNews, and SoccerByIves, plus the Orlando Sentinal's recent rundown for more into on potential 2015 draftees.

Who do you hope falls to the Timbers with the No. 5 pick? Would you take any of the players above or is there someone else you are coveting for the Timbers?