The first two rounds of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft will be held today and the Portland Timbers have a pair of selections to burn.
Holding picks No. 20 and No. 40, the Timbers are not exactly primed to make a splash here, but players fall down the draft order, trades are made, and sleepers are selected every year in the SuperDraft, so let's keep an eye out none the less.
Can the Timbers find the next Taylor Peay or George Fochive, set to make a contribution a year or two down the road? Could they get their hands on another Kharlton Belmar, set to light up the USL? Or will they end up with Schillo Tshuma 2.0, full of promise but never ultimately seeing the field for the side? We can be pretty sure that the Timbers won't nab the next Darlington Nagbe here, but any of the rest are real possibilities.
So the Timbers’ expectations for what they’re likely to pick up at 20 should be pretty tempered. It’s a win if the Timbers come away with a player who, a year or two down the road, can become a contributor on the first team. Moreover, the inconsistency of talent in this part of the draft highlights another point: Because the talent available is pretty sparse, a team can’t be too choosy about which position they are drafting. So there’s a lot of merit to simply taking the best available player on the board at 20.
But the "best available" philosophy is limited by a team’s ability to get their pick on the field. Which brings us to our second point: The most important criterion for who the Timbers select is to make sure it is somebody who has a realistic chance to play significant T2 minutes in 2016.
Pick No. 20
Pick No. 40
Watch it on: Live Streaming on MLSsoccer.com or embedded below.
Start Time: 10:00 a.m. PST