Sunday, December 27, 2009

12/27/09: Crew To Use Both First Round Draft Picks. Who Will They Pick? I'm Thinking Okugo and McInerney.

The Columbus Crew come into the 2010 draft with two first round picks (the 8th and the 12th) which makes this year's draft a hell of a lot more interesting than 2009's Superdraft. You know that Superdraft where our first pick was the 30th pick, for one Paul Gerstenberger, who despite being thrilled to be drafted by the Massive never made his way to Ohio and decided to finish school. Yeah that thrilling draft. Well this year the Crew actually have a reason to show up at the draft; as Warzycha said he would use both picks because the Crew could use some cheaper players. Soccer By Ives, the only place yet to do a mock draft has the Crew picking the following players in the draft (I somewhat disagree with the second, as I think were stocked full in the midfield):

8. Columbus Crew- AMOBI OKUGO, M, UCLA (Pac- 10 freshman of the year, defensive midfielder, could play with Carroll and push O'Rourke back to the backline where he belongs.)

The Crew boast enough talent to take a chance on some younger players and perhaps no teenager in the draft is drawing as many raves as Okugo, a central midfielder mature beyond his 18 years.

My thoughts: This would be a solid pick. I could see the Crew going for very young talented players such as Okugo. Even despite the fact that we have Gaven, Rogers, Ekpo, Moffat, Carroll, O'Rourke, GBS, etc. already vying for the midfield spots.

12. Columbus Crew- BLAIR GAVIN, M, Akron (5 goals, 3 assists, solid midfielder over his career with Akron)

Gavin might not seem like the right pick for the Crew after having landed Okugo, but Columbus will be hard-pressed to pass on another talented young midfielder who could provide depth (or trade bait). Columbus could go for Jack McInerney here as well.

My thoughts: Even though it would be cool, albeit confusing, to have both a Gaven and a Gavin on the field at the same time. I don't see the Crew picking Gavin, if the Crew go with Okugo, because there would just be too many midfielders. It would be pointless despite the familiarity the Crew have with Gavin at Akron. Nevertheless, it could happen, and if the Crew do go with two midfielders in the first round, it is safe to assume that both Rogers and GBS are likely gone.

I think Ives is more spot on with the Crew going with the two youngest and picking up the forward McInerney as well.

More Likely Route: I'm kind of surprised that Ives is picking two midfielders for the Crew in the first round when the Crew's midfield is solidified and deep, and the strikers are not. The top two strikers in this draft, Akron's Teal Bunbury and Harvard's Andre Akpan, will be long gone by the time the 8th and 12th picks come around. But, there are two other strikers that could go in the first round (Wake Forest's Zach Schilawski and U.S. Under 17's Jack McInerney) and I wouldn't be surprised if Warzycha went the Okugo and McInerney route or went for both the strikers.

Basically, if I was the Crew I would make sure to get GBS and Rogers back, solidify that midfield before the draft and then pick two young strikers like Schilawski and McInerney. Then have Renteria, Lenhart, Garey, Schilawski, and McInerney fight for those two striker spots. One of them has to have at least 10-15 goals in them in 2010. You increase your chances of one of them turning into a real striker if you have five of them instead of three.

Jack McInerney (In CONCACAF U-17 Tournament in Summer of 2009: two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win over Cuba. Scored the first two goals of the game in a 4-2 victory against Canada and had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win versus Honduras.) Now picked by Rongen for the U-20's recently. More here at ESPN.

You can check out Jack from the U-17 competition here, full game videos:

Zach Schilawski (14 goals and 7 assists for Wake Forest in 2009, 3.576 GPA and graduating in 3 1/2 years in Biology). Who knows maybe a Polish head coach in Warzycha will go for a Polish-American striker. Ives has Schilawski slotted at spot 14 and headed to the L.A. Galaxy.

Here's Zach Schilawski:

In the end: I think the Crew cannot go wrong with the 18 year old Amobi Okugo and the 17 year old Jack McInerney; as one of the two will end up being a star. Both are not your usual college draft pick, both have jumped to the draft and are expected to be first rounders at such a young age. That means both are a step above. If they both have the heads on them, and there isn't any indication that neither don't (quite the opposite), they could have a great career ahead of them. And, why not with the Crew?


  1. Ryan - with all the talk about needing an understudy left back for Padula, why not pick up Sarkodie? Or if Akpan is left at 8, why not get him, he seems to be fairly well touted as a forward... and, if he is GenAd, that will help us too.

  2. I agree Eboe on Akpan but he is from the Dallas area and with picks 5 and 6, I do not see FC Dallas passing on him.

    It would be great though. And, I can totally see Sarkodie as an understudy for Padula. Really I would be alright with a McInerney and Sarkodie combo.

    Also, I would be alright with McInerney and Okugo. It's great to have that young talent. Plus, I don't agree with Ives because I figure the Crew will either go with one forward and one midfielder, or might go the Sakrodie route. But, they wont pick up two forwards or two midfielders. At least I find that unlikely, especially in the midfield scenario.


  4. Lol, why a DM? We already have Carroll, O'Rourke, Moffat.. All play DM. That's like the least position of need.

    You need to draft one more forward at least. Get some new blood in there. Because I don't no if our current stable (GBS I count more of as a midfielder) can cut it.

  5. Drafting a DM allows for us to push O'Rourke back to CB. Sorry, but Moffat needs to occupy that other CM spot. Carroll will not be moved from the DM spot, Moffat needs to play so he gets that other CM spot. Draft a DM just in case.

    Honestly, a DM or forward would be fine. I just want an outside back, Padula and Hejduk (more likely Padula than Hejduk) will be gone soon, so start backing it up now.