Monday, December 07, 2009

The Class of 2009

With the changes this past offseason to MLS teams rosters, the draft this past year was a little bit different. Due to the smaller rosters, there were only 4 rounds in the draft. In those 4 rounds, the Wizards had 5 picks. So let's take a look at those 5 picks from this past year.

1(8) - Matt Besler - The local KC product, Besler had himself a solid first season in MLS. After spending the first few games on the bench, he came in for an injured Michael Harrington and kept Harrington out of the left back position. He then moved into the center of defense and while the defense as a whole wasn't the best, Besler was one the most consistent players for KC all season. Besler played in 28 of the 30 games, starting 26 of those games. He ended the season 4th on the team in minutes with 2,236.

2(22) - Doug DeMartin - DeMartin camp into camp with the Wizards originally, but left early as he picked up an injury. During the summer DeMartin was back with the Wizards trying to make his way onto the roster, but left without gaining a roster spot.

2(23) - Graham Zusi - I was extremely happy with this pick when the Wizards made it, and early on, it appeared that Zusi was going to be a steal. He had a fantastic preseason for KC, scoring goal and overall contributing. He even earned a starting spot for the beginning of the season. Unfortunately he didn't start the regular season well. He came on again at the end of the season and started earning more playing time late on. Zusi ended the season appearing in 13 games playing 524 games, recording 1 assist during the regular season.

3(42) - Neal Kitson - Another pick I was originally happy with, Kitson looked like he'd be a great potential goalkeeper for the future. Unfortunately, Kitson came into camp with the Wizards with an injury and after a few days with the team was released. He's still trying to make it as a pro oncne he's completely back from his injury.

4(50) - Akeem Priestley - Priestley never came into camp with KC. He originally tried to try his luck abroad instead of coming to play with the Wizards. Priestley ended up back in his home country of Jamaica playing with Harbour View FC before moving abroad to Azerbijan side, FK Mughan.

The Wizards made some good picks in the draft, I still like the Zusi pick and think he'll be a positive contributor to the Wizards over the next few years. Besler as well looks like he's going to contribute a lot to the team. With a reserve team I have a feeling DeMartin probably would have gotten an extended look. As for Kitson and Priestley, Kitson's injury took him out immediately, while I doubt Priestley ever had grand ideas of playing in MLS since he immediately went abroad.

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