Well things kind of went the way that many people kind of expected it today, plenty of people last night were predicting that Jalil Anibaba and AJ Soares would be off the board when KC picked at the 10 spot. Soares went to the Revolution at the 6 spot while Anibaba almost fell to the Wizards, but was grabbed by Chicago at the 9 spot. That left KC with plenty of other directions to go. There were really no other central defenders at that spot to take, but there were still some GA forwards (Will Bruin and Corey Hetzog) and other GA players (Michael Tetteh) available. There were also some decent seniors available as well like Justin Meram or international Victor Estupinan.
With so many of those being forwards I felt a little unimpressed with the options for the Wizards to pick, but I had started to warm to the idea of a GA forward like Bruin or Hetzog in KC. But KC went a completely different direction, grabbing James Madison University forward, CJ Sapong. Needless to say I was surprised by the selection. In the matches from the combine, Sapong hadn't been that impressive to me. I thought Sapong would have been a good selection for an early to mid second round pick. With him going at 10 I immediately flashed back to last year's MLS draft when Columbus reached and grabbed Bright Dike with their first round pick and promptly waived him during preseason. I felt Sapong fit the same mold and was fairly disappointed in the selection.
Throughout the day I've thought about it more and I do understand the selection a bit more. While I personally think that Bruin or Hetzog could have fit in the center forward position of the 4-3-3, but Sapong has the ability to potentially play more of those positions. I'm still not completely sold on the pick, but as I mentioned earlier with Soares and Anibaba off the board, there not being another sure fire defender, and no other real can't miss player in a major need position, drafting a forward for depth isn't a bad move. Still with a starting forward line that is likely to contain Ryan Smith, Omar Bravo, and Kei Kamara or Teal Bunbury, with the other being the first forward off the bench more often than not a forward was still a surprise at this spot.
As you can see I'm still really torn with this pick, I see the ability for Sapong in the Wizards 4-3-3, and understand the lack of another great prospect there, but taking a forward, one that likely would have been there later in the round or early second still doesn't sit well with me.
The rest of the draft for KC I liked, in the second round, Sporting drafted for depth, grabbing JT Murray from the University of Louisville, a left sided midfielder/defender who will look to be depth for Sporting on the left side for Roger Espinoza should the Honduran be called up for the Gold Cup. Murray was listed as a midfielder, but played as a defender for parts of this past season, including the College Cup final against Akron. I do like this pick even though I said last night I wasn't sure KC needed a left sided player, Murray is one of those low risk, high reward players if Espinoza is called up for the Gold Cup and Murray can contribute. And with Michael Harrington re-signing he can stay on the right side if Murray does in fact make the roster.
In the third round KC made another good selection, grabbing the son of Columbus coach, Robert Warzycha, Konrad Warzycha. KC has cornered the market of former MLS players sons, as they have both Teal Bunbury and now the younger Warzycha. Warzycha is a center midfielder, mainly defensive, who played some center back at the combine and could contribute there.
Overall I'm not ecstatic about the draft, I'm no where near as pleased or excited about this draft as I was last year, but I'm not crushed by it either. Overall I'd rate it as a C+, that's mainly for the Murray and Warzycha picks. I still think grabbing Sapong when we did was a bit of a stretch, and traded down and getting either another pick, allocation money, or international slot would have made me feel better about the selection of Sapong. While I'm disappointed in the lack of getting a central defender I'm not incredibly surprised. As I tweeted post draft, the lack of a central defender being selected tells me that KC has a few foreign players in line that they feel can start. This was confirmed with the fact the Robb Heineman retweeted the tweet. It was confirmed a bit again later when Heineman tweeted that KC had verbal commitments from two new international players.
Finally the biggest thing to remember about the draft is that unlike the NFL and NBA, the draft is not the main way to get talent, unlike those leagues there's a huge pool of players to pull from around the world that makes the draft not irrelevant, but less relevant than it is in those leagues.