With the 2012 MLS SuperDraft just around the corner, we've been looking at past drafts to see what they can tell us about the future. Last time, we learned that Frank Yallop in 2007 did a good job snatching up talent for the league, they just didn't stay with the Galaxy. In 2008, Ruud Gullit had the reigns and selected six players over four rounds. So how has his draft shaped the Galaxy since:
The Galaxy didn't make the playoffs in '07, and ended up with the fourth pick in the MLS SuperDraft. They used this pick on Sean Franklin, local kid from Cal State Northridge and the San Fernando Valley Quakes. Look at him with that goofy grin and mini afro. He's so happy! Soon he morph into the intense and vital part of the Galaxy defensive midfield area that he is today. A fantastic pick.
Then came the second round. A bit more difficult to find talent when you can't chose from the top of your board. The Galaxy gave up their second round pick for allocation money, but had already earned New York's pick for John Wolyniec in 2006. The Galaxy used the pick on Ely Allen, currently with the NSC Minnesota Stars. Allen made his MLS debut March 29, 2008 - scored his first goal on June 7th - and then was waved on May 6th, 2009. The reason given was frequent injuries.
The Galaxy had the first pick in the third round, which they'd gotten in exchange for coach Frank Yallop (you can't make this stuff up, a coach traded for a third round draft pick). Frank Yallop became Julian Valentin, currently retired. He too was frequently injured, made his pro debut in the last game of the season, then spent the second year of his two year contract on loan to various USL clubs.
The Galaxy trade away their official third round pick to the Red Bulls for Clint Mathis, who the Galaxy originally drafted back in 1998. Mathis joined the club in November then left during the January transfer window. The Galaxy did have Columbus' third round pick, which they acquired by giving up Stefani Miglioranzi. The pick was used on goalkeeper Matt Allen whose whereabouts are unknown.
The Galaxy had their natural, fourth pick in the fourth round and used it on Brandon McDonald who's currently with DC United. He played one year for the Galaxy before he was waived and picked up by San Jose. With their final pick the Galaxy selected Matt Hatzke, whose whereabouts are unknown.
A major lesson yesterday was that it's a bad idea to trade prospects for veterans, or to not play your prospects then cut them. Today we also learned it's a bsd idea to trade draft picks for veterans, it's a bad idea to chose players who are injury prone. We also learned that shortening the draft to two rounds was probably a good idea.
Still, can't argue with Sean Franklin. Next time (next year) we'll see Bruce Arena make two killer first selections. The argument with Gulliit was that he simply didn't understand MLS's system of talent acquisition and retention. Bruce Arena, on the other hand, has shown aptitude for just that.