BALTIMORE - JANUARY 13: Sixteenth selection Pablo Cardozo of the L.A. Galaxy poses for a photo with front office staff and coaches during the 2011 MLS SuperDraft on January 13, 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
This week, the Confidential has been looking at the geography of past LA Galaxy drafts, to get a feel for what might happen at the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. We conclude out look at past MLS SuperDrafts with the 2010 and 2011 draft. The Galaxy had later picks in this draft, which makes them valuable in guessing what might happen tomorrow.
As the 2009 MLS Cup runner up, the LA Galaxy went into the 2010 MLS SuperDraft less assured of a great draft pick. They were able to turn their first round pick into Michael Stephens, who has a bright future if not the immediate contributor Franklin, Gonzalez, and DeLaGarza were. Still, explaining the pick is a bit complicated.
The Galaxy should have had the second to last pick, but traded it to RSL plus a 2011 pick for Clint Mathis and RSL's last pick in the round. You may remember the Galaxy tried this in the '07 offseason, and Mathis left in the subsequent transfer window. This time Mathis made it to August, retiring after the Real Madrid exhibition at the Rose Bowl. Seriously, what was the Galaxy FO obsession with Mathis?
The Galaxy had no picks in the second round, having traded their pick to New York for Mike Magee. New York then traded that pick for Chris Albright of New England, who turned the pick into Zack Boggs. I'm going to call this exchange a win for the Galaxy. It's fine to use draft picks to pick up unproven players in the middle of their career. Here's a fair rule, don't trade a draft pick for a player you don't think you can get three years out of.
LA also had no third round pick, trading it to Chivas USA for Alecko Eskandarian. Eskandarian made three appearances for the Galaxy, and then could not get medically cleared to play and thus retired. He collided with a keeper which resulted in a broken nose and a concussion and he just was never safe to play again. It's a rough sport.
Galaxy's fourth round pick turned into old friend Stefani Miglioranzi, who the Galaxy had traded after three appearances in 2006 for a draft pick, then traded a 2010 draft pick to get back in 2009. They left him unprotected in the Expansion draft for the Philadelphia Union, who snatched him up. The Crew used this draft pick to select Shaun Francis.
So the Galaxy only used one pick in 2010.
Bruce Arena used two picks in the three round 2011 SuperDraft. He used the Galaxy's natural third to last pick to select Paolo Cardozo, who may be leaving the Galaxy to return to Quilmes. The natural pick in the second round was used on Hector Jimenez of UC Berkeley, whose made two appearances so far but will continue to develop in the reserve league.
The lesson here is that selecting with a late draft pick is very difficult. Michael Stephens and Hector Jimenez are what lead me to Andy Rose in the mock draft. A UC system prospect, lauded but undervalued at the combine. However, teams with late draft picks have them for a reason. A deep team makes it more difficult for prospects to break in no matter how good they are.
As for Yuri Gorentzvaig, I see him in the same light as Paolo Cardozo. He can give the Galaxy a spark that isn't being taught in US academies and colleges. However there is that risk, with visas and handlers back home that can prevent a lengthy US career.
We'll see how it shakes out tomorrow.