KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 12: MLS Commissioner Don Garber talks to the media during the first round of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft presented by Adidas on January 12, 2012 at Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
After the LA Galaxy selected Tommy Meyer and Kenney Walker in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, manager Bruce Arena held a conference call with the local media. Arena was high both his picks, and was surprised that Walker was still available at that point in the draft.
Meyer was a four year starter at Indiana, and an All-Big Ten Conference First Team selection in 2011. Meyer finished second in the conference with seven assists.
"He's a player that has a good profile to be a center back in this league," LA Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. "He has physical size, he's a good header of the ball, a good defender and a decent passer out of the back. Once we get him into our setting we can learn a little bit more and work with him and try to make him better."
Walker was also a four year starter, he had nine goals and nineteen assists in his career. While he may not have been as lauded as some other prospects, he did have a good combine and impressed many of the coaches.
"I thought that he had a very good Combine," Arena said. "He is a defensive midfielder, a holding midfielder, an aggressive type of player and a good passer of the ball. I felt over the three days of the Combine he may have been a first round pick so when he was available in the second round we jumped on it and we’re hopeful that he will turn into a good player."
One of the key takeaways from the conference call with Bruce Arena was that these draft picks were not intended to be immediate contributors. They were areas where depth was needed, but Omar Gonzalez and Juninho were not the reason the Galaxy drafted a center back and a defensive midfielder. Arena said that the team was targeting a center back before Gonzalez got hurt.
Bruce Arena mentioned that he see Marcelo Sarvas as the replacement for Juninho. These draft picks aren't expected to be immediate contributors, and I think that's starting to become a league wide understanding as there was not one trade today where a team gave up a player to move up in the draft.
"We basically are returning most of our roster from last year," said Bruce Arena. "We made some additions in the offseason...and we're not far from having a complete roster. We have the nucleus of our team back"
Altogether, this makes it seem that Arena knew that Leonardo and Juninho would not be signing new loan agreements. Sarvas was signed on December 6th, long before Juninho announced he wouldn't be returning. Keep in mind, Sarvas is considered a top player in Costa Rica.
There is still the Supplementary Draft which will allow the Galaxy to continue shoring up the roster, but expect all of those players to at least start with the reserve squad. The Galaxy roster appears quite full.