PHILADELPHIA - The LA Galaxy got a little deeper at center back on Thursday by drafting New Mexico defender Kyle Venter with the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
I spoke to Venter and Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena for about the defender's Galaxy connections for LAGalaxy.com. In addition, I spoke to both about where the New Mexico defender fits into LA's system.
Check it out below.
PHILADELPHIA—The LA Galaxy may be out of the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, but that doesn’t bother head coach and general manager Bruce Arena.
On Tuesday, the Galaxy traded out of the first round by sending their 14th overall selection and Hector Jimenez to the Columbus Crew for the 23rd overall pick and allocation money. The pick is one of two Galaxy selections in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft as they also hold the 72nd overall draft choice in the fourth round, which will be held via conference call on Jan. 21. Although the deal took the Galaxy out of the first round for the first time since 2007, Arena is pleased with LA’s placement in the SuperDraft.
“I think that there is not a significant difference between the 14th pick and the 23rd pick. At 14, we’d be as bewildered as we are right now with number 23. We don’t know what is going to happen in front of us,” Arena told LA Galaxy Insider on Wednesday. “Our selection is going to be based on the 22 selections before us. We’ll likely look to shore up one, two or three positions that we think need a little bit of help i, but we can only make that decision based on what happens in the late first round.”
Arena, who attended the 2014 adidas MLS Players Combine in Florida along with other members of LA’s technical staff, admitted that the trade was not an indictment on the players that he observed, but rather the best move for the Galaxy at this time.
“We’ve put a lot of time into young players over the last two or three years and we have a fairly deep roster. It’s going to be difficult for anyone in this draft to make our team, so it wasn’t necessary to be a lot higher [in the draft] then where we are right now,” said Arena. “I don’t think it’ll make a major difference [for the Galaxy] and the trade helped us open up a roster spot [while also opening] up salary cap space. I think that in this particular year, this is the right type of move.”
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We’re less than a week from the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and on Friday, the 2014 MLS adidas Players Combine kicked off the draft week festivities.
In the first match, Team Predator defeated Team Nitro Charge 4-1 off goals from Zach Boldon (Denver), Tesho Akindele (Colorado School of Mines), Mamadou Diouf (Connecticut), and Pierre Omanga (So. New Hampshire). Akron’s Reinaldo Brenes scored the lone goal for Team Nitro Charge.
The final match of the evening, Team Brazuca defeated Team adiZero 2-0 off goals from Michigan’s Fabio Pereira and Maryland’s Schillo Tshuma.
MLSsoccer and Soccer by Ives each provided an update on the players who succeeded—and failed— during Day One. On Saturday, the teams will interview the combine participants before the players return to action on Sunday.
Heavy Southern California representation in list of 50 seniors invited to 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine
Major League Soccer announced the top 50 college seniors that will participate in 2014 MLS adidas Player Combine in Florida on Wednesday and there is a heavy California presence on the list.
UCLA have two players on the listas forward Victor Chavez and midfielders Victor Munoz were selected to the combine which will take place in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. from Jan. 10-14. Also included are U.C. Irvine midfielder Enrique Cardenas, U.C. Santa Barbara midfielder Kingsley Baiden and Cal Poly forward Mackenzie Pridham.
Five additional players from Southern California were also chosen as University of California, Berkeley's highly touted defender Steve Birnbaum (Irvine, Calif.) and Cal midfielders Alec Sundly (Capistrano Beach, Calif.) and Ryan Neil (Mission Viejo) were chosen to the combine as well as Stanford midfielder J.J. Koval (Camarillo, Calif.) and Akron midfielder Aodhan Quinn (San Diego, Calif.).
The list of college seniors will be supplemented by a selection of underclassmen who earn Generation adidas contracts, international selections and players from the NCAA's lower divisions.
The complete list of players by school is below:
|Reinaldo||Brenes||University of Akron||F||San Jose, Costa Rica|
|Robert||Derschang||University of Akron||D/M||Englewood, Colo.|
|Aodhan||Quinn||University of Akron||M||San Diego, Calif.|
|Eric||Stevenson||University of Akron||M||Columbus, Ohio|
|Steve||Birnbaum||University of California, Berkeley||D||Irving, Calif.|
|Alec||Sundly||University of California, Berkeley||M||Capistrano Beach, Calif.|
|Ryan||Neil||University of California, Berkeley||M||Mission Viejo, Calif.|
|Enrique||Cardenas||University of California, Irvine||F||Coachella, Calif.|
|Victor||Chavez||University of California, Los Angeles||F||Fontana, Calif.|
|Victor||Munoz||University of California, Los Angeles||M||Madrid, Spain|
|Mackenzie||Pridham||California Polytechnic State University||F||Toronto, Ontario|
|Kingsley||Baiden||University of California, Santa Barbara||M||Ajumako, Ghana|
|Tyler||Gibson||University of Charlotte||M||Knoxville, Tenn.|
|Thomas||McNamara||Clemson University||M||West Nyack, N.Y.|
|Pedro||Ribeiro||Coastal Carolina University||M/F||Belo Horizonte, Brazil|
|Kees||Heemskerk||College of Charleston||GK||Zaandam, Netherlands|
|Mamadou||Diouf||University of Connecticut||F||Dakar, Senegal|
|George||Fochive||University of Connecticut||M||Paris, France|
|Zach||Bolden||University of Denver||M/F||Denver, Colo.|
|Daniel||Lovitz||Elon University||M||Wyndmoor, Pa.|
|Joey||Dillon||Georgetown University||D/M||Rochester Hills, Mich.|
|Steve||Neumann||Georgetown University||M/F||New Hope, Pa.|
|Kristopher||Tyrpak||Houston Baptist University||F||Dripping Springs, Texas|
|Jacob||Bushue||Indiana University||D||Champaign, Ill.|
|AJ||Corrado||Indiana University||M||Zionsville, Ind.|
|Nikita||Kotlov||Indiana University||M||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|Harrison||Petts||Indiana University||M||Zionsville, Ind.|
|Jimmy||Ockford||University of Louisville||D||Yardley, Pa.|
|Patrick||Mullins||University of Maryland||F||New Orleans, La.|
|Pete||Caringi||University of Maryland Baltimore County||F||Perry Hall, Md.|
|Kadeem||Dacres||University of Maryland Baltimore County||M||Rosedale, N.Y.|
|Mark||Sherrod||University of Memphis||F||Knoxville, Tenn.|
|Kevin||Cope||Michigan State University||D||Canton, Mich.|
|Michael||Calderon||University of New Mexico||M||San Jose, Costa Rica|
|Michael||Kafari||University of New Mexico||M||Accra, Ghana|
|Kyle||Venter||University of New Mexico||D||Aurora, Colo.|
|Alex||Martinez||North Carolina State University||M/F||Rock Hill, S.C.|
|Fabian||Otte||North Carolina State University||GK||Muenster, Germany|
|Grant||Van de Casteele||University of Notre Dame||D||Plano, Texas|
|Rafael||Diaz||St. John’s University||GK||Rockaway, N.J.|
|Adnan||Gabeljic||Saint Louis University||F||St. Louis, Mo.|
|Alex||Sweetin||Saint Louis University||M||Overland Park, Kan.|
|Ben||Sweat||University of South Florida||D||Palm Harbor, Fla.|
|JJ||Koval||Stanford University||M||Camarillo, Calif.|
|Romena||Bowie||Virginia Commonwealth University||M/F||Saint Mary, Jamaica|
|Luca||Gimenez||Wake Forest University||M/F||Sao Paulo, Brazil|
|Jared||Watts||Wake Forest University||M||Statesville, N.C.|
|Taylor||Peay||University of Washington||D||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Spencer||Richey||University of Washington||GK||Seattle, Wash.|
|Nick||Hagglund||Xavier University||D||Cincinnati, Ohio|