LA Galaxy select defender Daniel Keller and goalkeeperAndrew Wolverton in final rounds of the MLS SuperDraft
CARSON, Calif. -- The 2015 MLS SuperDraft concluded on Tuesday with the LA Galaxy making two selections, nabbing Louisville defender Daniel Keller and Penn State goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton with their picks in the third and fourth rounds of the draft.
The Galaxy nabbed Keller, a central defender who spent four years with the Cardinals, with the 62nd overall selection in the third round. A regular starter in his last two years with Louisville, Keller scored three goals and tallied two assists while making a total of 52 appearances for the Cardinals.
With their final selection, the Galaxy drafted goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton out of Penn State University. A four year starter with the Nittany Lions, Wolverton maintained a record of 38-23-8 during his time with Penn State while also making 225 saves and keeping 32 shutouts.
The LA Galaxy opted against making a selection with the 72nd overall pick on Tuesday, being the lone team in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to pass on making a selection in either of the final four rounds.
The LA Galaxy will have another chance to bolster their roster on Tuesday afternoon as the 2014 MLS SuperDraft comes to an end with the final two rounds.
Unlike the first two rounds which were held in Philadelphia last week, the final two rounds will take place via conference call on Tuesday. The Galaxy hold just a single pick in the final two rounds, the 72nd overall selection in the fourth round, which was acquired in the deal that sent goalkeeper Bill Guadette to the New York Red Bulls.
Both of LA's natural selections in the third and fourth rounds were dealt away in trades. The third round selection was sent to the Philadelphia Union as the conditional pick for forward Chandler Hoffman while the fourth round choice was traded away in 2010 to the Houston Dynamo to move up in Stage Two of the 2010 MLS Re-Entry Draft as the Galaxy went on to select Juan Pablo Angel.
Among the talent available in the final two rounds is a host of local players from Southern California colleges. Headlining the SoCal contingent is UC Irvine midfielder Enrique Cardenas, who was a former LA Galaxy Under-23 and 2013 Big West Midfielder of the Year, four-time All-Pac 12 selection Victor Chavez, a forward out of UCLA, and UCSB defensive midfielder Fifi Balden. All three players were projected by many to be late first or early second round selections.
For more potential selections, MLSsoccer.com has provided a list of the best available players at each position.
On Thursday, the LA Galaxy added depth to their centerback corps by drafting Kyle Venter with the 23rd overall selection.
The LA Galaxy placed a photo gallery on their official Facebook page of all the lead up to the draft pick.
Check it out below.
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.”
Thoughts on Galaxy's deal?
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PHILADELPHIA— The LA Galaxy may have traded out of the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, but if history tells us anything, there could be value with their 23rd pick in the second round.
There have been quite a few high value 23rd picks from U.S. National Team midfielder Graham Zusi and LA Galaxy legend – and Galaxy Academy Director – Peter Vagenas to U.S. National Team veteran and former LA Galaxy left back Eddie Lewis among others. In fact, the history of the 23rd selection—in my opinion—is much more illustrious than that of the 14th pick which was headlined by Shalrie Joseph, George John and Ned Grabavoy.
The complete history of the 23rd pick is below:
2013— Luke Spencer, New England Revolution -- Suffered an ACL tear in preseason and did not make the Revolution's roster. Spencer resumed training with New England at the end of the 2013 season.
2012—Lucky Moksana, Chicago Fire -- Did not make the Fire roster out of preseason. Currently a member of the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies.
2011—Michael Farfan, Philadelphia Union -- Finished third in rookie of the year voting in 2011, signed with Liga MX side Cruz Azul after three seasons with the Union.
2010—Ross LaBauex, Colorado Rapids -- Made 18 appearances with the Colorado Rapids before being waived in September 2012, signed with USL Pro club Rochester Rhinos in March 2013.
2009—Graham Zusi, Kansas City Wizards (Sporting Kansas City) -- A regular with Sporting Kansas City and the U.S. National Team, Zusi was an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI Selection in 2012 and 2013. Zusi was an MLS MVP finalist in 2012.
2008—Yomby William, Kansas City Wizards (Sporting Kansas City) -- Did not make a competitive appearance for Kansas City and has spent the last five years with USL Pro side Rochester Rhinos.
2007—Ty Harden, Los Angeles Galaxy -- Galaxy defender of the year in 2007, Harden retired in 2008 to pursue philanthropic endeavors in Africa. Harden returned to soccer in 2009 and is currently with the San Jose Earthquakes.
2006—Willie Sims, New England Revolution -- Made nine appearances with the Revolution from 2006 to 2007 and last played with USL Premier Developmental League side Los Angeles Misioneros.
2005—Domenic Mediate, Columbus Crew -- Played three seasons in MLS with the Crew and D.C. United before ending his career in 2009 with the Puerto Rico Islanders.
2004—Jeremiah White, New England Revolution -- Spent most of his career in Europe and earned his lone U.S. National Team cap in 2008 during a friendly against Sweden at The Home Depot Center.
2003—Roger Levesque, San Jose Earthquakes -- Spent three seasons with San Jose winning MLS Cup in 2003, but then moved onto Seattle Sounders FC for the next 10 seasons where he became a club icon. Levesque is currently a University of Washington grad student.
2002—Jon Busch, Columbus Crew -- Currently with the San Jose Earthquakes, Busch is one of only six MLS goalkeepers all-time with more than 100 wins.
2001—Justin Evans, Chicago Fire -- Played in MLS for two seasons with three clubs. Current head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
2000—Peter Vagenas, Los Angeles Galaxy -- A two-time MLS Cup champion, Vagenas captained the LA Galaxy's 2005 MLS Cup winning side. After a 13-year career in MLS, Vagenas became the LA Galaxy Academy Director.
1999—Greg Sutton, Chicago Fire -- Longtime MLS goalkeeper who last played with the Montreal Impact.
1998—Jason Boyce, Colorado Rapids -- Bounced around MLS for three seasons and last played in MLS with the LA Galaxy reserves in 2010.
1997—Todd DeNault, Columbus Crew -- Released during preseason training camp, but no other information on DeNault was found.
1996—Eddie Lewis, San Jose Clash -- A left-sided defender who played four seasons with the San Jose Clash and was named to MLS Best XI in 1999. Lewis went on to play for Fulham, Leeds United and Derby County before joining the Galaxy in 2008. A U.S. National Team regular, Lewis appeared in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup.
On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy dealt midfielder Hector Jimenez and their 14th overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to the Columbus Crew for a second round pick (23rd overall) and allocation money.
Jimenez, a Los Angeles native who was drafted with the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of California, made a total of 43 MLS regular season appearances for the Galaxy during his three year stint with the club. With their first round pick dealt, it is the first time that the Galaxy have entered the SuperDraft without a first round selection since 2007.
Where the deal has the most ramifications for the Galaxy is in the midfield where LA suddenly find themselves thin along the flanks. Currently, Bruce Arena’s side will enter the preseason with just two options in right midfield with Landon Donovan and Robbie Rogers occupying the top two slots on the depth chart while Marcelo Sarvas, who played on the right at times in 2012, is a possibility as well. Meanwhile, along the left side, Gyasi Zardes, Rogers, and Greg Cochrane are potential options for Arena.
The Columbus Dispatch’s Adam Jardy spoke with Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter who offered a few thoughts on Jimenez in the tweets below.
Gregg Berhalter said it was easy working out a deal with mentor Bruce Arena. Also, Berhalter played with Hector Jimenez in L.A. #crew96
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 14, 2014
And yes, Berhalter envisions Jimenez playing on the wing, likely the right side. Could move Oduro up top more. He'll be pleased. #crew96
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 14, 2014
A new chapter in my career starts today. Excited and looking forward to the future. LA will always be my home. ✌️
— Hector Jimenez (@HectorJimenez09) January 14, 2014
Thoughts on the deal?
CARSON, Calif. -- In less than seven days, the American soccer community will gather in Philadelphia for the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
In preparation for the SuperDraft, I spoke to Top Drawer Soccer youth soccer expert Travis Clark about LA's draft needs and interesting players that may be available.
Check it out below.
LA GALAXY INSIDER: How would you rate this particular draft in terms of quality?
CLARK: This is an interesting group of talent. In my opinion, the strength is along the back line, particularly with a glut of center backs both Generation adidas and from the crop of seniors talent. While there may not be a great deal of players who have a high ceiling, I think that there might be a higher number of MLS squad players in this group who could make a roster.
LAGI: What type of talent do you expect to be available when the Galaxy draft at 14?
CLARK: Depending on how quick the Generation adidas players come off the board will dictate what is there for the Galaxy's first pick. I'd expect a solid center back or two might be there for the taking, or perhaps one of the draft's few quality outside backs.
LAGI: What do you see as the Galaxy's biggest positional need in the draft?
CLARK: You'd know this better than me, but I'm sure the Galaxy could use depth in the midfield or at the back.
LAGI: Personally, I feel that the Galaxy should be seeking to find right back depth in lieu of the departure of Sean Franklin, who are the best right back prospects and could they be available at 14?
CLARK: If for some reason Eric Miller slips to the Galaxy at 14, it would be a no brainer pick. The Creighton defender played as a center back this year, but will likely feature as a right back in MLS, and would be Generation adidas player, so wouldn't count against the salary cap. If he isn't there -- which is probably going to be the case – snapping up UC Irvine right back Marco Franco would be a smart move. He's someone that could come in and possibly get minutes this season.
Outside of him and Miller, there aren't a lot of right back options.
LAGI: Since the Galaxy have a tendency to draft college players to local to the Southern California area, who are some of the standouts from the Southern California pool?
CLARK: Along with Franco, UCLA has a number of senior candidates available --though I'm not sure if they'd fit in with what the Galaxy is looking for. Victor Munoz is a creative midfielder from Spain that could offer a spark and should be on the board later in the rounds. Enrique Cardenas is another similar kind of player out of Irvine, but he's another that will likely be there after the first two rounds.
UC Santa Barbara has some intriguing options -- defensive midfielder Fifi Baiden, who isn't the biggest presence but can cover ground, while also offering up a pair of foreigners: forward Achille Campion from France and towering 6-foot-6 German center back Peter Schmetz.
LAGI: Who do you see the Galaxy taking with the 14th pick? And their pick in the late fourth round?
CLARK: I think picking up Marco Franco might be a good move in the first round, adding depth at right back. Maybe go for a center back like [New Mexico's Kyle] Venter or [Michigan State's Kevin] Cope, which might represent one of the best players available at the time.
Perhaps with the other pick, the Galaxy can look close to home and grabbing Munoz in the fourth round, see if he can adapt and add a creative spark to the midfield.
What do you believe are the LA Galaxy's needs ahead of the draft?