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?