Looking back at top five MLS SuperDraft picks in franchise history
When FC Dallas selects #5 overall in next week's MLS SuperDraft, it will represent the eighth time in franchise history that the club has had a top-five selection. Looking back at the history of FCD's seven other top five picks is a fascinating example of how high draft picks can net you spectacular players and solid squad additions as well as some who just never quite make it in the league. Here's the history of FCD's historical top-five picks.
2010 - #5 overall pick - Zach Loyd - University of North Carolina
Having made the second-most appearances for the club since being drafted, Loyd has certainly been a big hit for FC Dallas out of UNC. After some uncertainty about whether he would be back, FC Dallas recently announced that Loyd had signed a new contract for the 2014 season. The Oklahoma-native has made three appearances for the US Men's National Team and looks to be a major fixture on the right side for FCD heading into the future.
2009 - #5 overall pick - Peri Marosevic - University of Michigan
Having signed a Generation adidas contract after a stellar college career at Michigan, FCD selected forward Peri Marosevic with the #5 overall pick in the 2009 draft. The US youth international struggled to ever gain a foothold with FC Dallas appearing in just four games his rookie season and never making another appearance for FC Dallas. Marosevic was released from FC Dallas midway through the 2011 season and signed with Toronto FC where he scored a pair of goals before leaving MLS after the season. Marosevic recently returned to soccer stateside scoring two goals in eight appearances with the New York Cosmos in their inaugural 2013 season.
2008 - #2 overall pick - Brek Shea - College Station, TX
A man that needs no introduction, FC Dallas selected Shea #2 overall in 2008 and the flashy Texan transformed into arguably the best draft pick in FCD history. Just 18 when he entered his first season in MLS, it took Shea a couple years to hit his stride, but the Texan broke out in 2010 with five goals for the team that made it to MLS Cup. In 2011, Shea vaulted himself into a spot among the best in the league with an 11-goal season that earned him a spot on the MLS Best XI squad and a spot as a finalist for the MLS MVP award.
Shea earned his first USMNT cap in September 2010 and has earned 25 caps as well as scoring the game-winning goal in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final win over Panama.
After a turbulent 2012, Shea was sold to English Premier League side Stoke City.
2002 - #1 overall pick - Chris Gbandi - University of Connecticut
Drafted #1 overall by FC Dallas in 2002, Chris Gbandi remains FCD's only-ever #1 pick. The left back from UCONN came highly-rated to FCD as a one-time winner and three-time finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Gbandi spent his entire rookie campaign rehabbing a torn ACL and talking to some, he was never quite the same as a professional. That didn't mean Gbandi didn't have a solid career with FC Dallas making 111 appearances between 2003-2007 almost exclusively at left back. Gbandi was a starter on three very good FCD teams from 2005-2007 and scored one of the better goals in team history.
2000 - #5 overall pick - Aleksey Korol - Indiana University
FCD went for Ukranian forward Aleksey Korol with their #5 pick in the 2000 SuperDraft after his stellar career at Indiana. Korol was an All-American in his senior year and came to the then Dallas Burn scoring five goals and three assists in his rookie year. Korol never quite panned out after that bouncing around between MLS, lower leagues and indoor soccer before taking college coaching jobs. Korol is currently an assistant at University of Illinois-Chicago.
1999 - #4 overall pick - Lazo Alavanja - Indiana University
Indiana midfielder Lazo Alavanja was selected by the then Dallas Burn in the 1999 draft. The midfielder played for three MLS teams before finding a home with the lower league Charleston Battery where he played for four seasons while moonlighting in indoor soccer as well.
1996 - #3 overall pick - Brandon Pollard - University of Virginia
Pollard joined the franchise in the inaugural year of MLS back in 1996 after a career at UVA that saw him win three national championships under Bruce Arena. By all accounts, Pollard was a very good defender for many years with the Burn, but a horror-tackle from Chicago Fire midfielder Dema Kovalenko in 1999 broke Pollard's leg and the defender was never quite the same. Pollard retired after the 2000 season and currently lives in Dallas as a beekeeper.