Guest columnist Drew Epperley is the founder and editor of WVHooligan.com. His blog covers everything MLS and U.S. Soccer. You can follow him on Twitter @WVHooligan.
The second round of the MLS SuperDraft is where good teams find hidden gems. Names like Tim Ream, Graham Zusi and even FC Dallas’ own Andrew Jacobson were a second round selection.
FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman has a number of directions that he can take with the first pick in the second round (20th overall) and a lot will depend on how the first round selection goes. If he takes a chance on an offensive-type player in round one, he could be more inclined to snag some defensive depth in round two.
Below are some players that should be available as the second round comes up.
Greg Cochrane (Defender/Midfielder – Louisville) – A move from left back to left midfielder in 2012 really helped spark a strong senior season for Cochrane. Hyndman loves a player with versatility and Cochrane could be a perfect depth-type pick up to help provide cover on the wings in 2013.
Erik Hurtado (Midfielder – Santa Clara) – Hurtado played more of a forward role at Santa Clara but most believe he will be better suited as a winger in the midfield. He is very good on and off the ball and does well to find a teammate in the open field.
Uwem Etuk (Midfielder – WVU) – His numbers and stats will not jump out at you as he and WVU struggled in 2012. What he does bring to the table is versatility, good feet on the ball and an ability to play nearly anywhere on the field.
Jimmy Nealis (Defender – Georgetown) – One of the many left backs in this draft pool, Nealis had a good four-year run at Georgetown. He certainly got on many folks’ radar after the impressive College Cup run that the Hoyas had in 2012. Adding some depth behind Jair Benitez is a must, and Nealis would be a perfect understudy to the veteran defender.
Ryan Clark (Midfielder – Monmouth) – If you are looking for someone with an amazing work-rate, Clark is your guy. The kid just does not stop working both on and off the field. He is another left sided player that can be either in the defense or in the midfield. With a high work-rate and a solid Combine, Clark is making a name for himself.