NEW YORK – The top five selections of the 2010 SuperDraft lived up to the hype and several late round selections proved to be shrewd picks. What follows are MLSsoccer.com's top SuperDraft classes of 2010 based on the recently concluded season:
1. New York Red Bulls
#2 Tony Tchani (27GP / 17 starts), #14 Austin da Luz (did not appear), #18 Tim Ream (started all 30 matches), #34 Conor Chinn (29 minutes in 5 appearances, #50 Irving Garcia (did not appear)
New York unearthed two bona fide starters in Tchani and Ream, which makes their draft an undisputed success by any measure. Ream was a Rookie of the Year candidate while Tchani’s combinination with Mexican Rafael Márquez proved to be the Red Bulls' best central midfield pairing of the season.
2. Philadelphia Union
#1 Danny Mwanga (24GP, 7 goals and 4 assists), #6 Amobi Okugo (11GP, 437 mins), #7 Jack McInerney (17GP, 1 start and 3 goals), #17 Toni Stahl (1 game, 41 minutes), #33 Kyle Nakazawa (14GP, 8 starts), #49 Brian Perk (DNP, traded)
Mwanga was a Rookie of the Year candidate and fulfilled the promise of the No. 1 overall selection. Okugo and McInerney were brought on slowly in 2010 while Nakazawa came on strong late in the campaign. Perk was traded while knee problems hurt Stahl early on after he had started — and been ejected from — the season opener in Seattle.
3. FC Dallas
#5 Zach Loyd (24 GP, 19 starts), #21 Andrew Wiedeman (DNP), #38 Jason Yeisley (5 GP, 39 minutes), #44 Eric Alexander (17 GP, 12 starts and 2 goals), #54 Dane Saintus (not on current roster)
Loyd and Alexander have shown they have the talent and personality to be regular starters with the defender proving even more valuable for his ability to play at both right back and central defender. Yeisley and Wiedeman received little to no playing time in FC Dallas' single-forward alignment.
4. Chicago Fire
#13 Corben Bone (5 GP / 114 min), #26 Kwame Watson-Siriboe (10 GP, 7 starts), #29 Drew Yates (not on current roster), #45 Steven Kinney (12 GP, 9 starts), #51 Sean Johnson (12 starts)
Four of the Fire’s five picks are currently on the roster and Kinney and Johnson have emerged as legitimate starters at right back and goalkeeper, respectively. Bone, the Fire’s highest pick, has been unable to break through and suffered the humiliation of a first-half substitution for a “passive” attitude.
5. San Jose Earthquakes
#3 Ike Opara (11 GP, 10 starts and 3 goals), #19 Michael Thomas (not on roster), #28 Justin Morrow (3 GP, 59mins), #30 Steven Beitashour (8 GP and 7 starts), #37 Andrew Hoxie (not on current roster)
The Earthquakes drafted a strong defensive core with Opara impressing early before a foot fracture sidelined him. Beitashour showed to be a reliable player at right back and right midfield despite losing his place in the starting lineup. Morrow spent time on loan but it will be tough for him to break through the Quakes' starting central defender corps.
6. Sporting Kansas City
#4 Teal Bunbury (26 GP, 13 starts and 5 goals), #20 Olukorede Aiyegbusi (5 GP, 1 start and 129 mins), #36 Nick Cardenas (not on current roster), #41 Mauro Fuzetti (not on current roster), #52 Ofori Sarkodie (not on current roster)
Bunbury justified being a No. 4 overall pick with a promising start and five goals in 26 games. It earned him his first US national team cap in November. Among other draftees, only Aiyegbusi survived to make KC’s roster and his 129 minutes were inconclusive.
7. Los Angeles Galaxy
#16 Michael Stephens (25 GP, 21 starts)
LA manager Bruce Arena had one selection in the 2010 SuperDraft and made it count, with Stephens proving a productive and hard-working midfielder. He may have hit the proverbial rookie wall late in the season and dropped out of the starting lineup, but he will be one to watch in 2011.
8. Chivas USA
#10 Blair Gavin (16 starts, 3 goals); #35 Kevin Tangney (not on current roster); #42 Isaac Kissi (not on current roster); #47 Ben Zemanski (21 GP, 17 starts); #58 Chris Ross (not on current roster)
The Akron midfield pairing of Gavin and Zemanski are the only draftees on the roster and they had a promising start in 2010, especially when they have lined up together. Gavin has shown the ability to be a potential replacement for captain Sacha Kljestan, who was transferred to Anderlecht in Belgium.
9. New England Revolution
#9 Zack Schilawski (24 GP, 15 starts, 5 goals); #25 Seth Sinovic (20 GP, 18 starts); #31 Zak Boggs (9 GP, 4 starts, 2 goals); #48 Jason Griffiths (9 GP, 3 starts); #57 Adam Welch (not on roster)
Another solid draft by Steve Nicol and the Revs although it has not produced superstars as of yet. Schilawski netted all five of his goals, including registering a hat trick, by the end of May. Then as the season went downhill for the team, so did the service and his scoring. Sinovic was a solid but error-prone left back, landing in Steve Nicol’s doghouse for part of the season. Injuries have been the story with the other two draftees as both Boggs (concussion) and Griffiths (hamstring) showed promise in their limited appearances.
10. Columbus Crew
#8 Dilly Duka (3 GP, 160 min); #12 Bright Dike (not on roster); #60 Kwaku Nyamekye (not on roster); #61 Othaniel Yanez (not on roster); #63 Shaun Francis (11 GP, 9 starts)
Francis, the second-to-last pick in the 2010 SuperDraft, has logged the most minutes among all Crew draftees and has shown standout speed at left back, earning call-ups to the Jamaican national team. The promising Duka, the No. 8 overall selection, lamented his lack of playing time in the press which did not endear him to manager Robert Warzycha. Letting forward Bright Dike go may still come back to haunt Columbus after he was recently signed by Portland for their maiden MLS season.
11. Seattle Sounders
#11 David Estrada (8 GP, 3 starts); #27 Michael Seamon (18 GP, 10 starts); #59 Jamel Wallace (not on current roster)
Estrada has shown glimpses that there is more to come from him while Seamon filled in admirably in midfield when called upon. Both were regular contributors in the Sounders’ heavy non-league schedule in 2010.
12. Real Salt Lake
#15 Collen Warner (12 GP, 4 starts), #32 Justin Davis (not on roster), #39 Chris Schuler (1 start, 90 min), #64 Kris Banghart (not on roster)
The defending champs bring up their young guys slowly and put them in position to succeed. Warner has shown glimpses of skill that fits well into the highly technical squad that Jason Kreis has built. Schuler had a solid showing in his lone start. This 2010 draft may look better in 2011 and beyond.
13. Toronto FC
#24 Zachary Herold, #53 Joseph Nane (11 games, 8 starts)
Less than two months into his MLS career, Herold was suddenly forced into retirement at the age of 17 after a heart condition was discovered. Nane proved a solid midfield role player and the Cameroonian can probably expect to return in 2011.
14. D.C. United
#55 Jordan Graye (19 starts)
Thrust into more games than D.C. United may have liked for his first season, Graye generally acquitted himself well but made several errors expected of a rookie fullback, some of which were costly.
15. Colorado Rapids
#22 Andre Akpan (1 GP, 13 min); #23 Ross LaBauex (5 GP, 76 min); #40 Chad Borak (not on current roster); #56 Chris Cutshaw (not on current roster)
The fact that the two lone draftees still on the roster have played less than 90 minutes combined is more of an indication of how the Rapids have relied on a veteran squad to win MLS Cup. Akpan was shipped on loan twice while LaBauex is also low on the depth chart in a crowded midfield.
16. Houston Dynamo
#43 David Walker (not on current roster); #46 Samuel Appiah (2 GP, 37 min, 1 goal); #62 Euan Holden (not on current roster)
The Dynamo had late round picks in the 2010 SuperDraft but the only player to see the field in an injury-riddled 2010 is the 25-year-old Appiah, who saw a total of 37 minutes of action.
Met expectations: #1 Mwanga, #2 Tchani, #3 Opara, #4 Bunbury, #5 Loyd, #10 Gavin
Slow starters: #6 Okugo, #7 McInerney, #8 Duka, #11 Estrada, #13 Bone, #14 da Luz, #17 Stahl
Overachievers: #16 Stephens, #18 Ream, #27 Seamon, #33 Nakazawa, #44 Alexander, #45 Kinney, #47 Zemanski, #51 S. Johnson, #55 Graye, #63 Francis
Highest picks not on current rosters: #12 Dike (Columbus), #19 Thomas (San Jose)
Number of 2010 draftees to appear in MLS: 38 of 64
Number of 2010 draftees to score a goal: 14 of 64
Number of draftees current on 2010 MLS rosters: 41 of 64 (as of Tues. Nov. 23)
Club that used fewest draftees in 2010: D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Toronto FC (1)
Club that used the most draftees in 2010: Philadelphia Union (5)