13 January 2011

DC United Picks Up Three Defenders in MLS Superdraft

The Superdraft is still going on as we speak, but I thought I'd butt in and comment on DC's picks so far, Perry Kitchen,  Chris Korb (DF, Akron), and Joe Willis (GK, U. of Denver).

Perry Kitchen (CDM/DF, Akron)

Kitchen played a defensive mid while at Akron University, still posting up six goals in his freshman year with the Zips. Selected as an All-American, American Freshman First-Team, All-MAC First-Team and was even called up the January National Team camp, Kitchen definitely has a celebrated one-year at Akron. He's a fiercely physical player and getting to see him play in the College Cup this past season, he made an impression on me and many scouts around the MLS. Many deemed Kitchen to be the best player in the draft, so its no real surprise that United swooped in to pick him up. Sounds like a win-win right?

The only problem with this draft pick is that United is already pretty squared away in Kitchen's area of the field. Dax McCarty definitely springs to mind and you certainly have to mention Clyde Simms, even though I'm of the personal belief he's on the downhill and could be replaced. The black-and-red head coach, Ben Olsen, will have an interesting time trying to figure out how to get Kitchen, McCarty and Simms on the field.

Perry Kitchen (DF, Akron)
But that raises another important question...who is going to be playing forward? MLS ROTY Andy Najar scored 5 goals in the 2010 season (put that into prospective with United's 21 total goals), but Najar plays as an attacking mid, not a forward. Combine that with United passing on Danny Allsopp's and Luciano Emilio's contract option then trading Adam Cristman for a draft pick and it seems that United is lacking in names for the forward position. Now, I don't want to make light of the acquisition of forward Joseph Ngwenya and returning forward Chris Pontius, but I definitely think United is going to need to balance out their roster ASAP, and it will start with signing a young forward from the draft.

Chris Korb (DF, Akron)

With the 31st overall pick, United picks up another defender from Akron. Korb played all four years at UA and was part of a defensive squad that set the school record for GA average and shutouts his junior year (0.27 and 19 beeteedubs). That sounds nice. Regardless of how good a player Korb is, its the second defender that DC United has picked up, and the backline seems to be place United seems to be the most set.

On DC United's Twitter, coach Ben Olsen asked "fans to bear with us as we finalize the roster ... we have some promising leads right now [at forward]". That makes me feel a bit better, but my stomach won't feel better until I see a name on the transfer order.

Joe Willis (GK, U. of Denver)

A good signing I think. With the release of Troy Perkins to Portland (thank god, now we actually have some money), Bill Hamid will be stepping up the #1 spot. But Willis seems to be a great addition to the keeper list. Hamid is young anyway and the competition from another young player might make both keeps step up their game.

Hopefully with all of these defensive signings, our GA column will be much better then last season.

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