The 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft came and went today (rather quickly, as these teams weren't messing around) and Chivas USA made their five selections. Their first selection, as the fifth pick of the first round (equivalent to the third round of the SuperDraft) was defender R.J. Allen of Monmouth University. He was at the MLS combine prior to the SuperDraft, and assessments of him were all over the place. MLS thought highly of him, naming him a second team Best XI selection as well as a Top 25 SuperDraft prospect. Although he dropped to the Supplemental Draft pool, Avi Creditor ranked him as one of the best 20 players available yesterday on Soccer by Ives. Joe Mauceri over at Top Drawer Soccer ranked him as a middle of the pack prospect whose chances of sticking in the league are rather long.
The point is this: Allen was a two-time All-American, started every match he played in college, and is a right back, a position that Chivas could use some depth with only James Riley slated in the position at the moment. He had 23 assists in college, so he can evidently get up the field effectively, which I think is something Robin Fraser is looking for from his full backs. He's been drafted, so it's time for him to prove the haters wrong, as they say, and try to help the Goats' defense for 2012, and perhaps beyond.
The next pick for Chivas was the 9th in the second round (28th overall), and they took defender Daniel Steres from San Diego State University. Steres was a captain as SDSU, made the 2011 All-West region team and 2011 All-Pac 12 first team. The ranking from Joe Mauceri is very poor (projecting him to not even make a team) but there has been some talent out of San Diego State recently, with recently minted Mexican league rookie of the year Joe Corona, and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall coming from the school. As a local, evidently Chivas' scouts have been watching Steres.
Following that, Chivas had another pick, taking defender Fabian Kling with the 11th pick in the second round (30th overall). Kling came from Fort Lewis College, which plays in Division II and is located in Colorado, but Kling is from Germany. He was the Division II Player of the Year in 2011, so maybe this is a Steve McNair-type situation and a guy at a lower level is better than other guys in the top division? I suppose it's possible. But Fort Lewis is also where former Chivas USA draftee John Cunliffe attended and played college soccer, so it's not assured.
Finally, with the 18th pick in the second round (37th overall) Chivas picked defender/midfielder Kevin Venegas from Cal State Fullerton. He has ties to Chivas, as he was involved with the club in the youth ranks before college. I think there's been multiple regime changes since Venegas' involvement with the club, but that familiarity might help him adjust to the professional ranks and make the team.
Again, we'll have to see which of these guys stick with the club and which we'll probably never hear of again. It seems the team was going for defensive cover today, and depth (as well as perhaps a starter) is needed on the backline and between the posts. Chivas have space on the roster, of course, but the chance all five are signed and with the team at First Kick is highly unlikely. Still, best of luck to these guys, and hope they make the Goats better!
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