The MLS Super Draft is on Thursday, and in recent years it hasn’t been all that ‘super’ for the New York Red Bulls. This latest edition likely won’t be any different.
The Red Bulls haven’t added a significant piece to their roster via the draft since selecting Tim Ream in the second round in 2010 draft. Since then, the Red Bulls have added mainly depth players to their squad, many of whom have struggled to make the team (last year’s first round pick didn’t play one minute with the senior team and was cut this offseason).
Part of it is by design – the Red Bulls after all have made the playoffs every year since 2010 and are usually among the last teams picking in the first round. They’ve also traded away a number of top draft picks in recent years as they brought in veterans to fill-out their rosters. And there is also the recent emphasis on signing homegrown academy players directly to their roster, negating much of the importance of the draft.
None of which means, however, that the Red Bulls wouldn’t love to add a difference maker late in this draft.
A look at three players who might be of interest to the Red Bulls at No. 18:
Liam Doyle – There is a need for centerback depth on this team, especially with Matt Miazga potentially heading overseas and Damien Perrinelle as well as Ronald Zubar both struggling with injuries last year. A captain at Ohio State, Doyle was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes and could be an MLS starter soon rather than later. He has good size and reads the game well, though needs to improve his anticipation a bit more. Could be nice depth and develop with the USL squad this season.
Hadji Barry – He might not fall this far but Barry could wind-up being a nice option off the bench if the Red Bulls took him late in the first round. His first touch is suspect at times but he has confidence on the ball, oodles of it. He could be a great late game sub up top for head coach Jesse Marsch.
Michael Salazaar – After two years of tearing it up at California-Riverside, Salazaar is one of the more intriguing names in the draft. He can score from distance and is sufficient in the box, unafraid to get scrappy. Plays bigger than he is 5-foot-11-inch frame. Already has suited up for Belize’s national team.