HARRISON NJ - AUGUST 28: Tony Tchani #23 of the New York Red Bulls controls the ball in front of Geovanni #77 of the San Jose Earthquakes on August 28 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
Today's the day we've all been waiting for -- no, not the first day of the MLS season, but the 2011 MLS SuperDraft! (Every time I type "SuperDraft" it makes me slightly embarrassed to follow this league.) Sarcasm aside, we do have the opportunity to pick up some players to fill out the squad, and if this year's Red Bull draft class is anywhere near as good as last year's, we should be in great shape for the season ahead.
There are plenty of Mock Drafts out there, but the SBNation MLS blogosphere got together last week to do our own - live! We only did the first two rounds of the three-round draft, but the Red Bulls have two picks in the second round after sending Dominic Oduro to Houston back in 2009. With our first pick, I selected Jalil Anibaba, a centreback from UNC; the second was Chris Korb, Akron's starting left back, and the third was the SMU attacking midfielder Josue Soto.
Eric Soler has his own priority list, but has said that we need cover at centreback and right back. Thankfully for us, Chris Albright was pretty bombproof last season, but I understand bringing in someone to back him up. We definitely need a better option at left back, though we may need to shift either Roy Miller or Danleigh Borman before we bring in someone else.
Soler also discussed the Matt Kassel situation in that article, and although we've approached him it's unclear what's been holding the deal up. Bringing him in would seem to be a pretty obvious choice, and hopefully we can complete the negotiations soon -- pre-season starts at the beginning of February. In other transfer news, we've signed Brazilian left winger Marcos Paullo (hopefully he'll be a long-term solution in that area of the pitch) as well as long-term targets Jan Gunnar Solli and Luke Rodgers.
Things are looking good on the transfer front, and in a move that will please all of us in the RBNY community (if that's possible), Mike Petke will be joining the front office.
Also, it sounds like those of us in the New York metro area will receive another helping of great soccer this year -- in addition to the Red Bulls season and four Gold Cup matches this summer, the USA-Argentina friendly for this spring may be held at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Finally, for those of you who didn't renew or buy season tickets, five and ten-game ticket plans go on sale today.
The first hour of the SuperDraft will be on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com at 12 PM today. Here's to some good picks and the successful completion of the Kassel deal.