Just Who Are the Red Bulls Going to Draft?

Joe Robbins

With the 2014 MLS SuperDraft coming down the pike, it's time to look at who the various experts thing we're going to pick.

Guys, the 2014 MLS SuperDraft is in, like, tomorrow.

We posted our mock draft this week, and we took the University of Maryland Baltimore County's Pete Caringi at 22 and NC State's Alex Martinez at 34.

But SBNation aren't the only group doing a mock draft. Plenty of other places are, too. Let's take a look at who various pundits around the internet (ones who chose to venture into the second round, anyway) think about the Red Bulls' picks.

Mock Draft #22 #34
TopDrawerSoccer.com v1.0 (Dec. 27) Nikita Kotlov (M, Indiana) Mark Sherrod (F, Memphis)
SoccerByIves.com v.1.0 (Dec. 29) Luca Gimenez (M, Wake Forest) Victor Chavez (F, UCLA)
SoccerByIves.com v.2.0 (Jan. 6) Romena Bowie (M, VCU) Victor Chavez (F, UCLA)
TopDrawerSoccer.com v2.0 (Jan. 10) Nikita Kotlov (M, Indiana) Mark Sherrod (F, Memphis)
SoccerByIves.com v3.0 (Jan. 10) Damion Lowe (D, Hartford) A.J. Corrado (M, Indiana)

So TopDrawerSoccer.com sticks to their guns with Kotlov and Sherrod in both mock drafts respectively, while the Red Bulls hold steady with Chavez at 34 (for two mock drafts, anyway).

Kotlov, a winger who earned the nickname "Mr. November" at Indiana for his late-season scoring prowess, goes much higher in the SoccerByIves drafts, with the Seattle Sounders springing for him. Ives Galarcep makes it seem as if it's a bit early to take him, but sees Sounders boss Sigi Schmid infatuated with the midfielder.

Meanwhile, Sherrod is projected by Ives to go to the Portland Timbers, which makes his projected selection by the Red Bulls that much better. Timbers Head Coach Caleb Porter is only a year removed from the college game, where he made a name for himself at the University of Akron. If Galarcep thinks Porter likes Sherrod enough to take him mid-second round, then I'm sold.

In Galarcep's first draft, the Red Bulls use their first pick on Luca Gimenez, a Brazilian winger out of Wake Forest with ties to the tri-state area. The TopDrawerSoccer.com guys rate Gimenez much higher. In both of their mock drafts, Gimenez goes in the first round, first to the LA Galaxy at 14, then to Real Salt Lake at 18. In Galarcep's other drafts, Gimenez goes to the Philadelphia Union at 25. In last Friday's combine observations post, Galarcep has Gimenez in his "players who struggle" category, noting a lack of attacking quality.

Still, Gimenez might be an interesting player. With Jonny Steele and Bobby Convey set for a pre-season battle on the left, the Wake Forest product, who played club and high school soccer in Connecticut, could push Lloyd Sam and Eric Alexander on the right. And if he continues to struggle, he could just fall to 34.

Galarcep's first and second mock drafts have the Red Bulls taking Victor Chavez, a forward out of UCLA. In TopDrawerSoccer.com's drafts, Chavez goes to the Union with their 25th pick. In Galarcep's most recent mock draft, he goes to the New England Revolution at 31.

By the standards of both mock drafts, Chavez isn't falling to the Red Bulls. Which might be just fine, since Head Coach Mike Petke can trot out Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Peguy Luyindula, Andre Akpan or Amando Moreno up front.

Romena Bowie, a defensive midfielder out of VCU seems to be one of the more divisive players in the draft. He goes to the Red Bulls in Galarcep's second mock draft, down from Real Salt Lake at 18 in his first. TopDrawerSoccer.com, meanwhile, has him going at 33 in their first and falls off their draft board completely by their second.

But at the combine, Bowie is putting on a solid display. Galarcep said his stock is rising in his combine dispatch from day two, and that could take the Red Bulls out of the running completely.

The most likely pick could be Damion Lowe, a Jamaican centerback who plied his trade with the University of Hartford Hawks and old Open Cup foe Reading United AC (one of the country's better PDL sides). The Red Bulls need help along the backline and this draft is full of that, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com's J.R. Eskilson. Plus -- and this is a huge plus -- Lowe is a Generation adidas player, meaning his salary won't count against the cap. That's a massive positive for a team that's got their backs up against the wall cap-wise.

The issue with Lowe is that he could slip into the first round, which is where TopDrawerSoccer.com has him going. According to the aforementioned combine day two dispatch, Lowe could slip into the first round. But aside from that, he sounds perfect for the Red Bulls at 22.

With their last pick, Galarcep has the Red Bulls taking A.J. Corrado out of Indiana. He's listed as an attacking midfielder on SoccerByIves, but TopDrawerSoccer.com drafts talk about him as a winger, where they have him going to the Houston Dynamo at 32.

The knock against Corrado, as per TopDrawerSoccer.com, is that he's inconsistent, but, they say he's got the skills to make it in MLS if he can work that out. Corrado, apparently, lead the Big Ten in assists in 2012. With the Red Bulls picking at 34, and with few other options to fill their needs, Corrado might not be a bad pick.

The only true no-brainer on the list is Lowe, and should he still be on the board by the second round, it wouldn't be shocking if the Red Bulls took him.

That second pick, at 34 overall, is a bit trickier. Some of the other players, like Kotlov, Sherrod and Chavez would sit pretty far down the depth chart. Bowie would be in a competition with Ian Christianson and Michael Bustamante for minutes behind Dax McCarty, Cahill, Luyindula and the mythical attacking midfielder. Gimenez, whose stock is reportedly dropping, would be in a similar situation, but on the right wing. As would Corrado.

But, then again, can you really expect to find a player who's ready to contribute at 44 overall? The Red Bulls may just have to settle for depth and just take the best available player, regardless of who they've already got under contract.

At any rate, we'll see tomorrow.

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