2016 MLS Mock Draft: Final Mock 4 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-10
Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: January 13, 2016
Chicago Fire: Joshua Yaro, D, Georgetown
- The Chicago Fire finished with the worst record in the MLS with 30 points in 2015. The Fire were tied with New York City F.C. and Toronto F.C. for the most goals allowed by a team in 2015 with 58 goals allowed in 34 games. Chicago also failed to win a single game on the road. The Fire have to find new starters at forward, midfield, defense, and goalie so getting the #1 pick and pairing Yaro with Matt Polster would solve the Fire's problem at center back improving this defense a lot.
- Joshua Yaro got injured in Georgetown's road loss against Southern Florida on August 31st. He did not return until September 20th against West Virginia. Georgetown went 12-0-1 in 2015 when Yaro returned to the lineup. The only loss came to Boston College in penalty kicks during the 2015 College Cup.
- Georgetown had 12 shutouts during Yaro's freshman season at center back before they posted 10 shutouts in 2014 during Yaro's sophomore season. Georgetown has 9 shutouts in 2015, but the thing that stood out was that Yaro went six games in a row without allowing a goal.
- Yaro will have his bachelors degree at the end of the Fall Semester in 2015. He turned down a Generation Adidas offer to return to school in 2015 last season. Yaro would have gone first overall last year. There's no way Yaro turns down another GA offer if he gets his education.
- Yaro has great awareness at both ends because he can pass the ball to the right player by reading the play, and his defensive awareness allows him to recognize where someone will shoot the ball. Yaro is also a tremendous shot blocker that has the uncanny ability to use his speed and legs to steal the ball from opponents. Yaro is an excellent dribbler as well with good ball control when he uses his feet to manipulate the ball. Yaro rarely gets to shoot the ball, but he does display the shooting power and shooting accuracy that most strikers have despite lacking the statistics of a striker or a playmaker.
- Yaro is one of the most complete center backs on tape to enter the MLS Super Draft in quite some time. He has missed time with injuries in 2013, 2014, and 2015. There may be some durability concerns, but they are minor durability concerns because Yaro returned from a broken arm in 2013 before injuring his knee in the 2014 College Cup after playing every game in the regular season, Yaro sat out with this injury from the 2014 College Cup until September 20th.
- Chicago may need an offensive player. At the end of the day, Joshua Yaro is too good to pass on. If you move this guy to forward like the Montreal Impact did with Andrew Wenger it will blow up in your face. Keep him on the back line at center back and the 5-11 165 lb Yaro has the exact same intangibles as the 6-5 205 lb Omar Gonzalez on the Los Angeles Galaxy despite lacking the size Gonzalez has. Outside of durability and size, Yaro is a 9/10 in every other category.
- Most center backs are 6-0 or taller. With Yaro at 5-11 165 lbs, there is a good chance they move him to right back. The Fire are bringing in a center back from Europe to compliment Matt Polster and have a veteran left back in Joevin Jones. The Fire should have one of the MLS's best defenses in 2015 with a center back from Europe along with Yaro at right back joining Polster and Jones on defense.
- If the Fire get a center back from Europe and move Yaro to right back, they will have addressed starters at every position on defense. Chicago can use their second, third, and fourth round picks on a forward, midfielder, and goalie.
Colorado Rapids: Jack Harrison, M, Wake Forest
- Fabian Herbers did take a Generation Adidas offer. Colorado wants to bring in a forward through Free Agency. Colorado is already loaded at midfielder with Dillon Powers, Jared Watts a defensive midfielder, and Dillon Serna. Colorado traded for Marco Pappa on the Seattle Sounders. Axel Sjoberg was a defensive midfielder at Marquette, but Colorado wisely moved him to center back.
- The Rapids should get Herbers, but I think they will end up getting Jack Harrison since they hinted that they don't want a forward. Jack Harrison had 8 goals, 11 assists, and 27 points in 2015 as a true freshman at Wake Forest after being named 2015 Gatorade High School player of the year. Harrison joins Powers, Watts, Serna, and veteran Marco Pappa on a midfield that would be a top 5 midfielder core in the MLS down the road with all these young guys outside of Pappa who would be the veteran of that group.
- The forwards and defensemen are still a work in progress, but the Rapids can focus on those areas of the team in the 2017 MLS Super Draft.
Philadelphia Union: Brandon Vincent, D, Stanford
- The Philadelphia Union love both Jack Harrison and Brandon Vincent. I'd have to imagine the Union grab the guy the Rapids pass on between those two at #3. Philadelphia only has three defensemen on their roster. Most MLS teams have four starters on the back line with 2 at center back, 1 at left back, and 1 at right back. Stanford's Brandon Vincent played center back as a true freshman before moving to left back for his final two years.
- Vincent has the versatility to play left back, center back, or right back. Vincent would be a left back in Philadelphia after helping Stanford get 10 shutouts in 2015.
New York City F.C.: Jonathan Campbell, D, North Carolina
- New York City F.C. invested way too much in forwards and midfielders after overpaying designated players in Free Agency. This teams biggest weakness was at defense and goalie.
- New York City F.C. looks awful on defense and surrendered 5 goals to the Los Angeles Galaxy where Robbie Keane got a hat trick and nearly got four goals without Landon Donovan.
- It's obvious that New York City F.C. needs to draft another defender. North Carolina center back Jonathan Campbell is 6-3 194 lbs. Campbell is one of the top seniors available and makes sense for a team that is really depleted on defense.
- New York City F.C. does not have a second, third, or fourth round pick. Do not be surprised if they deal this pick.
Real Salt Lake: Richie Laryea, M, Akron
- With no strikers available Real Salt Lake turns to midfield to replace Luis Gil. There are three Generation Adidas midfielders in Richie Laryea, Omar Holness, and Julian Buescher that could be the pick at 5. Laryea is my top ranked midfielder, but I heard one team say that Buescher is the top midfielder on their board. If Real Salt Lake wants Buescher that bad they can trade this pick to Sporting Kansas City who loves Fabian Herbers from what I'm hearing. If Herbers slips to five, I do think Sporting Kansas City will try to move up to get him.
- I gave Real Salt Lake Akron midfielder Richie Laryea with this pick. Richie Laryea can be a goal scoring striker at attacking midfielder as he had 11 goals, 7 assists, and 29 points in 2015. It's hard to see Real Salt Lake pass on Richie Laryea whou would do an awesome job complimenting Javier Morales at midfielder. Laryea agreed to a Generation Adidas deal on Tuesday so he will go pro.
- Real Salt Lake was supposed to have playmakers on offense though. Joao Plato led Real Salt Lake with 13 goals last season, but he's only 5-2 135 lbs. Plato has dealt with injuries this season. Javier Morales had 9 goals and 13 assists last season and had 8 goals and 12 assists in 2015.
- Javier Morales is a reliable veteran and will give a guy like Richie Laryea the guidance he needs to be a superstar in this league. Real Salt Lake can worry about improving forward and defense in the later rounds.
Philadelphia Union: Fabian Herbers, F, Creighton
- Philadelphia needs a goal scoring striker. There is no reason for the Union to pass on Fabian Herbers at 6 with him getting 15 goals, 17 assists, and 47 points in 2015.
- The Union want two immediate starters with their two top 10 picks. I think there are 3 players that the Union see as future starters in Brandon Vincent, Jack Harrison, and Fabian Herbers.
Previous Pick: Julian Buescher, M, Syracuse
Orlando City S.C.: Patrick Hodan, M, Notre Dame
- Orlando City S.C. could use a right winger. Notre Dame senior Patrick Hodan may get an edge over Omar Holness and Julian Buescher who both got injured at the 2016 MLS Combine.
- Orlando City S.C. takes Patrick Hodan who got 5 goals in 2013 when Notre Dame won the 2013 College Cup against Maryland before getting 9 goals in 2014 as a junior. Hodan can play attacking midfielder, left wing, right wing, or secondary striker. Hodan dribbles the ball with precision with his feet and that's a really underrated quality about Hodan.
- Hodan only had 3 goals, 6 assists, and 12 points in 2015, but he spent the regular season perfecting his game as a defensive midfielder. Notre Dame had 10 shutouts in the 2015 season due to Hodan's rapid improvement in blocking shots and playing defense. If you count two exhibition games, Notre Dame has 12 shutouts in 2015.
San Jose Earthquakes: Omar Holness, M, North Carolina
- San Jose has assets in Wondolowski and Alashe at forward and midfield. At the same time, there are numerous players that the Earthquakes are looking at. Five players that impressed them at the 2016 MLS Combine were Omar Holness, Fabian Herbers, Richie Laryea, Julian Buescher, and Tyler David.
- Tyler David the center back for Saint Louis did well at right back and impressed the Earthquakes. The Earthquakes had David graded higher than Jordan McCrary and Keegan Rosenberry which I think is just crazy.
- Omar Holness is a top 10 pick, and some teams moved him into their top 5 overall after his impressive MLS Combine. San Jose gets Holness to compliment Fatai Alashe at midfielder. Alashe could use a winger next to him. Omar Holness has the versatility to play striker, secondary striker, left wing, right wing, attacking midfielder, central midfielder, or defnesive midfielder in the MLS. Holness has great footwork and awareness just like Alashe did coming out of Michigan State in 2015.
Previous Pick: Jordan McCrary, D, North Carolina
Toronto F.C.: Keegan Rosenberry, D, Georgetown
- Toronto F.C. drafted their center backs of the future in 2015. Georgetown right back Keegan Rosenberry gives Toronto an upgrade at right back while allowing Toronto F.C. to boost their defense. Rosenberry is the top defender available and that's why this pick makes even more sense.
New England Revolution: Kyle Fisher, D, Clemson
- New England needs to take the best player available. Andrew Farrell needs to move back to right back. Getting Clemson center back Kyle Fisher helps solve this void.
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