Looking for the outlier

Your 2021 SuperDraft round-up

For someone that complains about the SuperDraft as much as I do, I sure do spend a lot of energy evaluating it. If you haven’t had a chance yet, have a look at the all-time numbers that I posted yesterday. At the conclusion of this article, I’ll give a few more statistical facts learned from the database, before I put it on a shelf for another year.

First though, we should do a little reporting as it relates to my bread and butter, the Canadian teams. The three clubs made three selections in the first round. They were:

·       Vancouver 9th – Forward David Egbo

·       Vancouver 23rd – Right-back Javain Brown

·       Toronto 25th – Left-back Matt Di Rosa

In what is becoming a trend, the Impact (I’m just going to keep calling them the Impact, I’ve decided) were basically AWOL during the event. Perhaps they were making a snowman.

There were also a bunch of second and third round picks made. At the risk of coming off as uncaring, I’ll learn their names when they give me a reason to. Perhaps, I’ll provide some TFC II coverage later in the year, so it’s possible it might happen.

As for the three players picked…look, there are places that will give you a breathless scouting report (that they likely copied and pasted from Top Drawer Soccer) of the players. They might even try to put them into formations and speculate on what they will bring to the team.

No judgment to those folks – we all gotta crank out that content – but that’s just not my jam. I’m too old to pretend that I know everything in the world. I already watch too much soccer. I do not have time to also watch college soccer too. I’d rather spend what time I have left doing something less harmful to my life – like exercising, reading or doing heroin.

So, I don’t know whether these guys have what it takes to be the outlier and be the guy draft lovers hold up as proof that the SuperDraft is still worth caring about.

I can only point to generalities that I show with my precious numbers. Players picked in the No 9 slot have averaged 33 appearances thus far. There’s a couple busts and one good prospect in there – Canada’s own, Tajon Buchanan.

So, Egbo has a decent chance.

First round picks made after No 22 have made 10 total appearances over the last five years. So don’t hold your breath on the rest.

Again, outliers happen. But, they don’t disprove trends.

Before I finish with my last little bit of Draft Stats for the year, a quick work on college soccer.

I don’t hate it. I hate aspects of it, specifically the unlimited, in and out subs and countdown clock. Why it still plays by different rules is baffling. However, college soccer is a valuable part of the North American system. It gives kids something to aspire to that has real value – a full, or more likely, partial scholarship to get a good education.

As we know, 99% of kids that play soccer never get close to going pro. If having a college opportunity to chase keeps them in the game longer then it’s a win.

But, college soccer is not where pro potential players should be at 18. They need to be in pro clubs, playing professional soccer. Yes, the odd “late bloomer” will get missed. They can enter the pro game as free agents. It’s fine. No need for a draft and a big production that is mostly just setting these kids up to be disappointed.

MLS likes to use these players as props to make it seem like they are in the business of fulfilling dreams. I’m not sure who they think they are fooling anymore.

NOTES: One final stat from the SuperDraft by the Numbers article – everyone likes to know where their favourite team stacks up compared to the rest. That’s the nature of sports, right? Competition.

So, I set out to determine what team was the best at identifying talent in the draft.

By assigning a value to each pick – 7 points for a Franchise Player, 5 points for Exceptional picks, 3 for Solid, 1 for Poor and 0 for Failures – I determined a draft success value by dividing the total points earned with the amount of first round draft picks the club has made in its history. Ties were broken by the amount of Franchise Players selected.

Here are the results:

  1. SKC – 3.92

  2. NER – 3.64

  3. NYRB – 3.3

  4. Columbus – 3.21

  5. Dallas - 3.1

  6. DCU – 3.06

  7. Galaxy – 3

  8. Philly – 3.0

  9. Chicago – 2.71

  10. Portland – 2.66

  11. TFC – 2.58

  12. Chivas – 2.25

  13. RSL – 2.18

  14. San Jose – 2.07

  15. Colorado – 1.91

  16. Vancouver – 1.85

  17. Montreal – 1.5

  18. Seattle – 1.4

  19. Tampa Bay – 0.5

So, there you have it. Kansas City are the Kings of the Draft!

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