Kinnear: Houston's best-ever draft

Dynamo trade up, capture two top players in first round

To start the day, the question was whether the Houston Dynamo would take a defender or a forward with the seventh pick of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

It turns out, they got both.

Head coach Dominic Kinnear’s staff took Akron defender Kofi Sarkodie with the seventh overall pick, and with what may have been the steal of the draft, they then snatched up Indiana forward Will Bruin with the 11th pick, which they acquired from Portland in exchange for allocation money.

“On paper this is our best draft as far as the Dynamo goes," Kinnear said. "We usually don’t even have a first-round pick, and now we have two in one draft. We got two good players, two Generation adidas players, so it’s been a good day for us.”

Both players should challenge for places in the starting lineup. Houston will feel they have scored a major coup as many mock drafts had both players ranked in the top five.

Sarkodie was a highly regarded college player for the Akron Zips, and he is coming off a season in which he won the national championship, was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist and was a First Team All-American as a forward-minded defender. The Ohio native tallied eight goals and six assists last season.

“I think Kofi Sarkodie is young, very fast, likes to attack from the outside," Kinnear said. "He can play right back or right midfield, so he’s got a little bit of versatility to him.

Bruin, who scored 18 goals in 20 games last season for perennial national title contender Indiana, was also a First Team All-American and Hermann Trophy candidate.

Bruin has already been mentioned as a complimentary player to Houston’s goalscoring strongman Brian Ching.

"Will Bruin is a guy who scores a lot of goals," Kinnear said. "The thing we noticed about him is when he plays with another forward, he combines very well and he makes very smart runs, so I think these are two good additions to our team.”

Bruin was well aware of the Dynamo veteran to whom he has drawn so many comparisons.

“I’m very excited," Bruin said. "I still have a lot to learn and I have a great coach and a great mentor in Brian Ching who I look forward to learning from. It’s been crazy. There’s been so much hype and drama, I’m happy to have it over with now and know where I’m going and I look forward to starting in Houston."