Kinnear turns trader in first round

Surprise choices lead to Dynamo nabbing prizes Sarkodie, Bruin

Things
moved pretty quickly at the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday. After a series of
surprising picks at the top of the draft, the Houston Dynamo moved quickly to pick
up a second selection in the first round and came away with two promising Generation
adidas players in Akron defender Kofi Sarkodie and Indiana forward Will Bruin.

Head
coach Dominic Kinnear, president Chris Canetti, and the team’s entire technical
staff were on hand as Vancouver’s surprise selection of Omar Salgado with the
first overall pick set off a chain reaction that gave the Dynamo greater
options.

“The
tough thing was when we were at No. 7, there were a couple of guys we really
liked, and it was hard picking the one we thought would be the best,” Kinnear
said. “Then the 11th pick came and Will Bruin was still available, and I
thought we made an aggressive offer to the Portland Timbers to get him.”

Both
Bruin and Sarkodie had been tagged to go in the draft’s first five picks in
most projections, and Kinnear said both players consistently showed him they
can contribute to the Dynamo in short order.

“Sarkodie
is young, very fast, and likes to attack from the outside. He can play right
back or right midfield, so he’s got a little bit of versatility in him,”
Kinnear said. “Will Bruin is a guy who scores a lot of goals. The thing we
noticed about him is when he plays with another forward, he combines very well
and makes very smart runs, so I think these are two good additions to our team.”

The
Dynamo had only made two first-round selections in club history, selecting
Patrick Ianni at No. 8 in 2006 and John Michael Hayden at No. 13 in 2007. They
doubled that on Thursday, and Kinnear said the draft haul stacks up with any in
which he has participated.

“On
paper, this is our best draft as the Dynamo,” 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, so it’s been a good day for us.”

The
day began with Vancouver passing on Akron forward Darlington Nagbe (who had
hinted he did not want to play north of the border) and midfielder Perry
Kitchen to select U.S. U-20 international Omar Salgado. Philadelphia’s
selection of goalkeeper Zac MacMath at No. 5 and New England’s choice of
defender A.J. Soares at No. 6 were other surprises that gave the Dynamo so many
options at the No. 7 spot.

“Everybody
sees the game a bit differently,” Kinnear said. “To have some of the players
available at No. 7 as they were, it kind of surprised some people, especially
us, and that’s why it took us a little while to select.”

After
taking Sarkodie at No. 7, there was no hesitation several picks later, as
Kinnear and company made a deal with former Houston assistant John Spencer –
who shared a laugh with Kinnear before the draft – to move up to the No. 11
spot to select Bruin.