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.