The Crew added four more players in today's MLS Supplemental Draft. The team selected North Carolina defensive midfielder Kirk Urso, left back Jamie Finch from the University of Washington, forward Darren Amoo from Liberty, and Andrew Bulls a winger/forward out of Maryland-Baltimore County College to add to the three college players selected last week.
These players were overlooked in the SuperDraft and the odds are long that they make the team, let alone an impact in the league. Many have glaring weaknesses in their game or are a little too small or to slow. They may have a great stats against weak competition, but are overmatched throughout preseason. Most of the players drafted today certainly match that description.
The Crew are looking for depth, players who can fill out the squad or the overlooked small school star that, with a little work, may have the skills to play in MLS. Shaun Francis is that type of player. Coming from Lindsey Wilson, he certainly wasn't a highly prized recruit, but he adapted to the league and played solid left back for the team in 2010. Francis also highlights the downside, he's still raw and isn't a technically sound defender and it showed last year.
The four players the Crew drafted today are looking to beat the odds. Urso has a Division One pedigree. He's played for UNC and could have been picked last week. He's a technically minded defensive midfielder on a team that is well stocked at the position.
Finch plays a position that the Crew aren't as deep at, left back. A solid showing at camp can certainly earn him a contract and he can look at Shaun Francis to inspiration about what a lower round pick can accomplish.
Darren Amoo and Andrew Bulls both fall into the class of the small school wonder. Both have very good stats against inferior competition and the team took a chance on them. Both have long odds to stick with the team. It's a big jump from the college game to MLS, it's even farther from the lower rungs of college. Often those stats don't translate into enough skill to get off a shot against MLS level defenders.
The Supplemental Draft is very much about hope and a little luck. The team is taking essentially taking educated guesses about the best options available and trying to land a player that can make the team. The players are just hoping to get the call into camp and show off their skills, even if the odds are long.