Here is the list of the top Seniors in this years draft. The combine is this weekend and these are the players the scouts are looking at closely.
1. Marcus Tracy, Wake Forest – Some believe that Tracy is the best forward to come out of the college game in a long time. Tracy stands 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds and has tremendous pace and work ethic. This season he used his superior athleticism and powerful shot to score 13 goals and provide 10 assists. He has been criticized for having an ugly first touch. Could also have a future as an outside mid in MLS.
2008 Awards: 1st team CSN AA; 1st team NSCAA AA; 1st team ACC; Stats: 24/21
2. Mike Grella, Duke – Grella is a highly coveted striker. He’s scored 41 goals in his career and provided 27 assists. He is a talented player who can create his own space. A former U.S. U-18 and U-20 member, Grella might be eligible for a European Union passport through his Italian-born parents, which makes him a threat to bypass MLS and head overseas to play. He is ready for the professional game.
2008 Awards: 1st team CSN AA; 1st team NSCAA AA; 1st team ACC;
3. Chris Pontius, California Santa Barbara – Pontious is a highly versatile player. He has played as a midfielder, defender, and forward through his career. He has the size and skill to play anywhere on the pitch but is likely to play up top or on the left wing. He scored 14 goals in 2008.
2008 Awards: The 2007 Big West Offensive Player of the Year; 2nd team CSN AA; 3rd team NSCAA AA; 1st team Big West
2008 Stats: 22/22 GP/GS, 14 G, 4 A, 114 SH, .386 SOG%
Other Forwards to Watch:
Quincy Amarikwa, California Davis;O’Brian White, Connecticut; Graciano Brito, Quinnipiac; Doug DeMartin, Michigan State; Jordan Seabrook, South Florida
1. Sam Cronin, Wake Forest – Cronin is a smart player. He played mostly as a deep lying mid but assumed more of an attacking mid role later in his career. He is very skillful and has excellent vision. He will need to get tougher to play holding mid in MLS but he has all the tools to be a successful pro. He is probably the best midfielder in the draft.
2008 Awards: 1st team CSN AA; 1st team NSCAA AA; 1st team ACC
2008 Stats: 24/24 GP/GS, 10 G, 4 A, 37 SH, .405 SOG%
2. Brad Ring, Indiana – Ring is calm destroyer type of player. His biggest strength is his ability to break up plays and start the transition. He is strong in the air and is capable of finding the back of the net. He’s also a former U.S. U-20. He has all the tools to be a professional and, like Cronin, should go high in the draft.
2008 Awards: 3rd team CSN AA; 3rd team NSCAA AA; 1st team Big 10
2008 Stats: 17/17 GP/GS, 1 G, 1 A, 51 SH, .294 S%
3. Andrei Gotsmanov, Creighton — Gotsmanov is the best pure attacking talent on the midfielder board at this stage, yet questions have been raised about his pace and athleticism. However, at 6-foot-1 he has the size to play in the modern professional midfield.
2008 Awards: 1st team CSN AA; 1st team NSCAA AA; 1st team MVC; Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year
2008 Stats: 18/18 GP/GS, 10 G, 4 A, 46 SH, .457 SOG%
Other Midfielders to Watch:
Michael Lahoud, Wake Forest; Kyle Patterson, St Louis; Piotr Nowak, Oakland; Akeem Priestly, Connecticut; Danny Irizarry, Ohio State
1. Yohance Marshall, South Florida – Big, strong, and quick. Marshall has a strong reputation as a leader and has played for the Trinidad and Tobago U-17s, U-20s and U-21s. Marshall has the skill to occassionally attack out of the back. His defensive organization, tackling, and strength in the air are excellent. Marshall is going to be successful in the pro game and is probably the best defender in the nation.
2008 Awards: 1st team CSN AA; 3rd team NSCAA AA; 1st team Big East
2008 Stats: 23 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 7 SH, .429 SOG%
2. Michael Holody, Michigan — The 6-3 Holody is only the second All-American in the Wolverine program’s short history. Holody leaves Michigan as the program’s all-time leader in minutes played and his nine goals rank him in the top 10 on its scoring list. A strong two-way player in the college game, it will need to be seen if that offense translates to MLS. In addition to his two All-Big 10 nods, Holoday was named to the 2008 PDL Team of the Year for his play for the Michigan Bucks
2008 Awards: 3rd team NSCAA AA; 1st team Big 10;
2008 Stats: 22/22 GP/GS, 2 G, 1 A, 35 SH, .514 S%;
3. Calum Angus, St Louis — Angus is a four-year starter and the vocal defensive leader for the Billiken program. A Brit, the 6-foot Angus is a two-time All-American and was the 2007 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year. He led the St. Louis defense to a 0.82 team goals-against average and 10 shutouts this year. A former outside back who has also played centrally, Angus does have the speed to play multiple spots in the back line. He’s graduating early this winter in preparation for a professional soccer career. He has been criticized for being a whiner and one journalist commented that the will have the “unique distinction of being equally hated by his teammates and opponents.” The only thing that surpasses his talent is his inflated self image.
2008 Awards: 1st team NSCAA AA; 1st team Atlantic 10;
2008 Stats: 16/16 GP/GS, 0 G, 2 A, 10 SH, .300 SOG%;
Other Defenders to Watch:
Chris Clements, Tulsa; Jide Ogunbiyi, Santa Clara; Lyle Adams, Wake Forest; Brad Rusin, UCLA
1. Zack Simmons, U Mass – At 6′2″ 185 he was a walk on at U-Mass and is now an A-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Simmons is a 4 year starter for the Minutemen and almost single-handedly led his team to the College Cup in 2007. In 2008 he had a 0.81 GAA and seven shutouts. A terrific shot stopper at 6 foot two, he’s capable of the big save to keep his team in games they should not be. Simmons is perhaps the most likely to make an immediate impact in MLS.
2008 Awards: College Soccer News 2nd Team, Top Drawer Soccer 2nd Team of the Year, A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, A-10 Student Athlete of the Year, A-10 1st Team
2008 Stats: 21/21 GP/GS, .81 GAA, 18 GA, 84 S, .824 S%
2. Chris Brown, Boston College – The 6′5″ 225 senior is a massive body between the posts. He still has a little bit to learn, but his size has caught the interest of many scouts. Brown did make his first US U23 camp this year. The two time ACC honoree played every game in net for BC the last two years and finished ‘08 with a 0.90 goals-against average.
2008 Awards: ACC 1st Team
2008 Stats: 20/20 GP/GS, .96 GAA, 20 GA, 38 S, .655 S%
3. Evan Bush, Akron – Stands 6′3″ and 185. Bush leaves Akron with career marks in wins with 62 and shutouts with 49. Bush was Mid-American Conference Newcomer of the year in ‘05, when he ranked third in the nation with a 0.51 GAA, and First Team All-MAC in ‘05, ‘07, and ‘08. He held the Akron career goals against mark through his first three seasons at 0.65 and it only went lower with his highly impressive 0.46 GAA and 13 shutouts in 2008.
2008 Awards: MAC 1st Team.
2008 Stats: 23/23 GP/GS, .46 GAA, 11 GA, 60 S, .845 S%
Other Goalies to Watch:
Milos Kocic, Loyola (Maryland); Neal Kitson, St John’s; Kevin Guppy, Cal State Northridge; Chay Cain Indiana