Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The MLS SuperDraft is underway, and the Vancouver Whitecaps did a little moving and shaking.
The Whitecaps made a splash during the MLS SuperDraft, trading their tenth overall pick and allocation money to Toronto FC for their fourth overall pick. Then, they used that pick for 18 year old Gambian striker Kekutah Manneh, who is almost certainly going to make the all-name team.
What I like: He's extremely fast, which means he should fit in very well with Martin Rennie's dump and chase offense. I think it's fair to compare him with Darren Mattocks, and I think it's also fair to say that his potential is absolutely ridiculous. This kid is a goal scoring machine, and should be a great future player for the Whitecaps. The Whitecaps obviously didn't have a pressing need for another striker, so it means that they are prepping for the future, and that they went with the old sports adage, choose the best player available. I'm officially on board with this pick.
What I don't like: He's 18, which means he isn't going to make an impact for a while. He's a project player, which, while not necessarily a bad thing, means that the 'Caps won't be getting that immediate help up front. Also, with the midfield so unstable at the moment, it would've been nice if the 'Caps would've been able to secure a good young middy. That being said, once Kyle Bekker was off the board, that kind of became a moot point. Some defensive help would've been nice too, given the aging, thin backline the Whitecaps currently have.
The Bottom Line: I like the pick, because Manneh has the potential to be a MLS Golden Boot recipient. However, it's a pick for the future, so I hope the 'Caps have a few tricks up their sleeve for the present.
The 'Caps also had the fifth overall pick, which they used to select Erik Hurtado, a forward/winger from Santa Clara University.
What I like: Stocking up on offense? Not a bad idea for a club that has struggled mightily to score goals throughout their MLS existence. At 22 years old, he has the opportunity to make an impact right out of the gate, which is good to hear. He's obviously got a knack for scoring, as he managed 15 goals as a senior at Santa Clara University. (Apparently, the Earthquakes were pretty high on this kid). With his speed on the wing, he could be the player the Whitecaps thought they were getting with Sebastien Le Toux.
What I don't like: He's undersized at 5'9, which isn't a deal breaker when you're talking about forwards. Once again, I have to go back to my point about the Whitecaps midfield and backline, which both needed bolstering more than the striker group.
The Bottom Line: I'm on board with this pick, because Hurtado looks like he could be a gamer. He's certainly got a good resume going so far, (2012 West Coast Conference Player of the Year) and he could provide immediate help to a team that simply can't score goals.