It appears that when the Vancouver Whitecaps entered Major League Soccer in 2011, they absorbed a moniker that was entirely associated with the hockey team in town, the Canucks; 'The Goalie Graveyard.' Yes, perhaps that's a little unfair for a team as young as this, but why not use their third overall pick to help shed that label as soon as possible? That's where Generation adidas-signee Andre Blake comes in.
A lanky Jamaican that's already being labelled as a future MLS superstar, Blake seemingly has all the tools to dominate wherever he goes. He has the size, the hands, the feet. His distribution is good, something that has been a recurring problem with 'Keepers in this organization. That being said, with David Ousted signed, there might not be room for Blake, especially given how young he is. That's the biggest knock against him; he needs some prep time before making the leap to MLS, something not unusual for rookies. He's also made it very clear his dream is to play in Europe, so you have to ask how committed he will be to MLS.
What Vancover will be looking for in the draft: The Whitecaps need immediate help at arguably both left and right back, and they need a top tier playmaking midfielder. That being said, If the club had their druthers, they'd probably want to fill those spots with proven names (after all, one of those spots used to belong to YP 'Freaking' Lee).
Who the experts say Vancouver will pick: Blake seems to be a popular choice, and that's not surprising. Remember, the club waved goodbye to Joe Cannon, Simon Thomas and Brad Knighton in the off-season. They're bare in the Goalkeeping cupboard, and Blake looks to be a can't miss pick.
Why I’m invariably wrong: The club still has David Ousted, who they gave up the dependable Alain Rochat for. He's only had half an MLS season to prove himself, and while he didn't look great, he still may prove his worth in this league. As mentioned before, there are more pressing needs on this team that need to be filled, and the club may look to the draft.
Why I’m smarter than the pundits: The Vancouver Whitecaps strategy in past SuperDrafts has been to pick the best athlete available with their top pick. Blake fits the bill.
Full Mock Draft results (click on player names to see the profiles)
|1. D.C. United||Black and Red United||Patrick Mullins|
|2. Philadelphia Union||Brotherly Game||Steve Neumann|
|3. Vancouver Whitecaps||86 Forever||Andre Blake|
|4. Columbus Crew||Massive Report||Steve Birnbaum|
|5. FC Dallas||Big D Soccer||Christian Dean|
|6. Union||Brotherly Game||Marlon Hairston|
|7. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Damion Lowe|
|8. Chicago Fire||Hot Time In Old Town||Grant Van De Casteele|
|9. San Jose Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Eric Miller|
|10. Montreal Impact||Mount Royal Soccer||A.J Corrado|
|11. Colorado Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Schillo Tshuma|
|12. New England Revolution||The Bent Musket||JJ Koval|
|13. Seattle Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Aodhan Quinn|
|14. LA Galaxy||LAG Confidential||Fifi Baiden|
|15. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||AJ Cochran|
|16. Houston Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Mamadou Diouf|
|17. Portland Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Reinaldo Brenes|
|18. Real Salt Lake||RSL Soapbox||Ben Sweat|
|19. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Marco Franco|
|20. Chivas USA||The Goat Parade||Enrique Cardenas|
|21. Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Taylor Peay|
|22. New York Red Bulls||Once a Metro||Pete Caringi|
|23. Crew||Massive Report||Pedro Ribeiro|
|24. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||Joey Dillon|
|25. Union||Brotherly Game||Jared Watts|
|26. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Kevin Cope|
|27. Union||Brotherly Game||Kyle Venter|
|28. Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Mackenzie Pridham|
|29. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Jimmy Ockford|
|30. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Nikita Kotlov|
|31. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Victor Chavez|
|32. Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Kristopher Tyrpak|
|33. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Rafael Diaz|
|34. Red bulls||Once a Metro||Alex Martinez|
|35. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Zach Bolden|
|36. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Mark Sherrod|
|37. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Michael Calderon|
|38. Sporting Kansas City||The Daily Wiz|