With the recent success the Vancouver Whitecaps have had selecting defenders in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, it is unsurprising that Carl Robinson went with defenders again in the first two rounds.
With the 17th overall pick, the Whitecaps selected left back Justin Fiddes out of Washington. This move might surprise some people, given the glut of left backs the Caps have had over the previous few seasons, however, with the departure of Sam Adekugbe and Jordan Havey, picking up another left back to fill out the depth chart seems like a good move.
While Fiddes did not have the best first two days at the Combine, he was impressive on the third day, even scoring a goal from his left back position. He is fast, so he can get up and down that left flank if needed. This will be very beneficial if the Whitecaps are to play with three center backs as rumored. Another positive with Fiddes it is clear what his position is in MLS (left back). For many players coming from college, the knock is often that it is unclear where they will play in MLS.
With their second round pick (26th overall), the Whitecaps went with another defender, Creighton’s Lucas Stauffer. Stauffer is a smaller player at 5’ 6” -going against the Whitecaps recent mold-, however, that smaller stature provides some quickness to his game. He has played for the US futsal team, again suggesting some quickness and good footwork.
Many of the draft picks that end up sticking around in MLS are selected in the first round. As a result, taking a flyer on Stauffer as competition/cover for Jake Nerwinski at right back seems like a solid move. While I do not know much about Stauffer, given Robbo’s recent track record with finding defensive gems in the SuperDraft, I am feeling optimistic about this selection.
What are your thoughts on the selections from the Whitecaps in the first two rounds? Happy with the two defenders being selected?