When the Tacoma Tide became the Sounders U23s one of the main parts of the relationship was to help the First Team scout soon-to-be-available draft-eligible talents. While Seattle Sounders FC do need more creativity, they can use the draft to build their depth of talent. At the 13th pick getting a game-changer is unexpected, getting a quality man that can help is perfect.
With that in mind in the mock draft I went with Aodhan Quinn as an expected target went just a pick prior to Seattle's.
Quinn has shown an ability to maintain possession through quick passing, creative dribbling and use of space (primarily centrally) in the college and PDL game. Scoring seven goals with one assist as a forward with Akron in 2013, with the Sounders U23s he showed a more creative side in the midfield. While many organizations would see such a player as a tweener, Sigi Schmid is used to player like that (Ljungberg, Montero, Dempsey).
Seattle does have a need for that kind of player. More importantly they have a need for a player with creative qualities no matter where they fit on the pitch. Aodhan has those. His familiarity with Yedlin as well as some of the technical staff from his time with the U23s can only help his ability to fit into the future of Sounders FC.
What Sounders FC will be looking for in the draft: Depth that can contribute in the Open Cup and Reserve League. Seattle does not make "positional need" picks.
Who the experts say Seattle will pick: The best CAM or CB available at the time, because most mocks use needs as a guide. But this is the Seattle club that drafted Estrada, Tetteh, Duran and Zavaleta with their first picks. None filled a positional need.
Why I'm invariably wrong: Seattle goes off board quite often with the only 1st round pick that anyone expected being Zakuani. For an MLS side they have an aggressive scouting department and they hold their own (this year other teams got to go) combine in addition to the MLS/Adidas Combine.
Why I'm smarter than the pundits: I'm not, but if Quinn's available, no GA players are left and the board moves the way it did in the SBN Mock he's a quality get who can learn ball handling from Dempsey and spatial awareness from Evans. That's pretty cool.
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||Romena Bowie|