There's a scene in the musical 1776 where John Adams is at somewhat of a low point. Adams and Ben Franklin praise Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence only to see it mutilated by the members of the Continental Congress. There is amendment after amendment, crossout after crossout, desecration after desecration. Even after all these abominable alterations, the Continental Congress is in majority approval but passage requires unanimous consent. The future second President of the United States was so far along in his dream of united colonies and yet still so far away. If you are having trouble capturing just how he felt, think about the Fire being a team with such great momentum at the end of 2012 but in the end losing in the U.S. Open Cup and falling three points of short of reaching the playoffs. It's just like being so close to founding the Western world's first democracy since ancient Greece.
At this point in the the musical, Adams reads over a later arriving letter from Continental Army Commander-in-Chief George Washington. The future first President of the United States has written Congress asking if any of them care about his army's lack of supplies and bitter struggle. Washignton hasn't received anything he has asked for in quite some time. Adams (best portrayed as the actor my generation knows as Mr. Feeney although Paul Giamatti was eh-okay recently) reads Washington's letter again and again before finally bursting into song:
Is anybody there?Does anybody care?Does anybody see what I see?
Adams' words and his plight sum up today's MLS Supplemental Draft... right down to that damn Quaker taking away all the attention.
You would have to be as aloof as King George III was to the American colonies to ignore some of the potential players available in today's Supplemental Draft. This year, the commissioner's office decided to fold the 3rd Round of the MLS SuperDraft into the 1st round of the MLS Supplemental Draft. That means any pick that was No. 39 overall or lower in past SuperDrafts is now No. 1 overall in Supplemental. How good have some of those later picked players been? I give you the best 13 players since 2008. Who I might add, could break away and form a halfway decent independent squad if you get where I'm going with that.
No. 39 in 2010: Chris Schuler - 1,728 career minutes
No. 40 in 2008: Stephen King - 3,770 career minutes
No. 40 in 2009: Darrius Barnes - 6,653 career minutes
No. 41 in 2009: Danny Cruz - 2,621 career minutes
No. 42 in 2008: Geoff Cameron - 7,822 career minutes
No. 44 in 2010: Eric Alexander - 2,521 career minutes
No. 46 in 2008: Brandon McDonald - 7,338 career minutes
No. 46 in 2009: Michael Fucito - 1,092 career minutes
No. 47 in 2010: Ben Zemanski - 3,599 career minutes
No. 48 in 2008: Steven Lenhart - 4,146 career minutes
No. 49 in 2011: Joao Plata - 1,753 career minutes
No. 51 in 2010: Sean Johnson - 2,520 career minutes
No. 63 in 2010: Shaun Francis - 1,421 career minutes
That's not a bad group of players right there. However, the picks do skew towards the No. 40s. There's isn't much to show for anything after No. 52. Considering the fact that a MLS SuperDraft 3rd Round would have extended into pick No. 57, you can't blame the league for cutting things back. If and when Supplemental Draft picks are successful, it makes it that much of a better story to boot.
The Fire will have the following picks to work with this afternoon at 1:00 PM CST if the Supplemental Draft just continued to have the same overall numbers as the MLS SuperDraft.
No. 53 (acquired in USMNT allocation ranking trade to Seattle where Seattle signed Sammy Ochoa)
None (traded what turned out to be No. 66 to Chivas USA for Yamith Cuesta)
Don't be surprised if the Fire use their No. 85 and No. 104 picks for the famous 'PASS' player. D.C. United was the first team to pass with the 93rd overall pick between the MLS SuperDraft and MLS Supplemental Draft in 2011. This year's two drafts combine for 114 picks. Some teams would rather 'pass' than go through the trouble of getting a kid's family's hopes up and then deliver the bad news later on. Most of the later draft players realize they are being drafted essentially to be sparring partners in pre-season for MLS. Frank Klopas said he plans to have a small group of players (around 30) so he may not even have sparring partners in camp. With that in mind, here is a list of players that have an outsider's chance of making the Chicago Fire if selected.
1. Kirk Urso: former Chicago Sockers and Chicago Fire PDL. Hails from Lombard, IL. Projects to be a center back in MLS even though he played defensive midfielder in college. Might be too slow and undersized at 5'11 for MLS center back. Captained NCAA Champions University of North Carolina
2. R.J. Allen: hails from Old Bridge, New Jersey. Plays right back and could help backup Dan Gargan and Gonzalo Segares
3. Andy Rose: originally from England now has a green card. Fits Urso's profile as a defensive mid/center back who captained their big state squad (UCLA in Rose's case). Bigger than Urso at 6'2, 170 pounds.
4. Mykell Bates: from Roseville, California. Attended Santa Clara University and plays right back. Scouts say it's a toss up between Allen and Bates.
5. Oliver Kupe: forward who played at Northwestern. Way over drafted him in SB Nation's Mock Draft. 6'3 forward with international background and a reputation for not backing down under pressure.
6. James Kiffe
7. Evan James
8. Brian Ownby
9. Miguel Ibarra
10. Jason Banton
11. Tony Walls
12. Luke Holmes
13. Evans Frimpong
14. Arthur Ivo
15. Brian Rowe
16. Brian Holt
17. Eder Arreola
18. Michael Green
19. Bryan Gaul
20. Rafael Garcia
The draft is one of MLS' conference call drafts. These tend to be lightning quick. Everything might wrap-up around 1:30 PM CST. Of last year's Chicago Fire late selections, only Davis Paul (No. 51) made the team. He played 45 minutes in one game against the LA Galaxy and was waived before mid-season. Jason Herrick (No. 45), Amani Walker (No. 63), and Yannick Salmon (No. 81) were all cut in pre-season. Sam Arthur (No. 99) stayed in school at South Carolina and to my knowledge has never even trained with the team. History may not be in the players' favor but it's not entirely unheard of that the Fire could come up with something.