PBPP: College Cup Offers Glimpse Into Future

Dellacamera: NCAA champs Akron ripe with MLS talent

Just returned from my third College Cup, and must say that this one was better than the previous two. We had four worthy teams, some good
stories, and some talented players, some of whom we will see in the 2011 MLS
season.

While I didn’t see anyone who
reminded me of Danny Mwanga this weekend in Santa Barbara, I did see some
players who could be good at the next level.

Two of those players play for
the champion Akron Zips, forward Darlington Nagbe and right back Kofi Sarkodie. I would expect both of
those players to be in the top ten, and closer to top five than bottom five in
the January SuperDraft.

Akron actually have several
other underclassmen who would become potential draft choices if
they decide to leave school early. I’m putting central defender Zarek Valentin and midfielder Michael
Nanchoff into that category. Nanchoff might have been the most impressive player to watch this
weekend in terms of looking ready for the next level. The left-footed midfielder seemed to
have a good touch, good awareness and skill. Both his dad and uncle were former Akron All-Americans and
ex-professional players in the older version of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

For the upcoming SuperDraft,
the Union currently have the fifth pick and no other first-rounders. They are not in the same
position as a year ago when they had those three first-round picks.

Assuming Philadelphia holds on
to this pick, at number five they may just go for the best player available as
opposed to selecting for a particular position. In either case, there should be a very good player available
at number five.

Last year, Mwanga was
an outstanding Rookie of the Year candidate, but the team also received good
contributions from other first-round picks Amobi Okugo and Jack
McInerney. A third-rounder Kyle
Nakazawa also played some meaningful minutes. Second-round selection Toni Stahl did not play much in 2010, but remains a part of the roster.

Union fans can’t expect the
same out of this draft because there is only one first-round pick, as of this
moment.

Knowing the way the Union
scout the colleges, and seeing just some of the available talent this weekend
at the College Cup, I am anxious to see Philly’s choice as well as who
goes number one overall.

Full season ticket plans are on sale now for the 2011 season! CLICK HERE for more information on becoming a Union season ticket holder.

Related:

Initial List of adidas MLS Player Combine Invitees