If you’re not near a TV this morning to watch the MLS SuperDraft that begins at 9 a.m. on ESPN2 you can follow along at this link.
Reporter Phil Collin has a preview from the Chivas USA and Galaxy perspective here.
I’ll update this post as warranted throughout the day.
No. 1 MLS draft pick Omar Salgado poses with MLS Commish Don Garber at today’s SuperDraft in Baltimore (Photo courtesy MLS).
BALTMORE (AP) — Omar Salgado, a 17-year-old forward on the U.S. Under-20 team, was selected by the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps on Thursday with the first pick in the Major League Soccer draft.
Salgado, who is from El Paso, Texas, spent 1 years with Chivas Guadalajara, then signed with MLS and was loaned to Vancouver for three months last summer when the team competed in the U.S. Soccer Federation Division 2.
Darlington Nagbe, a junior forward and midfielder who helped Akron win its first NCAA title, went to the expansion Portland Timbers with the No. 2 pick. Nagbe won the Hermann Trophy last week as the top men’s college soccer player.
Perry Kitchen, a freshman defensive midfielder on the Zips, was taken by D.C. United with the third pick.
Former UCLA forward Chad Barrett, 25, is heading back to Southern California with the Galaxy after Toronto deemed he was surplus to requirements today.
“We made this move to give us more flexibility in building our squad for the new season,” said Toronto FC Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter. “This creates more cap space which will help us create a team capable of playing the style of soccer we are looking for.”
Barrett made $212,000 last year, but was reportedly due a pay raise into the $300,000 range.
The six-year MLS veteran had 34 career regular season goals in 147 games with the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC.
A third round pick in the 2005 MLS draft, the Galaxy traded for him in exchange for “future considerations.”
Barrett played in college on the same forward line as former Chivas USA striker Matt Taylor.
The Galaxy are in dire need of attacking punch after losing top scorer Edson Buddle to a German club on Monday. They also picked up journeyman forward Adam Cristman from D.C. United earlier in the week.
Chivas USA has selected Akron’s Zarek Valentin, the younger brother of former Galaxy midfielder Julian Valentin, with the fourth pick in the first round of the draft.
The 5-11, 19-year-old defender is a U.S. youth international. He made more than 20 appearances for the U-20 U.S. team.
Valentin, who is fluent in Spanish, was ever-present last season for the national championship-winning Zips, making 25 appearances.
He joins fellow Akron products Ben Zemanski and Blair Gavin at Chivas USA.
Chivas USA sorely needed defensive reinforcements after finishing in the basement of the Western Conference last season.
Both Chivas USA and the Galaxy looked to South America for their 14th and 16th picks overall respectively in the first round of the draft.
Chivas USA took Victor Estupinan of Ecuador with a pick they received from Real Salt Lake.
The Galaxy selected 21-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Paolo Cardozo who plays in Argentina with Quilmes.
The Galaxy have picked up Bell Gardens High product Hector Jimenez out of Cal with their second round pick.
Chivas USA selected Brown University midfielder Jon Okafor with their third round pick (40th overall). The club’s draft is now done.
Okafar helped the Bears to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four-year career, scoring 14 goals and adding 23 assists. He ranked second on the team in scoring last year with five goals and scored Brown’s first goal in its 2-1 first-round NCAA victory over Boston College.
Brown finished the year 12-4-4 overall.
The Galaxy have one pick – the 50th overall – remaining.
The Galaxy have just traded that pick to D.C. United for United’s two first-round picks in the Supplemental Draft.
Updated: Chivas USA draft reaction
Here’s reaction to the Chivas USA draft picks from new Coach Robin Fraser:
“I’m really, really excited about [Valentin and Estupian]. Zarek is a proven winner, he’s a leader, he’s very vocal, has a very good understanding of the game, so I feel like he’s an important part of what we’re trying to do.
“Zarek was our number one choice. He’s a player that we identified that we wanted so badly. We talked so much about team, and building a team and the right characters – he’s got all that. … He’s got a really bright (future) and he’s a good part of this building process for us.”
“With Victor, he’s a little different than some of the other forwards we’ve seen. He does a lot of things that make us think that he has a lot of promise and a bright future ahead of him.”
Here’s what Valentin had to say about getting drafted by Chivas USA:
“That was probably the team I wanted to go to the most. I’ve actually seen Chivas play in Mexico a couple times, and seeing the atmosphere there with the whole team, and then actually seeing them play in L.A. a couple times, it’s just been amazing.
“My buddies Blair [Gavin] and Ben [Zemanski] play on the team, so it’s good to have them help me with everything, and I’ve only heard amazing things. I’m just very, very excited.”
Finally, here’s Chivas USA Interim GM Jose Domene on Estupian:
“We saw Victor Estupian back at the Combine. We thought he was very explosive. He could become a very strong, explosive player very quick. He’s good with his head, and I think we’re going to have patience with him to develop him to be a great soccer player for this team.
“How it happened was Salt Lake called us to see if we wanted to trade for the pick, we saw that Estupian was still there, and we decided to pull the trigger.”
Updated: Galaxy draft reaction
Here’s Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena on drafting Hector Jimenez from Bell Gardens:
“We actually rated him as the best right-sided player in the draft. He’s a local kid, went to the University of California and obviously we love to have those types at the Galaxy. We think he’s a very good player and being a local player is a plus.”
By the way, here’s the Galaxy’s Supplemental Draft positions after the trades the team made today: The Galaxy now have the 3rd and 16th picks in the first round, one second round selection (34th overall) and one third round selection (52nd overall).
That draft is set for Tuesday.