Ten Best: Draft picks
September 18, 2007

It's easy to criticize Metro's draft picks over the years, in fact we did so before. But what about the other side of the coin, the Ten Best draft picks in Metro history? Draft position counts -- succeeding for lower picks is valued more than for higher picks, and performance with Metro counts much more than performance elsewhere.

  • 10) Joe Vide: 5th (Suppelmental), 2006
    Don't let the "5" fool you, like it fools the idiot Max Bretos on the Fox Soccer Channel: since Vide was a supplemental draft pick, that 5 is really a 53. So considering that 52 players were drafted ahead of him, Metro did just fine. He might not light up the stat sheet, but Joe has proven a more than serviceable defensive midfielder who has done his fair share in shutting down opponents' offenses the past few months.

  • 9) Dane Richards: 19th, 2007
    To use draft-day lingo, Richards might have a tremendous upside, but he's already good enough to have started 22 matches in his rookie campaign after beating up World Cup veteran Markus Schopp for the right winger job. Now, if he only learns to shoot better and make smarter final decisions -- and stays with the team a bit longer -- Dane has an excellent chance to move up this list.

  • 8) Ricardo Clark: 2nd, 2003
    After the pathetic disappointment of taking Steve Shak first overall in 2000, Metro had to wait three years to draft again in the top two -- and with Alecko Eskandarian being the obvious number one selection, many were calling for Bob Bradley to move up to that slot and draft the Jersey forward. But Bradley stood firm, took Clark at number two, and didn't regret it, as Ricardo became a starter from the get-go. He did hit the rookie wall, and his form did dip a bit in 2004, but it wasn't easy for Bradley to part with the youngster, as the league forced him to deal Clark to San Jose for an allocation used to sign Youri Djorkaeff.

  • 7) Rodrigo Faria: 13th, 2001
    When Metro drafted him in the second round, everyone let out a collective gasp of "Who?" Not on anyone's draft board, there were rumors that Octavio Zambrano asked Rodrigo to tank the combine to keep the Brazilian from unheralded Concordia College secret. Faria became Metro's first -- and only -- MLS Rookie of the Year, leading the team with eight goals during his inaugural campaign and then with 12 in 2002. He was dealt to Chicago as compensation for Bob Bradley.

  • 6) Michael Bradley: 36th, 2004
    We laughed at the cries of nepotism then, and we laugh at them now, as the younger Bradley starts for a top Dutch team Heerenveen, as well as the US national team -- and he's only 20. His lone healthy season with Metro, 2005, will forever be remembered for Michael's game-winner against Chivas in the must-win regular season finale... coming less than two weeks after his father was fired. Soon after, he became the youngest MLS player to be sold, and when it happened, Alexi Lalas said that "the MetroStars will benefit in the future from this decision". We are still waiting on that, Alexi.

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