Major League Soccer has their annual SuperDraft today, and it will be televised live on ESPN2 starting at 11am Central. Former Marquette midfielder Calum Mallace participated in the MLS Combine over the weekend and by all accounts impressed scouts around the league. Wisconsin Soccer Central collected the thoughts of six different mock drafts, and all six have Mallace being drafted in the 19 picks of the first round, going anywhere as high as 4th to Toronto FC to as far down as 18th to the Houston Dynamo. Back here in the SB Nation family, the MLS sites conducted a mock draft with each of the sites acting for their team. Mallace ended up going 17th to Real Salt Lake. Here's what Denzel Eslinger, managing editor of Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox, had to say about Mallace:
Real Salt Lake has been negotiating with MLS and Orlando City FC for months to finalize a move for Yordany Alvarez, but still a gap remains so with their first round pick they select Calum Mallace a 6-foot-2 defensive midfielder. Should they get the deal done for Alvarez, I think Mallace still brings value as a guy who looks like he could play on the backline as well as in the midfield. He was the 2011 Big East midfield player of the year, oh and an interesting thing is that he played in the Chicago Fire Youth system with several other players at the MLS Combine and who are expected to be taken in the 2012 MLS Draft.
Last note before we get started: Since MLS started up in 1993, there has never been a Marquette player taken in the draft.
Let's drop in two videos here. First, Soccer By Ives caught up with Mallace during the Combine.
Next, video from the last game of the Combine where Mallace scored a goal to help propel his adiPower team to a 4-1 win and a perfect 3-0 record. Mallace is on the red team here. The sequence leading to his goal starts at about the 4:42 mark.
After the jump: I live blog the MLS SuperDraft! At least until Mallace gets drafted.
(h/t to GoMarquette.com for both videos)
10:45 - Well, it hasn't started yet.
10:57 - I turned on ESPN2 and Skip Bayless was braying about Tim Tebow and "Christian phenomenons," so I started watching WWE Raw from Monday night off my DVR. I have no idea what Kane was talking about.
10:59 - Better turn on ESPN2 so I can see this from the start.
11:01 - We start with highlights from recent top picks.
11:02 - Adrian Healy, Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman are your coverage team from Kansas City.
11:03 - The expansion Montreal Impact is on the clock. Less than 3 minutes to go.
11:04 - And this is where I find out that each team gets a draft time out. Ok then.
11:07 - MLS Commissioner Don Garber announces Duke F Andrew Wenger as the #1 pick. Interestingly, because he's going to Montreal, Garber announced the pick in French first. Montreal Canadiens fans nod quietly in approval.
11:16 - Wegner joins the desk crew for a chat. I was going to complement MLS on handing out these team scarves as the guys take the stage to shake Garber's hand instead of stuffing them into a soccer jersey, but here's Wegner jammed into one. Oh well.
11:21 - As Toronto FC takes UC-Santa Barbara M Luis Silva with the 4th pick, I have Generation adidas explained to me. Excuse me while I try to wrap my brain around a shoe company guaranteeing college players money to finish school in exchange for leaving school early.
11:26 - I really like these scarves, and not just because it's currently snowing outside. Who's smart enough about soccer to give me a detail or two about why MLS went with the scarves?
11:35 - The Big East gets on the board with Louisville M Nick DeLeon going to DC United. Apparently DeLeon showed up out of shape at the Combine and then injured his quadricep in the physical testing. Nice job, Louisville.
11:38 - Lalas briefly mentions Mallace in a discussion of available players.
11:40 - Connecticut D Andrew Jean-Baptiste goes to the Portland Timbers. He's a Generation adidas guy, so he's leaving UConn after just 2 seasons. Marquette's life just got easier in terms of repeating as division champs.
11:43 - The Big East continues their run in the first round as the Chicago Fire select Louisville D Austin Berry with the 9th overall pick.
11:45 - A general synopsis of my reaction to every pick: CALUM CALUM CALUM [Garber says "from the University of"] AWWWWWWW WAIT PAY ATTENTION FOR A BIG EAST SCHOOL
11:50 - Creighton F Ethan Finlay from Marshfield, WI, goes to the Columbus Crew with the #10 pick. Apparently he showed up late for the Combine and missed his squad's first game, but then scored a hat trick in just 17 minutes in the second.
11:54 - Quick tip for MLS: If you're going to make the players attending the draft sit in rows of chairs, don't let them sit in the middle of a row. They look ridiculous crawling over people to get to the stage.
11:56 - Twellman describes UNC's Matt Hedges as running "like a deer getting out of a car."
11:57 - Notre Dame D Aaron Maund goes 12th to Toronto FC. This thing ain't getting all 39 picks in by the end of 2 hours.
12:13 - Hometown Sporting Kansas City takes South Florida F and Generation adidas member Dom Dwyer with the 16th pick. Gotta love guys leaving early to clear more space for Marquette. 3 picks left in the first round.
12:22 - Louisville F Colin Rolfe goes to the Houston Dynamo at #18. This name seems to ring a bell. [checks AE archives] Yep. That's the guy who scored the goal to eliminate MU from the Big East Championship. Jerk.
12:26 - LA Galaxy takes Indiana D Tommy Meyer to end the first round. Here's an odd note I've discovered while updating this: How is it that Darren Mattocks and Tony Cascio already have player pages here on SB Nation? Or, maybe more importantly, why are they the only two?
12:41 - MONTREAL IMPACT SELECT CALUM MALLACE! First pick of the second round! Lalas says that he was at the top of everyone's list for defensive minded midfielders.
12:42 - Todd Durbin, MLS VP of Player Relations and Competitions, is the one who announced Mallace's selection, as he replaces Don Garber, just like Adam Silver replaces David Stern at the NBA Draft.
1:00 - ESPN2 ends their coverage of the SuperDraft in favor of The Best Of Mike And Mike In The Morning. You suck, ESPN.