New England Soccer Today

Supplemental talent

After the dust finally settled on the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, several promising college prospects were left still looking for a team. In Tuesday’s Supplemental Draft, they’ll get a second chance to find an MLS home.

Northern Kentucky's Steven Beattie is among the top prospects still available in Tuesday's Supplemental Draft. (Photo courtesy

For teams that may find themselves actively searching for depth,  they should be able to find it on Tuesday. In fact, a handful of players projected  to go as high as the first round in the SuperDraft remain available for the taking.

While some may question the talent level of the players who went unselected, it’s worth considering the reasons why some of them may have fallen by the wayside.

One possible reason: international status. It appears that several quality international players were bypassed thanks to the limited number of international roster spots many clubs were willing to expend on draft picks. With MLS clubs only carrying eight international roster slots, teams apparently shied away from all but a handful of those without a green card or U.S. citizenship.

While some teams may have had their own reasons for avoiding internationals, those reservations may be revised heading into the Supplemental Draft. Players selected in the SuperDraft are expected to sign and contribute. Anything short of that criteria is considered a wasted pick. In the Supplemental Draft, the pressure to find sure-fire contributors doesn’t exist.

If a team selects a player in the Supplemental Draft and decides they aren’t worth signing and taking up an international spot, hey, it’s no skin off it’s back. However, if a team lands a talented, underrated player like ex-Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman, who was drafted 58th in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft (which would now be part of the Supplemental Draft) they’ve come away with an amazing steal. If not, they’ve given up nothing by giving them a look. It’s a classic case of low-risk/high-reward.

And it’s not just internationals that can emerge from the depths of the Supplemental Draft. Former Revolution midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, who just won the MLS Cup and is currently training the U.S. National Team, was a fourth-round Supplemental Draft pick in 2005.

With that and mind, here’s a list of just a few of the talented players who will be available on Tuesday:


Josh Ford, 23, UConn, Liverpool, N.Y.

Ford holds several major goalkeeping records for UConn, including career shutouts and matches played. The 23-year-old posted an amazing 0.34 goals against average this year (first in the nation) as well as a .897 save percentage (second in the nation) and 11 shutouts. Ford was named to the All-Big East First Team and NCAA All-America Third Team as he helped lead the Huskies to the NCAA tournament as the 11 seed.

Jeff Attinella, 22, University of South Florida, Safety Harbor, Fla.

Attinella earned a tryout with Portuguese team Uniao de De Leiria in December after a standout college career with the Bulls. In 2009, as a junior, Attinella was a First Team All-America selection. He posted a .78 goals against average and a .810 save percentage as a senior.


Greg King, UConn, 23, Queensland, Australia (INTERNATIONAL)

After a solid combine, where he featured at left back, King was projected to go as high as the first round of the SuperDraft by some pundits. King was an All-Big East Third Team selection. The Australian defender is a former member of Australia’s U-20 team. The 23-year-old played in 79 matches in his four-year career at UConn.

Curtis Ushedo, 21, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mississauga, Ont. Canada (INTERNATIONAL)

The imposing 6’4” Ushedo is another projected first round SuperDraft selection that failed to find a club on Thursday. The Canada U-23 International was compared to Oguchi Onyewu by MLSSoccer’s Simon Borg. Ushedo was a three-time All-Conference USA selection.

Michael Boxall, 22, University of California-Santa Barabara, Auckland, New Zealand (INTERNATIONAL)

Yet another defender projected by some to go in the first round, Boxall’s stock dropped a bit at the combine after a lackluster showing. The central defender has international experience with New Zealand, playing in the 2007 U-20 World Cup and 2008 Olympics with the Kiwis. He was twice named to the All-Big West First Team.

Indy Smith, 22, Univeristy of North Carolina, Black Mountain, North Carolina

Smith was a Third Team All-American as a junior and a three time First Team All-ACC selection. He spent his senior season in high school training in Holland in SC Heerenveen’s youth program. At 6’4”, Smith is another imposing figure on the backline that could bolster a club’s defense.


Daniel Keat, 23, Dartmouth, Wellington, New Zealand (INTERNATIONAL)

After a solid Combine, Keat was predicted to go fairly high in the SuperDraft. The attacking midfielder captained New Zealand in the 2007 U-20 World Cup and has trialed with the English Premier League’s Blackburn Rovers. Keat was a unanimous All-Ivy First Team selection this year, an honor he also earned his freshman and junior seasons at Dartmouth. He was an All-Ivy League Second Team selection after an injury-plagued sophomore year. In 2010, he recorded four goals and an assist in 16 matches for Dartmouth as they advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ashley McInnes, 23, University of Tulsa, Aberdeen, Scotland (INTERNATIONAL)

Another projected first-rounder, McInnes, a speedy winger/forward had an impressive career at Tulsa. McInnes had 12 goals his senior year to go along with four assists. As a junior, McInnes tallied nine goals and added eight assists. He was Conference USA MVP in 2009 and Player of the Year in 2008, as well as a first team All-Conference USA Selection in 2010.

Lebogang Pila, 22, St. Peter’s College, Johannesburg, South Africa (INTERNATIONAL)

Pila, another surefire SuperDraft selection, had an impressive senior season at St. Peter’s. The center midfielder tallied eight goals and nine assists in 2010 and was named MAAC Tournament MVP and was a two-time First Team All-MAAC selection. Despite his impressive offensive numbers, Pila is a physical defensive presence in the midfield.

J.C. Banks, 21, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Milwauke, Wisconsin

Banks had a standout career at Wisconsin, and showed well at this year’s Combine with some quality crosses from the right. In his junior year, Banks had 13 goals and 10 assists in 20 games, and earned Horizon League Player of the Year. He added another 12 goals as a senior, finishing his career with 35 goals and 18 assists in 77 games.

Matheus Braga, 24, Penn State, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (INTERNATIONAL)

A two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection, Braga turned a number of heads with a sensational 17 assists in 2010. He finished his three-year career with the Nittany Lions with 12 goals and 28 assists, but a poor Combine hurt his SuperDraft stock.


Steven Beattie, 22, Northern Kentucky, Skerries, Ireland (INTERNATIONAL)

Perhaps the most intriguing player available, Beattie dominated at the Division II level, earning NSCAA National DII Player of the Year  in 2010.  Beattie totaled 77 goals and 30 assists in 90 games over his four-year career. He produced an incredible 26 goals and 16 assists in 25 games as a senior and earned just about every honor possible at the D-II level. Beattie was also impressive in the PDL, scoring 7 goals in 14 games for the Cincinnati Kings during the 2010 season. Impressed with his performances, his PDL coach predicted that Beattie would be a first-round SuperDraft pick.

Philip Bannister, 22, Loyola University, Wallsend, England (INTERNATIONAL)

Bannister had an impressive career at Loyola, tallying 40 goals and 29 assists in 69 games. He was on pace for a career year as a senior with 10 goals and an assist in just nine games until an injury cut his season short. He was a first team All-MAAC selection as a sophomore and senior and led all Division I freshman in scoring in 2007 with 13 goals and seven assists

Amani Walker, 21, University of California-Irvine, San Diego, Calif.

The Big West Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2010 and two-time First Team All-Big East selection scored 11 goals and added two assists as a senior. At 6’2”, Walker provides a big target in the box and is a former member of the Jamaica U-20 National Team. He was recently named to Soccer America’s MVPs second team. He finished his career with 27 goals and 11 assists.

Aaron O’Neal, 21, Boston University, Virginia Beach, VA.

O’Neal was a First Team All-America East Conference selection as a junior and senior. He had his best year in 2009 when he tallied 11 goals and four assists. He also earned America East Rookie of the Year in 2007. The Terrier finished his four-year career with 27 goals and 15 assists.

Leave a Reply