With the SuperDraft now only a matter of a couple of weeks away the Generation Adidas class for this year is starting to take place. With Toronto FC picking at 4th overall in the draft it would be worthwhile to take some time and learn about all the players on this list because they will all be potential targets for Toronto FC.
At this stage we now have 5 names being confirmed as having accepted Generation Adidas contracts which means that there will be some strong talent on a GA contract available when TFC picks at number 4. It is likely that this years top two picks, belonging to the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps, will be Andrew Wenger and Darren Mattocks as both are now signed on with MLS.
Both Wenger and Mattocks were being linked to moves overseas but with them having signed GA contracts they will at least be spending some time in MLS. Almost every draft board has these two guys listed as the clear top two picks so they are not really names that TFC fans need to look at all that closely expect for the fact that they will likely be playing for Canadian rivals.
With those two names likely coming off the board right away who does that leave for Toronto FC to possibly pick up at number 4?
Today we got word that UCLA's standout midfielder Kelyn Rowe has accepted his Generation Adidas contract. Rowe is one of the players who I have been keeping an eye on as a potential option for Toronto FC at this pick. He is probably the best play-maker available in this draft and if he does make a quick adjustment to the increased physicality of playing in an MLS midfield he could contribute right away. With Eric Avila already being in place for TFC many fans might not want to see the Reds pick up a player like Rowe but in my eyes it is a move that would make a lot of sense. Having Avila there allows the team to ease Rowe in and it gives them much better depth in that position then having to move Ryan Johnson or Peri Marosevic to a central position.
The other two names that have been reported to have accepted Generation Adidas contract offers are Chandler Hoffman and Sam Garza. Hoffman is the player who I think will be the most appealing to the New England Revolution as they are a team that is in need of help in many areas but one of their biggest areas of need is at forward. Hoffman is another UCLA player who decided to turn pro early and should be able to make a contribution straight away. He is coming off a 2011 season which saw him score 18 times in 24 appearances for the Bruins. It was his best season by far at the NCAA level and saw him move up many people's draft boards. Hoffman is no where near the talent that Mattocks seems to be but he could be a solid MLS forward in a similar mould to former Rev Taylor Twellman.
Sam Garza is another forward option who I fully expect Toronto FC to pass on even with him signing a Generation Adidas contract. His inclusion on the list is actually a bit of a surprise to me after he had a fairly poor season last year for UCSB. He only managed to score 8 goals in his 24 appearances last year which was quite a bit down from his totals the previous year. Some team must have still seen enough in him to push for him to be offered a GA contract but I just hope it was not TFC as the team needs help more at positions other than forward.
With five players now on the Generation Adidas list it still leaves space for the potential of a couple more additions. From what I can gather, the other two names that we can expect to be added to the list in the coming days are Billy Schuler and Enzo Martinez, both of North Carolina. The pair of Tar Heels are both reportedly looking at options for heading overseas but will have to decide on their GA contract in the coming days. Schuler is another talented forward who does not really fit Toronto FC's needs but Martinez is a midfielder with a similar skill set to Rowe. Martinez has some immigration issues that would need to be resolved for him to sign a GA contract but if the reports of him being offered one are true that would indicate it is all taken care of. From what I have seen of him this past year he is another creative midfielder who is capable of being a very good passer from the attacking position in the midfield triangle. I rate Rowe more highly but Martinez is not far behind.
So if those are indeed the seven names who sign GA contracts for this years draft, then they are the names that Toronto FC should be looking at with the 4th pick. If TFC had pushed for a defender to be on the list they likely would have gotten included so like it or not it does not seem like the Reds are eyeing a defender at number 4. I am fine with that though as if you look at the 10 best talents available in the draft, not many are actually defenders. The team would be better off taking a player like Rowe or Martinez.