Frank Klopas and the Fire technical staff committed highway robbery yesterday. Not only did the Fire pick up Corben Bone and Kwame Watson-Siriboe in the draft much, much later than they were projected to go, but they also began to fill two of the team's bigger needs in the process.
Assuming they have what it takes to cut it in MLS, both Bone (an attacking midfielder) and Watson-Siriboe (a center back) should find themselves with opportunities to earn some playing time in 2010. Bone will hopefully progress enough that he can become the facilitator needed in the midfield of an one-touch passing attack. Watson-Siriboe should provide more of a stopgap role in the central defense this season, filling in when C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde or Dasan Robinson can't go.
Another bonus to adding Watson-Siriboe is the security he provides come next offseason. The Fire could lose both C.J Brown (who considered retirement this offseason) and Wilman Conde (who will be out of contract) after the 2010 campaign and will need some help at centerback should that happen. I also liked what the Fire did after their first two picks. Midfielder Drew Yates (a Maryland product) has a lot of college experience and should be able to step into the team and push some of the player's currently on the Fire's roster.
I also liked the addition of goalkeeper Sean Johnson out of the University of Central Florida. Only a sophomore, Johnson has experience on the U.S.'s U-20 National Team and is absolutely massive in net, coming in at 6'4", 220. It remains to be seen whether or not the Fire will keep three goalkeepers (they cut Nick Noble halfway through last year to bring the number of goalies on the roster to two) but at the very least, the pick of Johnson will add a little extra motivation to the already intense Jon Busch and Andrew Dykstra.
Rounding out the Fire's rookie class is defender Steven Kinney out of Elon University. Kinney, who the Fire picked with the 45th overall selection, performed very well at the combine. He was also a four-year starter at Elon, where he was co-captain during his senior season.
"This is a great honor to go on to the next step," Kinney told WFMY News Channel 2. "The combine was one step, this is the next step and now I have to go to preseason camp and perform. I feel that Elon and Coach Powell definitely prepared me for this next experience. I think Coach has given me the keys to be successful at the next level and I am confident in my ability."
The Fire should be very pleased with their 2010 draft class. They got two very talented players that somehow slid to them at the top of the draft and filled their selections out nicely with a solid mix of talent. We'll see who sticks with the club after the team's training camp closes, but my early reaction is that the Fire did a very good job with yesterday's draft.