Every now and again in the world of sports, a player who was originally expected to be selected with a top-5 pick will slide way down on draft day. These experiences, which are incredibly uncomfortable/sad if the player is actually attending the draft (remember Brady Quinn and Aaron Rodgers?), generally end with a team giddily nabbing said "top-5" talent and proclaiming him the organization's savior.
In this year's MLS SuperDraft, the Fire picked a "top-5" talent at 13. And they stole a "top-15" player at 26. And though the Fire is pleased with their first and second round selections of midfielder Corben Bone and defender Kwame Watson Siriboe, the club understands that no rookie -- no matter how big of a steal he may have been -- is going to lead a veteran-laden roster to the MLS promiseland in 2010.
"[Bone and Watson-Siriboe] are two good players but it's a different environment here," Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas said. "Even though we believe in them and know that they have good qualities, they have to come in and prove themselves here because the level of play is much higher." So if Klopas isn't looking for the Fire's 2010 rookie class -- which also includes midfielder Drew Yates, defender Steven Kinney and goalkeeper Sean Johnson -- to come in and lead the team to a MLS cup, what does he expect from them?
"Every day they need to be competing and staying mentally strong," Klopas said. "We're happy they're with us and now its an opportunity for them to really come out and show what they can do and make the team."
Currently, the Fire has 21 of 24 roster spots accounted for. That leaves three spots open for Collins John and the five-man rookie class to compete for. It should also be noted that the Fire has filled all of their 20 senior-roster spots. So if the club does in fact sign John -- who will likely be counted as a senior international on the roster -- they will need to cut one of the other 20 senior players on the roster. That -- along with many other storylines -- will be something to watch as the Fire get deeper into preseason over the next few weeks.
Thanks for your continued support of Fire Confidential. I *should* (key word there...) be back for more at some point this afternoon.