Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Myers vs Nyarko with 20/20 Hindsight

Three years ago the Kansas City Wizards passed over the best offensive threat in the MLS Draft in favor of California boy Chance Myers as the #1 overall pick in the draft. Both players had impressive college careers, but the general consensus was that Nyarko was probably the most talented offensive player in the 2008 draft, the best Virgina Tech had ever produced.

I certainly thought so. I wanted the Wizards to pick him badly.

Instead, for whatever reason, they picked Chance Myers. I rather think it was a money move as Myers was a "Generation Adidas" player. Essentially Adidas pays his salary for a few years in hopes he'll become a league star while wearing their shoes. Strangely enough, Nyarko didn't get picked until Chicago nabbed him 7th overall.

So, after three seasons, let's compare their stats:

Myers has played in 20 league games since being drafted three years ago amassing only about 900 minutes battling a foot injury and mono during his first two years. He has started just 7 of those 20 games scoring 1 assist. He has been given many chances to prove himself at the end of last season and again at the beginning of this new campaign. He looks very uncomfortable considering this is his third year with the club.

Nyarko has played in 49 league games since being drafted three years ago amassing close to 2800 minutes. He has 5 goals and 7 assists over that span. So far this season he has played almost every minute of the first 6 games and has notched 4 key assists for the Fire. He is clearly on his way up in the league at age 24. Incidentally, Nyarko has proven to be the most productive pick of the 2008 draft so far.

The Wizards are my team so I really wish Myers well and hope he turn things around. As a coach however, I don't see him possessing the tools necessary to be a solid professional player. He lacks touch on the ball and has little confidence with his left foot. I am sure he was the star of his college team and likely played in the center. He doesn't have the dribbling skills and moves to play center (D,M, or F) professionally, so he's out on the wing. He looks lost. He either finds a way to become a threat on the wing or his days in MLS are numbered. At this point he's a draft bust.

had the benefit of playing up top for the Fire almost from day one in 2008. He also had Blanco to play off for his first two years. His coaches have utilized him well and he is developing on schedule to be a premier forward in the league as he gets in to his mid twenties.
Here's the thing in hindsight- if we wanted Myers, I am sure he would have been available in the draft later. We also had the 11th pick in 2008. We should have picked Nyarko #1, Myers would have still been there at #11 (0r maybe even #23, our next pick).

Then again, we picked Roger Espinoza #11. Espy did nothing but get red cards for the Wizards his first two years as a midfielder. This season he has settled in as one of the best transition defenders the Wizards have (maybe the best).

Obviously drafting young players is a crap shoot, but boy would I like to have Patrick Nyarko now. Hindsight truly is 20/20.

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