The Black-and-Red had three picks in the first two rounds of this year’s SuperDraft and the focus was clearly defense. After making several moves last season to boost a once stagnant attack, D.C. United put it’s attention on adding depth to the back end of the formation.
Patrick Mullins and Taylor Kemp should feel nothing but pride on the team’s First Round selection in Chris Odoi-Atsem, from their alma matter of the University of Maryland. Odoi-Atsem fits a need as D.C. United doesn’t have great depth behind Sean Franklin and Taylor Kemp, the youngster played multiple positions across the backline in college. He’ll most likely play out wide at either back, but ost see his most natural fit at right back. The DeMatha grad is a very good in 1v1 situations and brings great pace which will surely help. Last season at times, D.C. United struggled with teams that had dynamic players out wide.
That’s a great look for the Black-and-Red, last season when Franklin was out due to injuries, midfielder Nick DeLeon stepped up in his absence and started several games at right back. He’s not as offensive minded as Kemp at this time, but he has two backs to learn from in his rookie season. D.C. United turned down a trade from the New York Red Bulls to stay at 12 and select the Terrapin.
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 13, 2017
Following the selection of Odoi-Atsem, the Black-and-Red took Eric Klenofsky in the Second Round. The goal keeper from Monmoth was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, at 6’6 he provides quite a presence in net. He’ll probably be trying to beat out Charlie Horton for the right to be the third keeper on the roster behind Bill Hamid and Travis Worra. Klenofsky recorded 32 shutouts during his collegiate career, almost half the number of his career starts.
In their last selection of the Second Round, D.C. United selected Jo Vetle Rimstad, a defender from Radford. He will surely have an uphill battle to make the roster as Steve Birnbaum and Bobby Boswell are the starters, with Kofi Opare and even Jalen Robinson in front of him as options.
The object in any draft, no matter the sport is to land impact players. D.C. United certainly did that with their first selection in Odoi-Atsem who should definitely see action this year. Klenofsky gets an opportunity to be an understudy to one of the best keepers in the league in Hamid, he’s also insurance in case a team offers a good deal for Worra who is still young as well.
The Black-and-Red still have one more selection in this year’s SuperDraft, the Third and Fourth rounds will take place via conference call on Tuesday.