Already feeling draft-deprived.

I have been avoiding WPS draft talk since the middle of the college season for a variety of reasons. Let’s narrow it down to my superstitions and leave it at that. This is the same reason I avoided filling out tournament brackets for years, so the excuse will hold up under scrutiny.

It’s a bad idea to blog and publish when you’re upset. At least in this case, what I am writing about isn’t what’s upsetting me, although writing about the draft flies in the face of my usual fannish behavior. For the record, the upsetting bit is that I might not get to follow the draft live this year. It’s a very upsetting possibility.

Last year, despite being in the area, I did not go to the draft. I don’t think there was snow, but I do remember it being frigid. I stayed indoors and followed the draft on Twitter like most everyone else. Even so, it was amazing. I hadn’t dared to tell anyone who I wanted “my” team to draft. When they did draft her, and in the first round, the excitement exploded and just kept rolling with every new pick. The WNBA drafts were never as much fun for me as the WPS college draft was.

This year, I feel more invested and better educated. I have been looking forward to this draft since August. And now I am going to jinx myself.

The thing about drafts (I always have to remind myself) is that a team should draft the best available player to serve its needs. The Rodriguez pick last year didn’t seem to fit that mold for Boston–and obviously, teams don’t always draft to fill a spot so much as to serve other functions. I think the projected top pick this year (Tobin Heath to Atlanta) could serve as both a best-fit and other-function role. And although I don’t think she is the Number 1 pick from the college seniors this year, I do hope Atlanta proves everyone right and takes her. I have selfish reasons.

I think Boston will take Colorado’s Nikki Marshall, simply based on a mid-season quote from Coach DiCicco. I wish I could remember where I read it, but since then, I have been convinced that she will be Boston’s top pick. She impressed me a lot in 2008 (and again in 2009), but people seem to forget about her when they talk about the draft.

My top pick for this 2010 group is Kelley O’Hara. For that reason, I hope Atlanta passes her up. I can say almost certainly that Boston doesn’t want her. And I can say almost certainly that FC Gold Pride would be crazy to pass up a proven goal scorer with ties to the team. The team seems to need that intensity, now that DiMartino has been traded away. Of course, as an FCGP fan, I recognize that FCGP does tend to make crazy personnel decisions, but I’m tired of crossing my fingers.

After this, I would think that Noguiera would go to Chicago. That’s looking at it with American soccer logic, though. She played for UNC, of course she must be a high pick. From another angle, Chicago does seem to like those Santa Clara Broncos. Surely they might consider one of the less injury-prone graduating seniors.

LA Sol are next? I won’t even pretend to have Naimo’s magic powers. He gets three picks this round, and I don’t see LA’s selection at 5 affecting Sky Blue FC at 6 or Washington at 7. Beyond the top three, I don’t have a wish list, and once LA is on the board, I can’t even guess. If my top three hold–even if only two of the three hold–this year’s draft would be just as exciting as last year’s.

I really want to follow it live, though. The magic just isn’t there if it’s not in real-time.


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