Drafty thoughts, take 1

One thing I am hoping to accomplish with this blog is to learn some patience when it comes to writing about my reactions to sports. In the case of the 2010 draft, however, I don’t see how giving myself another day to mull things over is going to change much. I did get to sit through the whole five hours yesterday, and I did not do much else with my day.

I think I might be one of the few people who prefers the Twitter and video clip approach over a live video feed of the draft. At least in the WNBA, the procedure of the draft requires a lot of downtime. I can appreciate that, because the draft is an important time for young athletes and their families, and to some extent for the teams’ staffs and media. But I feel as though the online chatter fleshes things out enough without wasting time and resources on a process that requires a lot of visually dull moments. I am okay with waiting for the clips to hit Vimeo and YouTube or for the traditional photos to find their way into galleries. The uniform unveiling is a different story, but I will leave that for another post.

Here are the draft results. I have not checked my feeds yet this morning, but likely everyone and their mothers have already recapped. The pre-draft trade of Tarpley and Loyden might have thrown some predictions off. This selection or that might have been unexpected. This team or that might have drafted perfectly to suit whatever needs were exposed last year. Et cetera.

The past two years, it’s been very nice to know the top pick ahead of time. We really only have to anticipate the draft actually starting rather than wondering whose name will be called first. The excitement of selections begins with the second pick–in this case, Lauren Cheney. Leave it to Boston to play it safe and take the next available gold medalist. In my last entry, I wrote that I thought Boston would take Nikki Marshall, who was instead selected by Washington. What I didn’t mention was that if Boston didn’t take Marshall, I expected them to take Alyssa Naeher instead, which they did at the end of the first round. The Cheney pick leaves me apathetic–after all, she could end up like Rodriguez–but Naeher has played under DiCicco quite a bit. I was not too impressed with Boston’s keepers last year (Lipsher was good, but it took her a while to get there) so I had hoped they would address that in this draft. I think most people assumed Harris was the top keeper in the draft, but having watched Naeher at Penn State and with the U-20 national team, she is the one I feel most comfortable with in goal. You should have seen her in that championship game against Korea.

So, Marshall was still on the table until Washington picked her up at #7. I have to say, I expected them to take Becky Edwards. And I have to say, I am happy with Marshall in Washington and Edwards in the Bay. I did not see much of Marshall with Colorado–only one or two games–but I did enjoy her performance in 2008 and her continued success in 2009. She would be a solid addition to any team, and I think she will serve an important role in stabilizing things in Washington. There seemed to be a lot of personnel movement last season. Washington also took Caitlin Miskel much later. Not surprising, as she stood out at the couple of W-League games I saw last summer.

Since I am not going in any particular order here, I am mostly going to skip Chicago’s picks. My partner here has much more informed opinions on the Red Stars. I will say I am jealous that CRS got Kelsey Davis. FC Gold Pride needed a new backup keeper, and I think she would have been a good fit. Her role with FCGP definitely would have been as the #2, though, and I wouldn’t necessarily rank her behind Loyden for CRS.

Loyden’s move left a gap in Saint Louis that was filled with Ashlyn Harris. Considering how often she seems to have been injured the past few years, not being in competition for the starting role might be a good thing. And just as an aside, a last note on the keepers in the draft, I read that USC’s Olsen pulled out of the draft. Interesting, if it’s true.

Again, I don’t have much to say about LA. For one, they are in limbo so far as a coach goes. For another, Naimo makes solid decisions and has picked up a good crew in this draft. The first four picks for LA were all members of the U-20 national team in 2008, and the fifth is a U-23 and one of the best players in Santa Clara’s graduating class. The other top Bronco was picked up by Boston–and I mean Reynolds, not Angeli. Angeli is an excellent player, but often injured. Best of luck there, Breakers.

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