Whitecaps Superdraft analysis (Part 2)
Last week we looked at the good fortune that saw Darren Mattocks, the most talented player available, falling into the lap of the Vancouver Whitecaps at the number two selection, after the Montreal Impact opted to choose Andrew Wenger first overall.
What got lost a little amid the glamour at the top of the draft was another fine pick by the ‘Caps early in the second round, 21st overall, with Chris Estridge from Indiana University.
Vancouver was notably short in the midfield and defence in their inaugural season.
Although the midfield continues to be a concern, team management spearheaded by the pragmatic head coach Martin Rennie has taken several positive steps to shore up the back line.
The choice of Estridge was a very intelligent option as the young player will be a longer term prospect for future development.
He played as a right fullback for the Hoosiers, but is also two footed enough to provide flexibility on the left side of defence when required.
Upon closer look, the young defender has plenty of other positive characteristics that make him an exceptional draft choice for Vancouver.
At 5’ 11” tall, Estridge has good height for the back line, especially for an outside position as a fullback. He also has the ability to get forward well, evidenced by his personal stats of 3 goals and 5 assists in his senior year at Indiana.
The performances of the young American also earned him a place on the All-American First Team and the All-Big Ten Conference First Team.
After a shaky first season, the Vancouver Whitecaps needed to boost the confidence of their squad and the additions of Bonjour, Lee, Mattocks and now Estridge have provided the team with a number of newer accomplished players.
Observers should look forward to a much more competitive Whitecaps team for the coming season.