Wednesday, December 8, 2010

D.C. United takes Joseph Ngwenya in the MLS Re-entry Draft, Aaron Hohlbein selected by the Crew. Seattle Sounders FC pass on their selection

By Money Mike:

As part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement reached last offseason, all MLS clubs participated in the first ever MLS re-entry draft. If you guys don't know what it is, the re-entry draft is where teams can select players whose options were not exersised by their respective clubs or whose contracts expired. That's all I know of course.

There were only 2 picks made in the first stage of this years re-entry draft. D.C. United selected forward Joseph Ngwenya from the Houston Dynamo and the Columbus Crew selected Aaron Hohlbein from Sporting Kansas City (formally the Kansas City Wizards). All 16 other clubs including Seattle Sounders FC passed on their selections.

Ngwenya was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft and had a pretty successful rookie season, scoring 4 goals in 22 appearances. In 2005, he was bothered by injury and came away empty handed in his second season. He also played for the Columbus Crew, SK Austria Karnten (Austria), Antayaspor (Turkey), and of course the Houston Dynamo and has also capped 5 times for the Zimbabwe national team. His performance in 2011 could be the factor to D.C. United's attacking front who scored only 21 goals in 2010.

Hohlbein adds depth to Columbus's back line after the departure of veterans, Frankie Hejduk and Gino Pedula. He struggled in his first 2 seasons with Kansas City, making only 19 appearances total. In 2009, he started in all 22 games he played and also scored 2 goals. He finished as the top scoring defender for the team that year. In 2010, he lost his starting job to Craig Rocastle and made only 2 appearances before being loaned out to Miami FC of the United Soccer Leagues where he made 10 appearances.

I'm pretty surprised that there were only 2 players selected. Especially with veterans like, Jeff Cunningham, Claudio Lopez, Frankie Hejduk, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Juan Pablo Angel, Jimmy Conrad, and Josh Wolff that are available. I don't understand why the other 16 teams decided not to selected anybody in this first stage. Tyrone Marshall is also available for the re-entry draft after his option with Seattle wasn't picked up. The second stage will take place next wednesday and the players I just mentioned will remain available for the next stage. Remember, the draft will continue until all 18 clubs have passed on the available players.

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