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For Chivas USA, It's a No-Wynne Situation in Draft

L.A. team trades rights to the No. 1 pick and the MetroStars tab UCLA defender as top choice of latest MLS player crop.

January 21, 2006|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Coach Bob Bradley of Chivas USA had the No. 1 pick in Friday's Major League Soccer draft and the freedom to choose any player he wanted.

Instead, Bradley traded the selection to the team he used to coach, the MetroStars, who promptly made Marvell Wynne, a UCLA and former U.S. under-20 national team defender, the top player chosen.

Chivas USA got the fifth pick in the first round from the MetroStars and used it to draft Seton Hall midfielder Sacha Kljestan of Huntington Beach, a teammate of Wynne's on the U.S. under-20 team.

The MetroStars also gave Chivas USA right-sided defender Jason Hernandez.

Bradley drafted only one player, taking UCLA winger Jonathan Bornstein of Los Alamitos with the first pick of the fourth round, the 37th overall choice.

"Coming into the draft with [only] two picks, we were looking to acquire several players who could make an immediate impact on our team," Bradley said.

"It was good ... to trade the first pick because we got three excellent players and not just two. Jason is a great defender. I like the way Sacha sees the game and the way that Jonathan moves on the left side."

Kljestan is a spindly 6 feet 1 and 150 pounds but scored 20 goals and assisted on 28 others in 60 games for Seton Hall.

If Chivas USA's draft was quick and easy, the defending MLS champion Galaxy's day was a bit longer at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, site of the draft.

Coach Steve Sampson selected five players, starting with Clemson defender Nathan Sturgis, the 12th player taken overall, yet another U.S. under-20 international.

The Galaxy also drafted Maryland forward Marc Burch (24th overall), Ohio State central defender Kyle Veris (25th overall), Bradley goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath (36th overall) and North Carolina forward Aaron King (48th overall).

Sturgis, 18, from St. Augustine, Fla., is 5-10 and only 150 pounds, but Sampson was impressed by his composure on the ball.

"The beauty of Sturgis over other players in the draft is his great ease [in allowing others] to play through him," Sampson said. "His first touch is outstanding. He has the ability to make good decisions on the ball. He has the ability to make not only the short pass but the long pass with great accuracy.

"And he's a lot more mature than his age. He plays heads-up, directing his defense all the time."

Sturgis will join the Galaxy when it begins preseason training next week.

"I've been out to L.A. a couple of times with the youth national team," he said. "I've played at the Home Depot Center, so I'm kind of familiar with the area. I'm real excited about it."

Seven of the 12 first-round choices, including Wynne and Kljestan, have ties to California.

Mehdi Ballouchy of Casablanca, Morocco, was the second player taken, the Santa Clara University midfielder being snapped up by Real Salt Lake Coach John Ellinger.

After former Galaxy and now Columbus Crew Coach Sigi Schmid made Maryland forward Jason Garey the third player chosen, Kansas City Wizards' Coach Bob Gansler sprang something of a surprise.

Gansler selected Pasadena City College forward Yura Movsisyan as his first pick, the fourth overall. Movsisyan, 18, is from Bacu, Azerbaijan, his family having fled that country and come to the U.S. when he was 12.

A natural striker, he scored 32 goals in only 13 games as a senior at Pasadena High and 18 goals in 18 games at PCC.

Other first-round picks included midfielders Dax McCarty of North Carolina and Justin Moose of Wake Forest, picked sixth and seventh, respectively, by FC Dallas and D.C. United; UCLA midfielder Patrick Ianni, taken eighth by Houston; forwards Kei Kamara of Cal State Dominguez Hills and Calen Carr of Cal Berkeley, chosen ninth and 10th, respectively, by Columbus and the Chicago Fire; and Brazilian midfielder Leandro de Oliveira from Alabama Birmingham, chosen 11th by the New England Revolution.

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Draft day

A look at the draft picks Friday by Chivas USA and the Galaxy:

CHIVAS USA

* Sacha Kljestan, F/MF, Seton Hall.

Hometown: Huntington Beach.

First round, fifth overall.*

* Jonathan Bornstein, F, UCLA.

Hometown: Los Alamitos.

Fourth round, 37th overall.

*Chivas USA traded the No. 1 overall pick to the MetroStars for the No. 5 pick and defender Jason Hernandez.

GALAXY

* Nathan Sturgis, D/MF, Clemson.

Hometown: St. Augustine, Fla.

First round, 12th overall.

* Marc Burch, F, Maryland.

Hometown: Cincinnati.

Second round, 24th overall.

* Kyle Veris, D, Ohio State.

Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio.

Third round, 25th overall.

* Chris Dunsheath, GK, Bradley.

Hometown: Rockford, Ill.

Third round, 36th overall.

* Aaron King, F, North Carolina State.

Hometown: Denver.

Fourth round, 48th overall.

* COMPLETE MLS DRAFT: D10

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