SEATTLE - OCTOBER 15: A general view during the match between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on October 15th, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated the Earthquakes 2-1. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The 22-year-old Creighton defender was named Missouri Valley Conference defender of the year in 2011.
With the 15th pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, the Seattle Sounders have selected Andrew Duran, a 6'1" defender from Creighton University. A versatile player capable of slotting in all across the back line and in midfield, Duran was a second-team NSCAA All-American for the Jays. This would appear to be a pick made with depth in needed areas in mind as several more high-profile attacking players remained on the board, but that has in general been a major driving factor in the Sounders decision making process in past drafts.
Though Duran will not be expected to log significant minutes in MLS play next season, this selection does give the Sounders some room to maneuver; if the club is comfortable with Duran as a primary backup, they may look to trade center back Patrick Ianni in order to free up some cap space or add depth at another position. In the more likely event Ianni sticks around, the Sounders will have a lot of depth across the back, resolving an issue that plagued them at times last season.
This pick was almost certainly a bit of a stretch, but given the Sounders strength in all starting positions and the relative lack of immediate impact typically made by draftees outside of the top 5, it's also completely defensible. The Sounders would not have selected Duran were he not a player they liked a great deal, and with little knowledge of what is happening behind the scenes it's difficult to be too critical of the selection at this point.