Real Salt Lake's 2015 draft class turned out a bit stronger than some others (I'm looking at you, 2014) — but how'd it really turn out?
On the face of it, it was a stronger year than the 2014 class experienced — none of those players stayed with the club in any regard, and in that way, Real Monarchs really helped to improve the development of these players.
Round one, pick #16 — traded to Seattle Sounders
Hindsight is 20-20, certainly, and when Real Salt Lake passed on a chance to bring the hyped Cristian Roldan to Salt Lake City, everyone balked. They instead traded that draft pick to Seattle in exchange for their second-round pick and some allocation money.
Now, Roldan went on to make 22 appearances, earning 1,114 minutes for the Sounders. Maybe he'll go on to be a great player someday, but it's clear right now that he's not quite that. Did RSL miss out on a great player by passing? Maybe. But with Luis Gil at the club and hotly tipped to really make the big jump, it became hard to see Roldan getting minutes. Of course, that hindsight thing back there applies once again, as Gil really didn't quite meet those expectations at all.
Round two, pick #27 — Boyd Okwuonu
Right, so this is who we picked up with that traded draft pick. Boyd Okwuonu, a right back by trade, joined from North Carolina, and his value was probably a little more long-term — but with that being said, Okwounu looked reasonable in the few games he played for the first team and very good with Real Monarchs.
Further, he's been well-involved with the U.S. U-23s, and he's been one of the better players there. Picking up a talented young international in the second round of the SuperDraft — one that could easily become a good MLS player — seems like a coup.
Round three, pick #57 — Jordan Murrell
Real Monarchs picked up left back Murrell, who played most of the USL season after picking up an early injury or two. He was a good contributor to the team when he played, but the latest rumor has him going to Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Round four, pick #77 — Lucas Baldin
Another Monarchs mainstay, Baldin captained the side in its first year, scoring five goals and grabbing three assists in his first professional season. I haven't yet seen any confirmation as to whether he'll be back in Salt Lake City in 2016.