BALTIMORE — Cole Seiler was the third Georgetown defender to go in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft but Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson thinks he may have got the best of the deal based on his needs.
Vancouver took Seiler 19th overall Thursday while fellow Hoyas Josh Yaro and Keegan Rosenberry went second and third overall to Philadelphia. The Whitecaps figure Seiler went under the radar because of his high-profile teammates.
"We thought Cole was the best central defender at the (MLS) Combine," Robinson said of Seiler, who was not at the draft. "We know he’s not as flashy as other players within the Combine but he’s a smart player."
Seiler partnered Yaro in the centre of the Georgetown defence but can also play right back, offering the Whitecaps some depth behind Jordan Smith now that Steven Beitashour has moved on to Toronto.
Seiler, 21, started 86 of his 87 appearances with the Hoyas, who recorded 43 clean sheets during that time, and was a three-time All-Academic Big East Conference selection.
In the second round, the Whitecaps chose German forward Christopher Hellman of Division 2 Lynn University (29th overall) and Princeton forward Thomas Sanner (36th).
Robinson said he tried unsuccessfully to move up in the draft, but only to make sure they got Seiler. He denied trying to make a play for Chicago’s first overall pick.
"There was no communication from me to Chicago," he said. "So take it with a pinch of salt when you hear rumours like that."
The Whitecaps looked to move up a couple of places to ensure getting Seiler but backed off because the price was too high. So they waited and hoped.
"Sometimes you get a little bit lucky," Robinson said.
Hellman is well known to Vancouver through his relationship with Whitecaps FC2 coach Allan Koch.
"He scores goals, very smart, needs to get fitter," was Robinson’s assessment,
Sanner is a six-foot-four forward who impressed during his interview with the club. "His character was second to none," said Robinson.
Hellman, who played amateur soccer in Germany for FC Astoria Waldorf, made it clear he wants to wear the Vancouver Whitecaps uniform.
"Can I keep that jersey?" he asked after posing with it.