2023 MLS SuperDraft grades: LA Galaxy
Round 2: Pick 52=GK Russell Shealy (Syracuse)
As I pointed out in my Players to Watch article from before the draft for the Galaxy, goalkeeper was a pressing need for the Galaxy. I believe that Jonathan Bond will still be the starter this season, however there are question marks behind him. Plus, I believe that there are questions about the position long-term.
Shealy was the starting GK for the NCAA National Champion Syracuse Orange this past season. On the year he: made 72 saves, had just a 0.73 goals against average, had an 80% save %, and kept ten clean sheets. Shealy only missed one match on the season, and he played every minute of the 24 matches that he did start.
Shealy will likely compete with Jonathan Klinsmann for the #2 spot in the GK pecking order behind Bond. Shealy might spend some time with the II's so he can get minutes, and so LA can get a look at him in game action. It's also possible Shealy could see some US Open Cup/Nations League action. It will be interesting to see where he will fall in Year 1 in the pecking order (will he be the #2? Will he spend the season in Next Pro? Will he be up and down?).
One thing working against Shealy is that he is a redshirt-senior coming out, which means that he is a year older than most prospects in the draft. However, I believe that the middle of the second round is really good value for Shealy.
MLSSoccer's Tyler Clark had Shealy ranked as the #5 keeper in the class.
- Pick Grade: B+
Round 3: Picks 77 and 81=PASS
I'm never really sure what to make about a team passing on a pick (much less passing on two). On one hand, the draft offers an opportunity to at least get the chance to sign a player to LA Galaxy II at worst. On the other hand, the club might not want to take minutes away from potentially younger players in MLS Next Pro (and players that came up through their academy).
While I'm sure fans would have liked to see two more players potentially added to the system, the Galaxy elected to pass on the picks and stick with what they have (which isn't the most surprising thing in the world). Although I might've liked to see LA make the pick at 77, and then pass at 81.
- Grade: C
FULL DRAFT GRADE: B-
While it would've been nice to see LA walk away from the draft with a bit more, they were in a difficult spot to begin with with not picking until the 23rd pick. I think that both Vivi and Shealy might spend some time with "Los Dos" this season, but I believe that both of them have future prospects with the team. It's hard to be overly upset about walking away from a SuperDraft with two players you feel that way about.