Players who left their mark

The 5 Best SuperDraft Picks in Houston Dynamo history

Will Bruin remains the Dynamo's second all-time goalscorer in MLS play.

The MLS SuperDraft used to be a solid provider of reinforcements for the Houston Dynamo during the Dominic Kinnear era. The 2020 edition, which takes place on Thursday (11:30 a.m. CT, ESPN app/Facebook/Twitter/YouTube), will be the 15th time the Dynamo participate in what is otherwise known as the annual college draft.

The following is a list of the five SuperDraft selections that left the biggest on the field impact for the Dynamo.

5. Danny Cruz (41st overall, 2009, M)

Midfielder Danny Cruz was the club's first selection in the 2009 SuperDraft, coming at 41st overall (Round 3, pick 10) after trading away their first and second round picks. Previously a member of the United States Under-17 National Team, Cruz made six appearences off the bench in his rookie season.

He became more influential during his next two seasons, scoring in his first professional start in 2010 and helping the Dynamo return to an MLS Cup final in 2011 after scoring the goal that clinched their playoff berth. Cruz was traded to D.C. United before the start of the 2012 season.

4. Kofi Sarkodie (7th overall, 2011, D)

Sarkodie was part of the U.S. Youth National Team that finished in the Round of 16 at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and a member of the 2010 NCAA Champion Akron Zips before joining the Dynamo. He was part of the club's back-to-back MLS Cup final appearances in 2011 and 2012, starting in all six playoff matches of the latter.

In total, the right back played five seasons in orange before reuniting with Dominic Kinnear in 2016 at the San Jose Earthquakes.

3. Corey Ashe (26th overall, 2007, M)

Corey Ashe was a regular substitute during his rookie year, appearing in 22 matches during the regular season as part of the 2007 MLS Cup championship team. He went on to be a staple on the left side of the field, eventually making the switch in midfield to left back, for nine seasons which included MLS Cup appearances in 2011 and 2012, two MLS All-Star nods and a call-up to the 2013 U.S. Men's national team squad that won the Concacaf Gold Cup.

2. Will Bruin (11th overall, 2011, F)

Will Bruin was drafted by the Dynamo in the 2011 SuperDraft and went on to become the club's second all-time goalscorer in MLS matches. For six seasons, the "Dancing Bear" never featured in less 18 MLS starts per year and looked to be the heir-apparent to Brian Ching. He was less consistent in his later years and was traded to the Seattle before the 2017 season.

1. Geoff Cameron (42nd overall, 2008, M)

The Dynamo did not have a pick in the first two rounds of the SuperDraft after having utilized them in player trades during their MLS Cup winning 2007 season. All other teams except Chivas USA had selected at least once before them.

In comes Houston at 42nd overall, the final pick of the third round, and takes the player that arguably went on to have the most complete career from those in the 2008 SuperDraft.

Cameron was a versatile player coming out of college. A midfielder with an attacking mentality, Cameron would later become the Dynamo's solution in defense as a centerback.

He freatured in over 100 MLS regular season matches and helped the Dynamo to a 2011 MLS Cup final appearance. After call ups to the U.S. Men's National Team, he would be sold to Stoke City where he went on to play five seasons in the Premier League and feature for the U.S. in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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