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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Eric Gordon has lost a tremendous amount weight during the shutdown. His biggest aspiration is to stay healthy and be more fit for the shorter season. He told the media that he feels confident about this team, and is optimistic about getting his shot back consistently.

"Everybody knows we're a dangerous team. We can beat anybody, and we can beat ourselves" said Gordon. "It's all about finding that consistent path. There are only eight games and playoffs around the corner, we have to be dominant from start to finish."

Gordon is at a career low shooting 37 percent from the field this season, while playing in only 34 games. During the season he went through a couple of injuries while averaging 14.5 points per game. For Gordon to be productive he needs to remain healthy so the Rockets can be successful. If Russell Westbrook or James Harden are off to a bad start, Gordon is a great weapon to go to. Even though Gordon's stats dropped from the previous two years, there can always be a quick turnaround.

Gordon's injury caused him to miss quite a bit of time, so it was hard for him to get back in rhythm. That can always throw a great shooter like Gordon off. The quarantine allowed Gordon to get healthy and practice his shot more. Before the season started, Gordon signed a four-year, $76 million contract extension. Daryl Morey is extremely confident about having Gordon on the Rockets. Morey was seen working with Gordon after practice Tuesday.

Mike D'Antoni has loved the way Gordon has looked on the court. As D'Antoni watched the Rockets five on five practice, he's been observing Gordon very carefully.

"He hasn't missed a rep. Looks good. Shooting the ball extremely well," said D'Antoni during the Zoom press conference. "Getting Eric Gordon in the groove and getting him going is very important. And also, getting the other guys to be able to maybe even have more opportunities."

When Gordon is consistent and healthy, it is a scary sight to opposing teams.

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