Draft Pick Profile: Kevin Alston
Posted by Mike Marshall on January 15, 2009
Home: Silver Spring, MD
Born: May 5th, 1988
College: Indiana University
Drafted: 1st round, 10th overall
- 2008 First Team All-Big Ten
- 2008 Second Team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region
- 2007 Second Team All-Big Ten
- 2005 PARADE Magazine High School All-American
- 2004 NSCAA High School All-American
- 2007 Pan Am Games (Brazil)
- U.S. U-17 National Team
- Broke his leg in the Quarterfinals of the 2005 U-17 World Championships against the Netherlands
- Injury history includes a broken leg, two sports hernias, multiple stress fractures, and four surgeries
What they’re Saying:
Steve Nicol: “We didn’t expect him to be available when we made our first pick. I like defenders to be able to defend first and foremost and he can do that. We’ll see more of him on the other side of the ball once we get him into preseason, but right off the bat – in the defensive half – he’s as solid as a rock. He is a fierce competitor and wants to win at everything he does.”
Indiana Coach Mike Freitag: “Initially he was kind of quiet and maybe a follower his first couple of years, but it seemed that last spring he came out of his shell a little bit and has grown as a person,
“His speed and quickness are up there with the best in the world, and that, coupled with his tenacious attitude defending, made him a special player for us. He will continue to get better and better.”
Buzz Carrick, 3rd Degree: “Ridiculously speedy diminutive outside back, runs end to end and can both attack and defend. Best right back on boards. Generation adidas. Can play left back despite not being left footed.”
“Much better today, more time as a right back. Some serious pace on display and he’s getting to the opposition end line. His battle with Boateng is terrific, although he does get caught up on the goal when his team turns it over and Boateng is behind him. Goal came through his vacated spot. Not so much his fault… but timing is everything.”
“Some bad passes early. Not looking great at left back, nervous and turns it over several times. Worst white defender in the first 45. Switches to right back in the second half and is much better. Now he’s playing good defense and getting forward well. I would swear this is not the same player as the first half. Cuts out passes well.”
Ives Galarcep, ESPN.com: “Alston is a highly-rated fullback who is better suited as a right back but who can play left back.”
“Enter Alston, who is arguably the most polished fullback in the draft. A left back in college, Alston showed at the combine that he is better suited for right back”
Ives Galarcep, SoccerByIves.net: “After a dismal first half on opening day at the Combine in which he played left back, Alston bounced back with a solid performance in the second half, at his natural RB position, and never looked back. His second and third days were much better from start to finish as he spent more time at RB. He showed off his great pace and got forward well. Day three was where he stood out the most. and that’s not surprising as he himself said he was shaking off the rust with each passing game.”
From College to the Pros: “New England goes for Kevin Alston. He slipped from where I thought he would go but I’m expecting some good things from him. I think he has a solid pedigree and a lot of skill. Nicol made a great pick here I think.”
Greg Lalas, Goal.com: “The Revs got the steal of the draft, picking up defender Kevin Alston at #10. Schmid said after the draft that he was considering taking the Indiana University defender with the #1 overall pick. Instead, he fell all the way to New England, which practically elicited giggles of glee from the Revs’ coaching staff.
“A lot of teams were congratulating us,” New England assistant coach Paul Mariner told me. “Alston’s got a really good engine, and a good defensive brain. He likes to close people down. Defensively, we think he’s tremendous. We really, really like him.”
Kyle McCarthy, MLSnet.com: “Alston consistently showed a great engine up and down the right flank and will benefit from being roster protected.”
“The first thing to notice about Indiana University and Generation adidas defender Kevin Alston is his engine.
The former U.S. U-17 international spends most of his game time surging up and down the right wing. At one moment, he’ll be tracking an opposing winger deep inside his own half. Once his team gains possession, he’ll surge up the sideline and provide another outlet in the offensive half.
“I like to play that style,” Alston said. “I like to defend, but I like to go forward.”
Alston’s devotion to the attack might just help him on the next level. With most MLS teams preferring a four-back alignment and many of those teams pushing the outside backs into the attack, Alston’s marauding runs — combined with his attentiveness to defense — will earn him a long look.
“Any team in the world, if they have outside backs, they overlap,” Alston said. “It’s going to help the team out and it will help me on the next level.”
The next level will arrive soon for Alston, who will spend his SuperDraft day in St. Louis awaiting his professional destination. He plans to spend his time preparing for MLS camp rather than pondering over where he might fall on Thursday.
“It’s just going to happen,” Alston said. “It is what it is. The only thing I can do here is perform. When it comes to camp, everyone is going to get there and start fighting for the same time and the same spots.”