Dolphin to predict Whitecaps pick

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

VANCOUVER - A dolphin will make waves Wednesday before Tom Soehn makes a splash.

Major League Soccer, inspired by the late World Cup prognosticator Paul the Octopus, will allow a dolphin at Baltimore's National Aquarium guess which player the Vancouver Whitecaps will choose first overall in Thursday's SuperDraft.

"We come to the draft looking for the best talent and not worrying too much positionally," Soehn said. "Having the first and eighth picks is exciting, because we feel like it's a pretty deep draft and we can accomplish getting two talented guys out of this draft."

Forward Darlington Nagbe, midfielder Perry Kitchen and defender Kofi Sarkodie -stars of the NCAA champion University of Akron Zips -are expected to go in the top 10. The top non-college prospect is Mexican-American striker Omar Salgado, a 17-year-old who trained last summer with the Whitecaps.

The Whitecaps could end the hideous history of Vancouver expansion franchises at the draft table. The Canucks settled for Dale Tallon after the Buffalo Sabres took future hall-of-famer Gilbert Perrault first overall in 1970.

In 1995, the NBA allowed the Grizzlies to pick sixth overall. Basketball's "bad news bears" selected oft-injured seven-footer Bryant Reeves. "Big Country" retired in 2001.

"Every year there's a draft there could be someone special in any sport, not necessarily number one, but it could be a two, three or four," Soehn said. "Every draft we all have a chance of making history."

GolTV will air the first round live beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday.


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