2017 MLS SuperDraft 101

MLS SuperDraft 101

We’re less than two months away from the start of the 2017 MLS season, and there are plenty of moves still to be made. Next week, MLS hosts it’s 18th annual SuperDraft which will take place on Friday, Jan. 13 in Los Angeles, Calif.

In contrast to the league’s other various acquisition methods and drafts, the SuperDraft very closely resembles that of any other American professional sports draft. The player pool primarily consists of players who have just recently finished their NCAA career or players who have decided to forego their college eligibility to become professionals. Clubs select players over the course of four rounds with the selection order determined by the previous season’s performance/finish (exception of expansion clubs receiving the top picks).

MLS Combine

Prior to the SuperDraft, a select number of elite prospects are invited to participate in the MLS Combine which offers an opportunity for players to showcase their skill and raise their draft stock while allowing coaches and technical staff a chance to evaluate the field. This year’s combine will take place in Carson, Calif. between Sunday Jan. 8 and Jan. 12.

The initial invite list included 53 players collectively chosen by a committee of MLS coaches and NCAA Division I coaches from every conference. On Jan. 4, MLS announced 13 more combine invitees, five of which were named to the 2017 Generation adidas class (MLS & adidas joint program comprised of top collegiate and youth national team players). All players are divided into four separate teams to compete in matches over the course of the combine.

You can watch all the combine matches as well as the 2017 SuperDraft LIVE on MLSsoccer.com. See the full schedule and live streams here.

SuperDraft History

Just like any other sport, being drafted does not guarantee a contract, let alone receiving playing time for the first team. However, recent MLS SuperDraft history has demonstrated that the top prospects can make a significant impact if provided the opportunity:

2014

1. Andre Blake, GK – Philadelphia Union

  • Started and played 33 games in 2016 season
  • Named to 2016 MLS Best XI

2. Steve Birnbaum, D – D.C. United

  • Started 74 of 75 games he’s played in over three seasons
  • Finalist for 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year

2015

1. Cyle Larin, F – Orlando City

  • Started 53 of 59 games he’s played in over two seasons
  • Scored 31 goals and tallied 3 assists

2. Khiry Shelton, F – NYCFC

  • Started 20 of 39 games he’s played in over two seasons
  • Scored 5 goals and tallied 10 assists

2016

1. Jack Harrison, M – Chicago Fire (traded to NYCFC)

  • Started 19 of 23 games played in 2016
  • Scored 5 goals and tallied 7 assists

2. Joshua Yaro, D – Philadelphia Union

  • Started 15 of 17 games played in 2016

3. Keegan Rosenberry, D – Philadelphia Union

  • Started and played all 35 games, including playoffs, in 2016
  • Played all 3,060 minutes during 2016 Regular Season
  • Scored 2 goals and tallied 2 assists

2017 Draft Order

Round 1

  1. Minnesota United
  2. Atlanta United FC
  3. Chicago Fire
  4. Houston Dynamo
  5. Columbus Crew
  6. San Jose Earthquakes
  7. Vancouver Whitecaps
  8. Atlanta United FC (from Orlando City)
  9. Columbus Crew (from New England Revolution)
  10. Portland Timbers
  11. Chicago Fire (from Philadelphia Union)
  12. D.C. United
  13. Real Salt Lake
  14. Sporting KC
  15. Colorado Rapids (from LA Galaxy)
  16. Seattle Sounders (from NYCFC)
  17. NY Red Bulls
  18. FC Dallas
  19. Montreal Impact
  20. New England Revolution (from Colorado Rapids)
  21. Colorado Rapids (from Toronto FC)
  22. Seattle Sounders                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Click here for the complete draft order for all four rounds.