MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas

MIAMI, Fla. (January 8, 2019) —

The MLS SuperDraft is not as critical today as it once was, due to the growth of academies and lower divisions as places to find talent. That said, this year’s crop of eligible players once again has a good number of talented players, a few of whom could thrive and prosper in MLS given the right opportunity.

The MLS SuperDraft is known for traditionally producing solid defensive options, and this year’s draft pool is no different. Right back is particularly stocked with players who could play their way into roster spots, though there are also a good number of intriguing central defenders.

Expect defenders, goalkeepers and wingers to be chosen. MLS teams also often convert elite university wingers into fullbacks. Central midfielders tend to be less popular with clubs increasingly using foreign signings and homegrown players to fill attacking midfielder and defensive midfielder roles.

One point of interest to watch at the draft will be at which point teams decide to take chances on international players. With more money that can be spent on international players, players who play in US universities that would occupy an international spot on a roster are less popular.

This year, players such as Aaron Molloy, Manuel Ferriol, Noah Billingsley and Patrick Nielson would be candidates for the top half of the first round if they weren’t international players. That being said, these players may still get selected, especially since they could start with a USL affiliate to begin with.

The following players are widely regarded as being the top ones eligible to be picked in this year’s SuperDraft, which will start with the first two rounds via conference call and web streaming on Jan. 9 and wrap up with the third and fourth rounds on Jan. 13.

First round coverage of the draft will be streamed live at 12:30 pm ET on the ESPN app, as well as through ESPN social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The broadcast will feature real-time look-ins on club draft rooms and draftee reactions, as well as analysis from Taylor Twellman, Adrian Healey, Matt Doyle and special guests.

Recap: Who Is Eligible For The SuperDraft?

The SuperDraft includes amateur players who have completed their university eligibility and a handful of elite underclassmen and youth national team players signed by MLS to Generation adidas contracts. The Generation adidas players get the opportunity to complete their educations in the future; and their salaries don’t count against the teams’ salary budget, making them an attractive option.

Since 2003 has been a Generation adidas player, so it is safe to assume they will once again be featured players.

This year’s Generation adidas class,includes center forward Robbie Robinson (Clemson, Jr.), forward Daryl Dike (Virginia, Soph.), center back Jack Maher (Indiana, Soph.), center back Henry Kessler (Virginia, Jr.), and Canadian winger Ryan Raposo (Syracuse, Soph.).

Two promising seniors — Georgetown defender Dylan Nealis and Stanford defender Tanner Beason — also pre-signed MLS contracts and are eligible.

Here are two different lists of the most likely players to be selected in the 2020 Superdraft.

SBI Soccer Superdraft Big Board

(Note the designations for Generation Adidas players and international players): $=Generation Adidas, @=International Player)

  1. Robbie Robinson, Clemson, F/W ($)
  2. Jack Maher, Indiana, CB ($)
  3. Daryl Dike, Virginia, F ($)
  4. Dylan Nealis, Georgetown, RB
  5. Henry Kessler, Virginia, CB ($)
  6. Cal Jennings, Central Florida, F
  7. Ryan Raposo, Syracuse, AM ($)
  8. Dayonn Harris, UConn, RW
  9. Garrett McLoughlin, SMU, F/RW
  10. Jeremy Kelly, North Carolina, RB
  11. Alistair Johnson, Wake Forest, RB
  12. Jack Skahan, North Carolina, RW/RB
  13. Tanner Beason, Stanford, LB/CB
  14. Patrick Seagrist, Marquette, LB
  15. Aaron Molloy, Penn State, DM (@)
  16. Miguel Berry, San Diego, F
  17. Simon Lekressner, California, RB
  18. Elliott Panicco, Charlotte, GK
  19. Nebojsa Popovic, Michigan, F
  20. Noah Billingsley, UCSB, CB (@)
  21. Brandon Williamson, Duke, DM
  22. Patrick Nielson, Michigan State, CB (@)
  23. Jonathan Jimenez, Pacific, LB
  24. Daniele Proch, Duke, AM (@)
  25. Jack Hallahan, Michigan, Forward
  26. Manuel Ferriol, James Madison, AM (@)
  27. Jonathan Dean, Central Florida, RB
  28. Tanner Dieterich, Clemson, DM
  29. Brian Saramago, Loyola, F
  30. Wallis Lapsley, UC-Davis, GK
  31. Malick Mbaye, Clemson, CB (@)
  32. Cherif Dieye, Louisville, W (@)
  33. Joris Ahlinvi, Indiana, Winger (@)
  34. Bruno Lapa, Wake Forest, AM (@)
  35. Anders Engebretsen, Saint Mary’s, W (@)
  36. Keegan Meyer, High Point, GK
  37. Joey DeZart, Wake Forest, CM
  38. Phil Goodrum, UNC-Wilmington, F
  39. Achara, Georgetown, F (@)
  40. Jesus Perez, Illinois-Chicago, CM
  41. Simon Lefebvre, Temple, GK (@)
  42. Jorge Gonzalez, SIU-Edwardsville, AM (@)
  43. Johannes Bergmann, Maryland, CB (@)
  44. Andrew Booth, FIU, CM
  45. Eli Crognale, Maryland, CM
  46. Rey Ortiz, Portland, W (@)
  47. Simon Waever, Indiana, Left Back (@)
  48. Felicien Dumas, Notre Dame, LB (@)
  49. Luka Prpa, Marquette, CM
  50. Giuseppe Barone, Michigan State, CM
  51. Brandon Hackenberg, Penn State, CB
  52. Robin Afamefuna, Virginia, DM (@)
  53. Michael Wetungu, Michigan State, CB
  54. Nkosi Burgess, Seattle, CB
  55. Joergen Oland, Fordham, CB (@)
  56. Matthew Bentley, Missouri State, F (@)
  57. Andrew Verdi, Michigan, GK
  58. Jelani Pieters, North Carolina, W
  59. Will Mejia, Clemson, CB
  60. Jared Gilbey, Stanford, DM
  61. Younes Boudadi, Creighton, RB (@)
  62. Timo Mehlich, UNLV, AM (@)
  63. Derek Waldeck, Stanford, DM
  64. Sebastian Garcia-Herreros, West Virginia, RB
  65. Eric Diaz, Oregon State, RB
  66. Anthony Mwembia, Bowling Green, GK (@)
  67. Louka Masset, Louisville, CB (@)
  68. Parker Siegfried, Ohio State, GK
  69. Fortia Munts, VCU, AM (@)
  70. Pablo Pelaez, San Diego St., CM
  71. Justin Lobe, Yale, LB
  72. Julian Avila-Good, Seattle U., DM
  73. Nyal Higgins, Syracuse, CB
  74. Malcolm Moreno, Iona, RB
  75. Austin Aviza, Providence, GK

Top Drawer Soccer’s MLS Superdraft Big Board:

1CB Jack Maher*Indiana
2CF Robbie Robinson*Clemson
3CF Cal JenningsUCF
4RB Dylan NealisGeorgetown
5DM Aaron MolloyPenn State
6Ryan Raposo*Syracuse
7CB Henry Kessler*Virginia
8LB Tanner BeasonStanford
9M/RB Alistair JohnstonWake Forest
10CF Garrett McLaughlinSMU
11RB Noah BillingsleyUC Santa Barbara
12CF Miguel BerrySan Diego
13AM Manuel FerriolJames Madison
14CB Patrick NielsenMichigan State
15Jack SkahanNorth Carolina
16CM Brandon WilliamsonDuke
17AM Jesus PerezUIC
18RW Jack HallahanMichigan
19CM/RB Jeremy KellyNorth Carolina
20CM Cherif DieyeLouisville
21CM/CB Tanner DieterichClemson
22RB Simon WaeverIndiana
23F/W Dayonn HarrisConnecticut
24CF Jorge GonzalezSIUE
25AM Rey OrtizPortland
26CF Daniele ProchDuke
27CB Malick MbayeClemson
28Simon LekressnerCalifornia
29LB Felicien DumasNotre Dame
30CM Derek WaldeckStanford
31AM Bruno LapaWake Forest
32CM Miguel YusteYale
33CB Nkosi BurgessSeattle
34CF Blake FrischknechtUtah Valley
35GK Elliot PaniccoCharlotte
36AM Luka PrpaMarquette
37CF Nebojsa PopovicMichigan
38LB Patrick SeagristMarquette
39GK Wallis LapsleyUC Davis
40AM Joris AhlinviIndiana
41CB Michael WetunguMichigan State
42LB Danny ReynoldsUNC Wilmington
43CM Andrew BoothFlorida International
44CF Phillip GoodrumUNC Wilmington
45CF Samson SergiXavier
46GK Keegan MeyerHigh Point
47AM Leo NovaesSaint Louis
48AM Pablo PelaezSan Diego State
49RB Younes BoudadiCreighton
50Will MejiaVirginia Tech

The MLS Draft Big Board was constructed in consultation with The Soccer Syndicate, North America’s only independent soccer scouting network. 

The full list of players eligible for the Superdraft is available here:

By Ken Russo

While my background is in the legal industry, the skills acquired and fine-tuned in law practice are now applied to focus on the sport of football. Russo Soccer aims to inform, educate and engage on news and relevant issues in the game.

Um advogado por formação, concentro meu trabalho nos negócios, comunicações e operações de equipes no futebol mundial. | Abogado con fundación avanzada en comunicaciones, enfocado en los negocios del fútbol y las comunicaciones. | Je suis un avocat experimenté dans les affaires de football.