MLS SuperDraft: Many similarities between last two drafts

Photo courtesy of LAFC.

It isn't easy these days to make it in MLS via the SuperDraft, the traditional channel by which most collegians have moved into the league.

Similarities abound between the last two drafts:

-- Just 15 players from the 2018 SuperDraft have played so far this season; 14 players taken in 2017 have played (81 players selected in all both years)
-- Only six players from each of the last two drafts have played more than 90 minutes so far in 2018;
-- Four of those six players each year are foreign-born, reflecting the changing face of college soccer;
-- In both years, players taken by conference call on the second day of draft -- Jack Elliott in 2017 and Ken Krolicki in 2018 -- emerged as full-time starters;
-- On the other hand, two top five picks in the 2017 draft (No. 3 Jeremy Ebobisse and No. 4 Jonathan Lewis, both U.S. U-20s) have yet to play this season; ditto for the 2018 draft (No. 4 Francis Atuahene and No. 5 Jon Bakero, the Hermann Trophy winner).

2018 MLS SuperDraft:
352 1-Los Angeles FC: Joao Moutinho, Akron
90 2-LA Galaxy: Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Stanford
38 3-Los Angeles FC: Tristan Blackmon, Pacific
259 6-Orlando City: Chris Mueller, Wisconsin (1 goal)
54 7-Minn. United: Mason Toye, Indiana (1 assist)
138 8-New England: Brandon Bye, Western Michigan
90 15-Minn. United: Wyatt Omsberg, Dartmouth
42 22-Seattle: Alex Roldan, Seattle
90 23-Minn. United: Carter Manley, Duke
116 38-Chicago: Diego Campos, Clemson
12 43-Houston: Mac Steeves, Providence
201 49-Chicago: Elliot Collier, Loyola, Ill. (1 goal)
416 53-Montreal: Ken Krolicki, Michigan State
50 67-Columbus: Luis Argudo, Wake Forest
64 73-Colorado: Niki Jackson, Grand Canyon (1 goal)

2017 MLS SuperDraft:

117 1-Minnesota United: Abu Danladi, UCLA
90 2-Atlanta United: Miles Robinson, Syracuse
404 5-Columbus: Lalas Abubakar, Dayton
16 6-San Jose: Jackson Yueill, UCLA   
540 7-Vancouver: Jake Nerwinski, Connecticut
446 8-Atlanta United: Julian Gressel, Providence (1 goal, 3 assists)
55 9-Columbus: Niko Hansen, New Mexico
17 11-Chicago: Daniel Johnson,  Louisville
12 12-D.C. United: Chris Odoi-Atsem, Maryland   
3 16-New York City FC: Kwame Awuah, Connecticut
338 18-FC Dallas:  Jacori Hayes, Wake Forest (1 assist)
16 46-Atlanta United: Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Harvard
13 47-Chicago: Brandt Bronico, Charlotte
360 77-Philadelphia: Jack Elliott, West Virginia

2 comments about "MLS SuperDraft: Many similarities between last two drafts".
  1. R2 Dad, April 14, 2018 at 2:11 a.m.

    NCAA Basketball: sexy and exciting! NCAA Soccer: pitiful and sad *wah wah trombone*

  2. Ben Myers replied, April 14, 2018 at 11:39 p.m.

    I have to agree.  Like the 50 high school athletic associations that mimic it, the NCAA mens soccer teams are often not all that skilled technically and their tactical play is wanting.  A young man who truly desiring to play professionally would do better to skip college and play professionally, maybe in another country like some Americans do now.  But, they are between the rock and the hard spot, because they would be giving up a college education to do so.

    Six years ago, I coached an 8v8 U12 team that was exceptional.  Fast forward, and 9 boys from that team started on a team that won a high school state championship.  The team had everything, speed, great technical ability, quickness, solid tactical sense and even some size, exceptional for a graduating class of less than 100.  I have watched lots of soccer over many years.  One young man could walk onto any Division 1 Mens team, make the team and earn playing time as a freshman.  At least five others would make most any Division 3 Mens coach smile and put them on the team. Yet NOT ONE of them intends to play college soccer. And that reveals the crux of the problem.

    Careers in soccer remain very unattractive to most young men.  The salaries are barely above minimum wage for many non-marquee MLS players.  Parents spend serious money on pay-for-play (WHY? THEY GET SOLD A BAG OF FISHHEADS!), the kids often do not play in college, let alone professionally.  Those who might be developed into elite players to follow a soccer career more or less get left out because they can't pay the $$$ to play.  And, of course, we have NCAA Division 1 mens soccer teams upgrading themselves with players from other countries, squeezing out our boys.  Gee!  Just like MLS!  Is it any wonder that the USMNT is mediocre?

    Cordiero!  Are you reading this?  We have a serious USMNT problem to solve, and the situation is improving all too slowly.  MLS is rarely enjoyable to watch either.

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