College to pros: Top 24 prospects

MLS will hold its annual SuperDraft on Friday in Chicago. The rush of pro prospects out of college continues though not all players will enter MLS as Generation adidas players via the SuperDraft or as Homegrown Players. Some have options in Europe or now with the new Canadian Premier League.

Here's a look at the top 24 college prospects who will likely turn pro.

MF Frankie Amaya, UCLA (Signed MLS Generation adidas contract)
Amaya played only one season but is considered the top attacking midfielder in college. He had two goals and two assists in 14 games in a college season cut short because of his call-up to the U.S. U-20 national team for the Concacaf Championship. The Pateadores product had an excellent game in the final, which the USA won, 2-0, over Mexico, attracting interest from Liga MX clubs.

MF Tajon Buchanan, Syracuse (Signed MLS Generation adidas contract)
Buchanan's plans for college almost got sidetracked when he moved from Ontario, where he played for the Mississauga Falcons, to Colorado to play for his Falcons coach, who had moved for work. U.S. Soccer rejected his registration at Real Colorado's DA program because it violated FIFA rules on the transfer of foreign minors. A breakout sophomore season in 2018 when he was named a first-team All-ACC selection earned the Canadian winger a Generation adidas contract, marking the fifth year in a row at Orange player signed a GA deal.
 
MF Griffin Dorsey, Indiana (Signed MLS Generation adidas contract)
Dorsey was one of four collegians who missed part of the fall campaign after being called up to represent the USA at the Concacaf Under-20 Championship. It was the second year in a row his college season had been interrupted for national team duty. He got a taste of international ball in 2017 with the U-18s in Spain. He played one year of high school, earning all-state honors at Evergreen High School, before playing three seasons with the Colorado Rush in the Development Academy.

MF Omir Fernandez, Wake Forest (NY Red Bulls own MLS Homegrown rights)
A breakout sophomore season with eight goals and three assists in his first 10 games thrust the Bronx product into the national spotlight. Will be latest Wake Forest star to leave early to turn pro and should get a shot with the Red Bulls. Also making a late push to earn a ticket to Poland with the U.S. U-20s for the World Cup in May.

DF Logan Gdula, Wake Forest (entered in 2019 MLS SuperDraft)
Gdula was just of one five starters to return from Wake's 2018 team that was the No. 1 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. He was one of the big reasons the Demon Deacons were the No. 1 overall seed again and for the third time out of his four seasons on the team. He's one of several outside backs expected to go in the first round after strong showings at the combine in Orlando.

MF Siad Haji, VCU (Signed MLS Generation adidas contract)
Siad was about four when he moved with his parents, Somali refugees, from a camp in Kenya and settled in New Hampshire. He spent one season at Division III New England College, leading the Pilgrims in scoring,  before transferring to VCU, where he spent two seasons. He's considered the top attacking midfielder in the draft along with Amaya.



DF Andrew Gutman, Indiana (Chicago Fire owns MLS Homegrown rights)
Gutman became the seventh Hoosier to win the MAC or Hermann Trophy -- Ken Snow won the Hermann twice -- but will likely spurn a Homegrown deal to join the growing American contingent at Scottish champion Celtic. That comes after he originally traveled to Glasgow to try out with Rangers.

FW Matt Hundley, UCLA
(Colorado Rapids own MLS Homegrown rights)
Hundley is one of three Bruins who will likely leave Westwood to sign an MLS Homegrown deal. He led UCLA with 17 points (5 goals, 7 assists) as a freshman. He's been training with the U.S. U-20s in Florida.

MF DeJuan Jones, Michigan State (entered in 2019 MLS SuperDraft)
Jones' stock rose dramatically after his showing on the field and in performance tests at the adidas Combine. He started ever game for the Spartans, who reached the final four for the first time in 50 years.



FW Mohammed Kamara, UCLA (signed with Paderborn, Germany D2)
Recruited by Texas JC power Tyler Junior College out of Monrovia, Liberia, Kamara played his first game with the Apaches without ever practicing with the team because visa issues delayed his arrival, and he went on to score 22 goals and 48 goals (a school record) in leading Tyler to back-to-back NJCAA Division I championships. Scored five goals in 14 games for UCLA in 2018. Spurned a Generation adidas contract to sign with German club Paderborn along with former Sporting KC striker Khiry Shelton. Goes by nickname "Keka" (after Kaka) picked up from teammates in Monrovia.

MF Tommy McCabe, Notre Dame (entered in 2019 MLS SuperDraft)
McCabe played on the 2015 U.S. U-17 World Cup team with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Haji Wright but was one of only five players to go to college. He should go in the first round of SuperDraft.

DF Callum Montgomery, Charlotte (entered in 2019 MLS SuperDraft)
Center backs are usually hot properties in the SuperDraft. They have been the No. 2 picks in the last three drafts. Montgomery won't go in the top two, but he could be top five pick. He benefits from new classification of Canadian youth products so they are also considered domestic players if they play for U.S. clubs in MLS.

GK Trey Muse, Indiana (Seattle Sounders own MLS Homegrown rights)
Muse hails from Louisville but finished up high school in Seattle, where he played in the Sounders' academy program. He started all 25 games for the Hoosiers as a freshman and all 24 games as a sophomore in 2018 when he was a first-team All-American.

DF John Nelson, North Carolina (Signed MLS Generation adidas contract)
Nelson is another player from the 2015 U.S. U-17 World Cup team who went to college, playing two seasons at UNC after graduating from the Cleveland Internationals, where he played for former U.S. internationals George and Louie Nanchoff. As a left back, he should go high in the draft.

FW Santiago Patino, FIU (entered in 2019 MLS SuperDraft)
Patino is well known to MLS scouts after scoring 35 goals in his last three seasons at FIU. He hails from Orlando, but Orlando City was unable to secure his Homegrown rights, pushing him into the SuperDraft, where he is considered one of the top three strikers.

MF Manny Perez, N.C. State
Perez might have gone with the No. 1 pick in the SuperDraft but he did not sign a GA contract after two seasons in Raleigh. Instead, he will likely sign with Celtic, which just signed Tim Weah on loan from Paris St. Germain and is expected to also sign Gutman. He had assists in each of the Wolfpack's first four games, all wins, but his college season ended in late October when he was called up to the U.S. U-20s. Perez could end up back on loan at North Carolina FC, where he played for its academy program when it was the Capital Area Railhawks Academy.

DF Donovan Pines, Maryland (D.C. United owns MLS Homegrown rights)
The 6-foor-5 center back's stock rose with the Terrapins' run to the 2018 NCAA Division I title thanks to five shutouts in five games. Among the players he shut down in 2018 were Denver's Andre Shinyashiki and Kentucky's JJ Williams, both expected to go in the first round of SuperDraft. He's only a junior and has not decided what he will do -- sign with D.C. United or in Europe.
 
MF Justin Rennicks, Indiana (New England owns MLS Homegrown rights)
Rennicks and Amaya were the only collegians who started in the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship final, where the USA beat Mexico, 2-0. He finished the year with six goals (tied for third) and six assists (tied for first) on the U-20s. He went to train at Eintracht Frankfurt in high school and ended up getting suspended from the Revs' academy program, but he will likely end up with New England, where he could get a legitimate shot.

MF Sergio Rivas, Seattle (entered in 2019 MLS SuperDraft)
The Seattle Sounders have had success with local picks in recent years -- Cristian Roldan from Washington and brother Alex from Seattle -- so they could take Rivas, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico before enrolling at Seattle University. He finished his career with 27 assists, the second-most in WAC history.

FW Andre Shinyashiki,
Denver
(Signed MLS senior contract)
The Brazilian led the nation in goals goals (28), game-winning goals (11) and points (60), all school records. Nineteen of those goals came in the first 10 games when he had three hat tricks.



GK Dayne St. Clair, Maryland (Signed MLS Generation adidas contract)
St. Clair is the top keeper available in the SuperDraft after leading the Terps to the national championship in his redshirt junior year. He started every game the past two seasons and finished with shutouts in all five NCAA Tournament games. He played for Vaughan Soccer Club in the League1 Ontario championship.

DF Akeem Ward, Creighton (entered in 2019 MLS SuperDraft)
Ward's stock rose at the combine, where he was one of several outside backs to make an impression on MLS coaches. He is another player who started at a small college -- he was an NAIA All-American at Hastings as a freshman -- before transferring to a Division I program.

FW JJ Williams, Kentucky (Signed MLS Generation adidas contract)
Williams is latest pro prospect to come out of Alabama after U.S. U-20s Chris Richards and Brandon Servania. He came out of nowhere to become a finalist for the MAC Hermann Award and help the Wildcats achieve a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He finished third in the nation with 18 goals after scoring just six goals in his first two seasons.

MF Marcel Zajac, Akron (Signed with Forge FC, Canadian Premier League)
Zajac was one of the stars of Akron's 2018 NCAA Division I runner-up team. He gave up his final year of eligibility with the Zips but agreed to a multi-year contract with Forge FC in the new Canadian Premier League instead of signing with MLS. Zajac registered 11 goals, including game-winners against Syracuse and Wake Forest and two goals in the semifinal against Michigan State, and a team-high eight assists.
Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications