MLS SuperDraft: FC Cincinnati takes coveted Amaya, but Quakes get their players

With the first pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, expansion FC Cincinnati selected U.S. under-20 national team midfielder Frankie Amaya, at 18 the youngest player taken in the draft.

Amaya was coveted by other teams -- including LAFC, which tried to swing a trade for pry him away from FC Cincinnati -- but after a timeout -- unusual for a No. 1 pick -- head coach Alan Koch said FC Cincinnati decided to keep Amaya because it believes in him.

“He’s still a young player, of course," Koch said. "But I think he’s already shown in a short amount of time the talent that he has. We’re excited to work with him and see how far we can push him. He has certainly not reached his ceiling by any means.”

FC Cincinnati (No. 1 and No. 13), FC Dallas (No. 4 and No. 10), Minnesota United (No. 7 and No. 15), the New England Revolution (No. 9 and No. 11) and New York Red Bulls (No. 16 and No. 22) all had two picks in the first round, but perhaps the team with the picks with the most potential was San Jose.

The Quakes selected VCU's Siad Haji with the No. 2 pick, Seattle midfielder Sergio Rivas with the second pick of the second round and Simon Fraser's Mamadi Camara late in the second round.

Haji came to the United States when he was 4 with his parents, refugees from war-torn Somalia who settled in New Hampshire but never learned English. Amaya, Haji and Rivas, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, were considered the top three attacking midfielders available in the draft. Camara was born in Guinea and raised in Montreal.

“We got exactly the players that we wanted to select,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli.

At No. 3, Orlando City got the player whom it wanted -- FIU striker Santiago Patino -- but wanted to take as a Homegrown player and therefore been able to use the No. 3 pick on someone else.

The Lions' new executive vice president of soccer operations, Luiz Muzzi, said they were done wrong by not having Patino classified as a Homegrown Player. (The issue was the lack of the proper paperwork about Patino's training being on file.)

"We could have traded," Muzzi said. "We could have received some money, we could have done something different, and we had we use that No. 3 on something that we feel is ours anyway."
MLS SuperDraft, Round 1
1. FC Cincinnati --  Frankie Amaya (GA), UCLA
2. San Jose -- Siad Haji (GA), VCU
3. Orlando City -- Santiago Patino, FIU
4. FC Dallas -- Callum Montgomery, Charlotte
5. Colorado -- Andre Shinyashiki, Denver
6. Toronto FC -- Griffin Dorsey (GA), Indiana
7. Minnesota United -- Dayne St. Clair (GA), Maryland
8. Houston -- Sam Junqua, California
9. New England -- Tajon Buchanan (GA), Syracuse
10. FC Dallas -- John Nelson (GA), North Carolina
11. New England -- DeJuan Jones, Michigan State
12. NYCFC -- Luis Barraza, Marquette
13. FC Cincinnati -- Logan Gdula, Wake Forest
14. D.C. United -- Akeem Ward, Creighton
15. Minnesota United -- Chase Gasper, Maryland
16. NY Red Bulls -- Roy Boateng, UC Davis
17. Real Salt Lake -- Sam Brown, Harvard
18. Columbus -- JJ Williams (GA), Kentucky
19. LAFC -- Emil Cuello, SMU
20. Seattle -- Tucker Bone, Air Force
21. Sporting KC -- Kamar Marriott, FGCU
22. NY Red Bulls -- Janos Loebe, Fordham
23. Portland -- Ryan Sierakowski, Michigan State
24. Atlanta United -- Anderson Asiedu, UCLA

MLS SuperDraft, Round 2
25. NY Red Bulls -- Sean Nealis, Hofstra
26. San Jose -- Sergio Rivas, Seattle
27. Orlando City -- Kamal Miller, Syracuse
28. Colorado -- Marcello Borges, Michigan
29. FC Cincinnati -- Tommy McCabe, Notre Dame
30. FC Cincinnati -- Jimmy Hague, Michigan State
31. Minnesota United -- Hassani Dotson, Oregon State
32. NY Red Bulls -- Rece Buckmaster, Indiana
33. Houston -- Andrew Samuels, Maryland
34. Montreal -- Amar Sejdic, Maryland
35. Vancouver -- Brendan McDonough, Georgetown
36. LAFC -- Don Tchilao, Oregon State
37. FC Cincinnati -- Ben Lundt, Akron
38. Orlando City -- Tommy Madden, Charlotte
39. Toronto FC -- Adam Wilson, Louisville
40. LAFC -- Peter-Lee Vassell, Harbour View (Jamaica)
41. Real Salt Lake -- Kyle Coffee, Washington
42. Colorado -- Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, UConn
43. NYCFC -- Abdi Mohamed, Akron
44. Seattle -- Joel Rydstrand, Creighton
45. Sporting KC -- Camden Riley, Pacific
46. San Jose -- Mamadi Camara, Simon Fraser
47. Portland -- Lennart Hein, Saint Louis
48. Atlanta United -- Amir Bashti, Stanford
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