With the MLS Superdraft only a week away, this year’s draft class seems to be taking shape. The league has signed seven seniors (Fatai Alashe, Nick Besler, Dan Metzger, Boyd Okwouno, Andy Thoma, Khiry Shelton, Ramon Martin Del Campo) and finished with five Generation Adidas prospects (Cyle Larin, Cristian Roldan, Alex Bono, Romario Williams, Conor Donovan). Although this is by far the smallest Generation Adidas class to date, it is one of the most talented, with every player in it being an impact signing. There were talks of MLS not getting any of their top Generation Adidas prospects, but when it came down to it, they signed their top 2 targets, Larin and Roldan. This offseason for MLS has been one of the most hectic to date so expect plenty of wheeling-and-dealing at this year’s Superdraft. There’s bound to be more movement around the league especially with the MLS combine beginning this week. As is the case every year in every sport and even more so in soccer, the draft is nearly impossible to project, but the College Soccer News staff has talked to MLS coaches and reviewed game film and highlights in an attempt to make their most accurate prediction for this year’s draft. With that said, take a look at the College Soccer News 2015 MLS Mock Superdraft.
Larin is a no brainer for Orlando City, a team with no glaring needs. The athletic forward has loads of potential and it’s known that Healey has been to plenty of Larin’scollege games this year.
Roldan, a crafty playmaker is a perfect fit for Kreis, a coach known to love technical players. The GA prospect can play anywhere in an attacking lineup.
Shelton, an explosive forward with an ability to play on the wings can immediately help bolster a struggling Impact side.
San Jose Earthquakes
Ramon Martin Del Campo
The Quakes’ grab Del Campo, a consistent defender high on many teams’ draft boards. He can help a rather weak backline as either a center back or right back.
Porter, known to go against the norm in the draft, picks Thoma, the consensus best left back in the draft. Thoma is a speedster who covers the flanks well and can even play wing.
Toronto pick a hard nosed defensive midfielder, Alashe who can be a great bench option and compete with Kyle Bekker for minutes.
The Fire snag the best senior not signed by the league, in Stolz. The Hermann Trophy Award finalist is a creative midfielder who might be one of the most talented players in the draft. His downside; he’ll be 24 years old by the start of the season.
Okwuono, a very consistent player who rarely loses the ball is a smart pick here as he can help address the Dynamo’s need in the backline. At 5’8”, he may project more as a right back in MLS.
Toronto secure the top college keeper in the country with Bono. The Hermann Trophy Finalist is a safe pick who Toronto could mold into a future MLS stud. If Bono is still available at 9, this is a great pick up by the Reds.
Vermes goes with Nick Besler, reuniting him with his brother, Matt. Sporting KC said they would go with best player available and at this point in the draft, Besler is the best pick.
With Toronto’s third pick of the first round, they choose, Williams, a semi-risky, but a budget saving pick, since he’s a GA. He’s an athletic player who can learn behind the likes of Gilberto and Defoe if he stays.
For a team that lost Collin this offseason and has virtually no depth at outside back, Earle is a great pick. He’s a solid defender who can contribute from day one.
The Whitecaps are another team with no massive gaps in their lineup, so they go with Metzger, a smart technical defensive mid. The MLS signing
The Crew grab a Hermann Trophy award finalist in Craven, a natural finisher. The former Tar Heel will add to a forward line who apart from Kamara, isn’t very consistent. I could see Craven being a threat off the bench
North Carolina St.
Donovan, a US youth national teamer is a steal if he drops this far. Donovan, often compared to FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges, reads the game unbelievably well and could develop into a league superstar.
Real Salt Lake
RSL pick Bird, a versatile attacker who can virtually play anywhere. The hard working playmaker is a technical workhorse, and a type of player who could thrive under Jeff Cassar’s system.
For a team solid everywhere, they grab Ballo, a local product who could develop. The UMBC center back is a physical beast, but there’s questions on his ability to play out of the back.
New York Red Bulls
New Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch says the team needs more athletic and mobile players and they get that with Parker, possibly the most MLS ready defender in the draft. The St. John’s product fills a glaring need at center back and could start from day one. Parker is a steal as a late first rounder.
The Rapids need depth desperately at center mid and with Simmons they grab a smart simple player who can play defensive mid or in the backline.
If Sporting KC keep this pick, they could do much worse than picking up Hallisey, a crafty left winger who could fight for playing time.
The reigning MLS Cup champs go with Saad Abdul-Salaam, a very attacking-minded athletic right back with good size. He can play behind Gargan and hopefully gain playing time as the season progresses.
** indicates a Generation Adidas player
Ben Roth is a contributing writer for College Soccer News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be in attendance covering the MLS Superdraft live from Philadelphia on January 15th.