January 14, 2015 – The countdown to the MLS Superdraft is over. With just one day to go until the league’s biggest offseason event of the year, MLS has made 17 signings total, made up of 12 seniors and 5 Generation Adidas (GA) players. The player combine, an event in Fort Lauderdale where teams get their last chance to evaluate the nation’s top college prospects concluded with many major changes taking place. Some high profile players such as UC Davis defender, Ramon Martin Del Campo may have lowered their draft stocks while the likes of smaller school players such as Ignacio Maganto (Iona) and Dzenan Catic (Davenport) boosted their draft position dramatically. As every year, there will be plenty of trades to come during the coming 24 hours, but as things stand, this is College Soccer News’ final 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. The Lions may consider other teams’ offers for the coveted #1 pick, but ultimately, as an expansion side they want to make a splash in their first season; and Larin is that player to do so.
Roldan, a crafty playmaker also capable of playing a box-to-box role is a perfect fit for Kreis, a coach known to love technical players. The GA prospect can play anywhere in the attack, a very beneficial aspect, expecially with Mix Diskerud joining the squad.Side note: there’s rumors of NYCFC looking to trade down for more draft picks and allocation money.
Shelton, an explosive forward with an ability to play on the wings can immediately help bolster a struggling Impact side. The former Beaver striker was often injured in college, but when healthy he has the talent to be an MLS stud.
San Jose Earthquakes
The Quakes’ grab Donovan, a young GA player, they can mold into a top prospect. Donovan reads the game well, but will need to gain experience, maybe in USL Pro before being able to make an impact.
Porter goes with Besler, a hard working, simplistic defensive midfielder who could be a solid MLS player in his rookie season. Besler, a real competitor boosted his draft stock with a very good combine.
Toronto grab recent U.S National Team call-up Alex Bono, a 6’3” agile goalkeeper. The Hermann Trophy Award finalist is the top keeper in the draft and a known commodity. Teams will be looking to trade up for the former Orange net-minder.
The Fire snag Metzger, one of the standouts at the combine. The former Terps’ defensive midfielder is a technical true #6 who loves to sit in front of his back line and spray the ball around.
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. There were some questions about Okwuono’sMLS readiness, but he really impressed at the combine, showing how polished he is.
Toronto pick a hard nosed defensive midfielder, Alashe who can be a great bench option and compete with Kyle Bekker for minutes.
Vermes goes with Tim Parker, an athletic center back who had an outstanding combine. The 6’2” defender was near the top of every leaderboard in the physical testing and has the speed to keep up with MLS’ fastest attackers. The former St. John’s captain is a great pick up for a team struggling with defensive depth.
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 Altidore and gain some minutes as the year goes on. Many see Williams as a hit-or-miss prospect
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 need defensive depth and with Sjoberg, they grab a 6’7” center back, who has better mobility than some may think. Sjoberg has decent feet and is essentially a magnet in the air. He would be a smart draft move for the Whitecaps.
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
Ramon Martin Del Campo
FC Dallas pick Del Campo, a normally consistent central defender with good feet. The UC Davis captain, struggled in his first two games at the combine, and therefore dropped his stock big time, but he’s definitely still a first round talent.
Real Salt Lake
With RSL losing their long time left back Chris Wingert, they replace him with speedster Andy Thoma. The former UW outside back had a bit of a disappointing combine, but he’s still one of top left backs in the draft and is too good to pass up at #16.
For a team solid everywhere, they grab Ballo, a local product who could develop. The UMBC center back is a physical beast, but there are questions about his ability to play out of the back.
New York Red Bulls
With all the changes going on in Harrison, the team really needs to make a solid pick in the draft and they go with DzenanCatic, one of the most impressive players from the combine. At 6’3”, the athletic forward is explosive and has very good feet for his size. He could be a great signing for a team lacking forward depth.
The Rapids need desperately need depth at center mid so they pick Bird, a playmaker for the reigning national champs. Bird, a hard working midfielder is versatile enough to play anywhere in the attack. If he drops to 19, Mastroeni will be glad to take him.
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.Hallisey endured a solid combine and even notched a goal, proving his worth as this draft’s best pure winger.
The reigning MLS Cup champs grab the 2014 Hermann Trophy Award winner, LeoStolz. It’s a bit of an odd situation because Stolz has been on trial with teams in Europe, but says he would still play in MLS depending on what team he was drafted by. The former Bruin playmaker is arguably the best player in the draft, but his current status drops him to pick 21, where Arena rolls the dice and hopes he joins.
New York FC
Orlando City SC
New England Revolution
New York Red Bulls
New England Revolution
** indicates a Generation Adidas player
Ben Roth is a contributing writer for College Soccer News. He will be in attendance covering the MLS Superdraft live from the Philadelphia Convention Center on January 15th. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org