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2016 SuperDraft Anaylsis by Ben Roth

One of the most exciting days of the MLS year didn’t disappoint. The MLS Superdraft, unofficially signifying the beginning of the 2016-17 MLS season was as exciting spectacle as a draft could be. There was wheeling and dealing all over the place with teams trading draft picks, allocation money and players throughout the day.  To start things off, the consensus #1 pick didn’t go first and then the actual #1 pick was traded away.  Throughout this day of chaos, dreams came true for 41 young individuals. It’s the start to their long journeys as professional players. With that said, College Soccer News reviews each one of these picks.

Pick

Team

Player

School

Analysis

1

NYCFC

(Traded from Chicago Fire)

*Trade made after selection

Jack Harrison**

Wake Forest

The Fire went against the consensus and picked 19 year old Harrison over Yaro.  This pick was then traded to NYCFC.  The crafty midfielder should be able to make an impact in year 1 under Patrick Viera. Harrison is capable of playing centrally or on the wing and has one of the biggest upsides in the draft.  NYCFC originally tried signing the former Demon Deacon as a homegrown player, but was denied by MLS.  For a team that lacks width, Harrison should be a great addition.In my opinion, the correct pick.

2

Philadelphia Union (trade from Rapids)

Josh Yaro**

Georgetown

The Union nab the player who many believed would go #1.  Yaro, probably the quickest guy in this draft should compete for minutes immediately.  While he was a central defender in college, he may be moved to outside back in MLS due to his lack of height.  There are many questions still surrounding Yaro’s game, but he has an unbelievable work ethic and should be one to watch going forward.

3

Philadelphia Union

Keegan Rosenberry

Georgetown

Union go with the local product Rosenberry in a huge surprise.  Many believed Brandon Vincent was the top outside back, but Curtin & staff felt otherwise.  The Union get a player who’s a physical beast and loves to get down the line.  The former Hoya may not have the greatest upside in the draft, but he’s a solid force who should be in MLS for many years to come.

4

Chicago Fire

(trade from NYCFC)

Brandon Vincent

Stanford

The Fire smartly draft here and select Vincent, the most sure fire player in this draft who is a day one starter.  Vincent, currently in U.S. national team training camp is a hard-nosed left back with a great work rate on both sides of the ball.  Don’t be surprised if he’s one of the top left backs in the league in a couple years.

5

Real Salt Lake

Omar Holness**

North Carolina

RSL go with another great athlete who has loads of raw talent.  Holness can play anywhere in the midfield or attack, but needs to refine parts of his game.  The former Tar Heel has an explosive ability that you can’t teach.  If RSL can be patient and give Holness minutes off the bench, he’ll be a very special player sooner than later.

6

Philadelphia Union

Fabian Herbers**

Creighton University

The Union already sured up their backline with their first two picks, so they go with the best true forward in this draft in Herbers.  The German striker lit up college soccer this year and will look to do the same in Philadelphia.  The former Bluejay is great at linking up with teammates and has pace to turn the corner on MLS defenders.  Herbers has a knack for scoring goals and if he can get proper service, he can do the same damage CyleLarin did in his rookie campaign.

7

Orlando City SC

Richie Laryea**

Akron University

Orlando City take another GA prospect Laryea.  The Akron playmaker has Darlington Nagbe-esque qualities, but Heath and staff will need to take their time with him. Laryea can play anywhere centrally and has great creativity in the attacking third.  The Sigma FC product is reunited with former teammate Larin and they should form a dynamic duo for years to come. 

8

San Jose Earthquakes

Andrew Tarbell**

Clemson University

The Quakes add a third goalkeeper to their roster in Tarbell, the top keeper in this draft.  Tarbell should be a great backup for David Bingham as they mold him into a future starter.  A solid pick at #8 who doesn’t waste any salary cap space.

9

Toronto FC

Tsubasa Endoh

University of Maryland

Toronto pick the 2016 MLS combine MVP and one of the top playmakers in the draft in Endoh.  The Japanese midfielder boosted his stock tremendously at the combine, but rightfully so.  Endoh is a crafty midfielder who can beat players off the dribble or with great service.  A surprise pick here for Toronto but a good one to bolster their attack.

10

New England Revolution

Jordan McCrary

North Carolina

The Revs grab McCrary, a very talented outside back.  The former Tar Heel would’ve been a top 5 pick, had he not sustained injuries throughout his collegiate career.  McCrary is a great lockdown defender who can play both outside back roles.

11

DC United (Trade from Sporting KC)

Julian Buescher**

Syracuse University

DC United get the only player they really wanted in this draft in Buescher.  Many feel the German midfielder is the top player in this draft class.  The College Soccer News 1st Team All American projects as a box-to-box midfielder at the next level and should find minutes in year 1.  The former Orange playmaker is already 23 years old and ready to make his mark in MLS.

12

Chicago Fire (Trade Colorado Rapids)

Jonathan Campbell

North Carolina

The Fire take Campbell who many believed would be a top 5 pick.  The 6’2” center back is the third Tar Heel taken off the board and may be the most pro-ready of them all.  Campbell had a poor combine showing, but is still a top defender.  He’s dominant in the air and confortable playing out of the back.  The Fire get a safe pick in Campbell.

13

Orlando City SC (Trade DC United)

Hadji Barry

University of Central Florida

Head Coach Adrian Heath takes a player he’s seen play a lot in college with Barry.  The speedster is capable of playing striker or as a winger and is only going to improve.  His improvement in two years at UCF was substantial and Orlando are hoping that climb continues going forward.

14

Montreal Impact

Kyle Fisher

Clemson University

The Impact grab Fisher, an intelligent defender who reads the game very well.  The former Clemson center back commands a back line well and is extremely difficult to beat in 1-on-1 situations.  A smart pick up by Montreal, who can have Fisher learn under Laurent Ciman.

15

Chicago Fire

(Trade from Seattle Sounders FC)

Emmanuel Appiah

Cincinnati University

The Fire get a flashy midfielder in Appiah.  The Ohio native is a bit of a gamble, but with 6 draft picks today, they can take a chance.  Appiah has a great shot from distance and pace.  He’s a good player for the future.

16

Vancouver Whitecaps

Cole Seiler

Georgetown University

Vancouver take a powerful center back in Seiler.  The former Hoya’s playing style is very similar to current Whitecaps defender Tim Parker.  Seiler should gain significant minutes with Whitecaps II this year.  A smart pick for the Whitecaps who take the best available player.

17

FC Dallas

Ryan Herman

University of Washington

FC Dallas grab 6’7” Hermann, a pure shot stopper.  The for U.S. youth national teamer had a fantastic season with the Huskies garnishing College Soccer News 2nd team All-American honors.  He should be the back up for Jesse Gonzalez.

18

New York Red Bulls

Justin Bilyeu

SIUE

Coach Jesse Marsch adds a much needed defender to the Red Bulls roster.  Bilyeu boosted his stock tremendously with a great combine.  The strong left back is very technical as well and can also play center back if needed.  Another smart move by the Red Bulls front office.

19

Columbus Crew SC

Rodrigo Saravia

Florida Gulf Coast University

The Crew take Guatemalan midfielder Saravia.  The Atlantic Sun player of the year has a great mind for the game and is best suited as a deep-lying playmaker.  Should be a good back up for Trapp.

20

Portland Timbers

Ben Polk

Syracuse University

With the steal of the 1st round, the Timbers select Polk, a hard-nosed quick forward. The Orange striker was projected as a top 10 pick, but fell into the MLS Cup Champs lap. The British forward has been compared to Dom Dwyer and if Caleb Porter can groom him well enough, we may see this come to fruition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick

Team

Player

Position

School

21

Columbus Crew SC

Chase Minter

Midfielder

Cal Poly

22

Chicago Fire (Trade from Colorado Rapids)

Alex Morrell

Forward

University of North Florida

23

Philadelphia Union

Taylor Washington

Defender

George Mason University

24

Montreal Impact

Michael Salazar

Forward

University of California-Riverside

25

Real Salt Lake

Max Lachowecki

Defender

Notre Dame

26

Houston Dynamo

Ivan Magalhaes

Defender

University of Maryland

27

Seattle Sounders FC

Tony Alfaro

Defender

Cal State University, Dominguez Hills

28

San Jose Earthquakes

Patrick Hodan

Midfielder

Notre Dame

29

Vancouver Whitecaps

Christopher Hellman

Forward

Lynn University

30

New England Revolution

Michael Gamble

Forward

Wake Forest

31

Columbus Crew SC

Kyle Parker

Forward

UNC Charlotte

32

DC United

(Trade from Orlando City)

Paul Clowes

Midfielder

Clemson

33

FC Dallas (Trade from Chicago Fire)

Timo Pitter

Midfielder

Creighton University

34

Montreal Impact

Eric Verso

Midfielder

Stanford University

35

Seattle Sounders FC

Zach Mathers

Midfielder

Duke University

36

Vancouver Whitecaps

Thomas Sanner

Forward

Princeton University

37

Colorado Rapids (Trade from FC Dallas)

Dennis Castillo

Defender

VCU

38

New York Red Bulls

Zach Carroll

Defender

Michigan State

39

Montreal Impact

Keegan Smith

Forward

University of San Diego

40

Portland Timbers

Neco Brett

Forward

Robert Morris University

41

Columbus Crew SC

Marshall Hollingsworth

Forward

Wheaton College

Note:** indicates a Generation Adidas signee 

Ben Roth covers the 2016 MLS Draft for College Soccer News. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at Twitter: Benjiroth_16