MLS SuperDraft 2019: Mock Draft 1.0

With the MLS SuperDraft fast approaching, we take our first look at the great guessing game that is Mock Drafts. Who goes first? Who does your team pick?

Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we? We’re inching closer to the 2019 MLS SuperDraft and that means it’s time to play some guessing games on who’s going to pick who.

I asked around for some help figuring out who wants what players, but a lot of this has been just looking at rosters and trying to find holes. Not many of these players will be their respective MLS teams’ plan at filling that hole, but they will nonetheless address the needs, at least to some extent.

Let’s get started.

1. FC Cincinnati

Frankie Amaya – UCLA – M

Pretty much every other mock draft has this guy at first or second. A Generation Adidas player, he’s going to be a valuable attacking midfielder. Pretty much the biggest thing about this kid is that he’s already a US U-20 national team player, so that just screams value.

2. San Jose Earthquakes

Callum Montgomery – UNC Charlotte – D

Callum Montgoery is the absolute best player in the draft in my opinion. The only reason he doesn’t go first is because I think that Cincinnati will be fine with their defense for now. Pretty much anyone else would jump at the chance to pick him up and that means that San Jose absolutely wins by grabbing him here.

3. Orlando City

Alex Comisa – UNC – D

Orlando is probably the most confusing team in the league because on paper they really shouldn’t be that bad. But they are. They gave up the most goals in MLS history last season (with San Jose and Minnesota only three goals behind them) and they just need something back there. I gift you Alex Comisa, a member of one of College soccer’s best programs, in order to help find some way to plug up that defense.

4. FC Dallas (from Colorado)

Tucker Bone – Air Force – M

This is a risky pick and, honestly, if they really wanted him they could probably get him somewhere later, but I feel like if there’s any place that Tucker Bone will go, it’ll be Dallas. There’s some questions about if his military service will get in the way, but after losing Ulloa and Acosta, they need some midfield help and Bone can be that guy.

5. Chicago Fire

Peter-Lee Vassell – Jamaica – M

A late addition to the draft, I was going to have the Fire picking JJ Williams at this pick, but this player is too good to pass up. Already playing for the Jamaican national team, Peter-Lee Vassell fits the criteria for what the Fire need: Literally anything other than a central holding midfielder.

6. Toronto FC

JJ William – Kentucky – F

And with the Fire picking Vassell, JJ Williams doesn’t fall too far. Clearly an understudy to Jozy Altidore, WIlliams will be that extra bit of depth to help keep their attack fresh. There seemed to be a big issue last year with Toronto players getting tired and to have this kind of quality off the bench is important.

7. Minnesota United

John Nelson – UNC – D

Back to defense, Minnesota would’ve broken the record for the most goals allowed if it weren’t for Orlando (and San Jose). So clearly, they need the best defender available and John Nelson is precisely that. He is also a Generation Adidas player to boot. It’s kind of obvious.

8. Houston Dynamo

Abdi Mohammed – Akron – D

Houston wasn’t historically bad like the last three teams who picked a defender, but they still have holes to fill back there. Not just that, but there’s also the fact that their attack is already absolutely set the way it is. I don’t see them going for an attacker here, they’re sticking with a defender.

9. New England Revolution

Dayne St. Clair – Maryland – G

New England has had goalkeeper issues for a while and with a possibly MLS-ready goalkeeper on the table here, I don’t see them letting him go by. It’s very rare for there to be a Generation Adidas goalkeeper, so that makes him even more of a beautiful unicorn for New England.

10. FC Dallas (from Montreal)

Griffin Dorsey – Indiana – M

At this point for Dallas, it’s just about the best player available and I think that they’re going to be a fan of Dorsey. Pretty much a winger at Indiana, he has the possibility to fight his way into the starting lineup for them.

11. New England Revolution (from Vancouver)

Brad Dunwell – Wake Forest – M

One of the most important parts of a team is its spine and New England is going to try to build up its spine some more. Pretty much everyone on the team is able to score when put in the right positions. But you need someone who is going to do a good job of getting the ball out to them and Dunwell comes from a college that is weirdly good at preparing players for MLS.

12. LA Galaxy

Marcello Borges – Michigan – D

Galaxy is going to need to find a way to consolidate its DPs, but even with those attacking players gone, they won’t need any more. What they need is defense, so defense is where they go.

13. Philadelphia Union

Logan Gdula – Wake Forest – D

I’m repeating myself here. EVERYONE NEEDS DEFENSE (except for like, three or four teams). While there’s plenty more talent on the attacking side of this draft, there’s more of a need at the back. Philly is no exception.

14. D.C. United

Tajon Buchanan – Syracuse – F

Although Wayne Rooney has done a great job leading the line, I feel like D.C. will want more depth in attack. So they go with the best player available and a Generation Adidas player, Tajon Buchanan.

15. Colorado Rapids (from Dallas)

Andrew Shinyashiki – Denver – F

After falling this far mostly due to the idea that he may not quite translate to MLS, I think that Colorado will be willing to take a chance on a striker like him. Risky, but could be a steal.

16. Los Angeles FC

Janos Loebe – Fordham – F

I’m giving this pick to LAFC because I think Bradley and Thorrington are smart and will see the same potential in Loebe as we saw in Gressel. They don’t really have too many needs, so Loebe will probably just develop in the USL.

17. Real Salt Lake

Siad Hadji – VCU – M

How did Hadji fall this far? I don’t even know anymore, but he’s not going to fall any longer. Some people are calling him the best player in the draft. I don’t really buy it. But he is still an amazing player and deserving of his Generation Adidas contract.

18. Columbus Crew

Joey Piatczyc – West Virginia – M

A best-player-available pick here, I think that Joey Piatczyc will fit in behind Higuain as a good depth piece at the attacking midfield position.

19. New York City FC

Abdou Mbacke Thiam – UConn – F

With David Villa off to Japan, NYCFC needs a talented striker. You don’t get that in the draft, I don’t think. Not usually anyway. But still, NYCFC has had great luck in the draft and I think they’ll shoot their shot with Mbacke Thiam, who’s been a steadily good player for UConn.

20. Seattle Sounders

Wouter Verstraaten – Pacific – D

The Sounders like to draft domestic — they like to draft players from the area. Verstraaten may not be from the West Coast, but he did go to college on the West Coast. This also fits in with the fact that Seattle’s defenders are getting old and they need some younger people in there. He’ll probably end up in the USL for the season, but he may be important in the future.

21. Sporting Kansas City

Amir Bashti – Stanford – F

Best forward available here. Just for depth. SKC isn’t really in that much need anywhere else.

22. New York Red Bulls

Camden Riley – Pacific – M

Another best-player-available pick for this one as NYRB continues to quietly be the best team in the league at developing players. A great academy and, while Jesse Marsch is gone now, Chris Armas is another great teacher for young players. He’s going to look to pick up someone who reminds him of himself.

23. Portland Timbers

Akeem Ward – Creighton – D

Losing Alvas Powell, they’ll want to shore up depth at the full-back position. Akeem Ward can play both sides and could be great depth with versatility and positional awareness, something that the Timbers do require.

24. Atlanta United

Pat Bunk-Anderson – Clemson – D

Losing Greg Garza leaves a hole at left-back and, while Brek Shea is going to fill it, I don’t think anyone would be comfortable trusting Brek Shea to actually fill it. With pretty much no needs elsewhere, they’re just going to quietly pick up Bunk-Anderson just in case Shea isn’t who they wanted.