No. 2 picks in MLS SuperDraft History
USA Today Sports

What has been the best spot to pick in the SuperDraft? History says it's not No. 1

We all know about the curse of the No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft.

From Steve Shak to Nikolas Besagno to Omar Salgado, the top overall pick is littered with cautionary tales and busts.

But which pick has produced the best results over the years? The answer will probably not surprise you.

Based on total games played in MLS, the No. 2 pick has produced the most output of any draft pick in MLS SuperDraft history. The players picked in this position have been some of the best in MLS history and it all started with the first draft.

Eddie Pope was the first No. 2 pick in MLS College Draft history when he was selected back in 1996 by D.C. United. Pope would go on to make 254 appearances in MLS, win 3 MLS Cups, get named to 4 MLS Best XI's, and register 82 caps with the US national team. The legendary names continue to appear through the years with Jay Heaps, Nick Garcia, Taylor Twellman, Ricardo Clark, Chad Marshall, and Brad Guzan. In recent years that trend has not stopped, as players like Brek Shea, Sam Cronin, Darlington Nagbe, and Steve Birnbaum have all been drafted at No. 2.

The chart below shows how many games players at each draft pick have played in MLS. This can be skewed by the fact that great players sometimes leave MLS early and may in turn not fully represent the quality of player taken at each pick.

Draft Pick Production by Games Played in MLS

You can see in the chart above that pick No. 11 has performed well above expectation. Long-time MLS veterans like Tyrone Marshall and Brian Carroll were picked in this spot in addition to current MLS standouts in Roger Espinoza, Will Bruin, Matt Hedges, and 2013 Rookie of the Year Dillon Powers.

One pick that has not quite produced over the years is No. 8. Players such as Guillermo Gonzalez, Jerson Monteiro, and Josh Lambo failed to make any impact in MLS.

The draft is full of possibilities, though, and with each year comes the chance for a star to emerge no matter what spot he is picked in. Will we see a whole new trend start in 2015?


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