The 2022 MLS SuperDraft on Tuesday (2:30 pm ET) includes a handful of players that are widely projected to be picked early.
But sometimes those that develop into MLS-level contributors aren't necessarily the names you would expect. And those later picks are all about maximizing value and finding a diamond in the rough.
Who could fit that mold this go-around? During their latest episode, Extratime co-host Matt Doyle highlighted Notre Dame midfielder Mo Omar because of his imposing stature and athletic gifts that could fuel a move to center back at the professional level.
"I don't even know if he counts as a sleeper, he played at a big program with Notre Dame, he was in the [Toronto FC] academy. He looks the part," Doyle said. "When he gets on the ball, he is silky smooth. He's huge, he's like 6-foot-3, 180 [pounds], so he can kind of ragdoll guys in central midfield. There are quickness issues, there's always pace of play issues for guys who play in central midfield jumping out of college. But I do think he'll find a way to stick. At worst, you can try to turn him into center back, that is a thing to remember.
"He's not as athletic as Aaron Long was, but I remember people saying he was going to be a center back in three years and it'll be worth it to take him. I've heard some of the same stuff about Mo Omar."
For his sleeper pick, co-host Michael Lahoud went with a key cog for the defending NCAA national champion Clemson Tigers in Swedish defender Oskar Agren.
The 6-foot-3 center back enjoyed a decorated college career, getting named a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist and second team All-American while anchoring a Tigers defense that was among the best in the NCAA. He also netted five goals and dished out three assists.
"You've got to go with the defending national champs Clemson Tigers – so many players that have come through in producing talent and being a force in college soccer over the last 5-6 years," Lahoud said. "And the guy that was instrumental for them when I saw them in the Final Four and watching them throughout the season, doesn't get enough credit, is Oskar Agren. He's Swedish, takes up an international roster spot potentially, but I think he's a guy who's worth the gamble.
"He is composed on the ball, he can play between the lines, thread the needle, kickstart your attack if you're a team that wants to play the ball on the ground. He's deceptively fast, he's got good size and he's got an eye for goal. For a center back, especially coming from a different country, he's the prototypical central European. Very technical, reads the game well and when he needs to get stuck in, he'll surprise you. He's deceptively strong."
Check out the whole Extratime SuperDraft preview episode here.