With less than a week to go before the 2020 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, it’s time to perfectly predict just how the first round of picks may pan out.
Four Generation adidas underclassmen and two seniors have signed ahead of the draft. And it’s always worth pointing out that while the significance of the draft has been diminished to an extent, last year’s Rookie of the Year, Andre Shinyashiki, was a first-round pick after playing four seasons at Denver.
Here’s a guess at how the 2020 edition of the draft could play out (as of January 3, 2020).
DM - Penn State
The Revolution has made a smattering of offseason moves already, and even though Molloy requires an international spot, he’d boost depth at defensive midfield.
W - Southern Methodist
Another team in the midst of a busy offseason, the Crew has a chance to snag a solid contributor in McLaughlin, who projects as a wide attacker in MLS.
CF - Central Florida
A goalkeeper is a possibility here, as the Dynamo has just Michael Nelson currently on the roster. But if Jennings is on the board, it would be a nice pickup for improve the team’s options in the final third.
RB/CM - Wake Forest
The Canadian can either be tried out in central midfield or as a right back, where he excelled during his senior season at Wake Forest.
CM/RB - North Carolina
A defensive midfielder who also played as a wing back during his time at Carolina, Kelly adds to Colorado’s depth in central midfield.
CM - San Jose
If the Quakes have the international roster spot, Ferriol is a playmaker from Spain that feels like he could be a hit for Matias Almeyda. He could be fashioned into a useful backup for Jackson Yueill.
CF - San Diego
A prolific senior season is likely to have Berry high on draft boards, and he can make the cross-country move to New England as a depth option to get run with the new USL League One team.
CB - Michigan State
It’s difficult to know which direction FC Dallas goes in, with so many academy players either signed or waiting in the wings. Adding another center back wouldn’t be a bad direction to take with Nielsen. The Danish center back missed a chunk of the season with injury and is flying under the radar.
GK - Charlotte
A late run on goalkeepers in the first round seems plausible, and Panicco is one of the top shot-stoppers available in the class.
RW - North Carolina
Late first round picks have a hard time sticking in Portland historically. Taking a long look at Skahan here wouldn’t be a bad move, as he could be tried on the wing or as an outside back.
LB - Marquette
There is a small collection of left backs that teams could take a flier on, including Seagrist, who made the All-Big East First Team the past two seasons.
W - Louisville
A dynamic wing player at Louisville, Dieye gets the nod here as Minnesota looks to shuffle things up in the final third.
GK - High Point
One of a handful of teams that could opt to grab a goalkeeper, Meyer’s right there with Panicco when it comes to the best candidates in goal.
W - Connecticut
RSL draft picks are much more likely to start out with the USL Championship title-winning Monarchs. Harris adds craft and guile from wide areas, and the Canadian youth international could sneak his way onto the MLS roster.
CF - Loyola Maryland
At this point yet to sign a Homegrown deal with the Red Bulls, the Union can bring Saramago into camp and take a look at him as a backup striker.
CF - Michigan
True No. 9s are one spot lacking in depth on the NYCFC roster. And Popovic, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2019, has shown the ability to combine with teammates and set up goals as well as score them.
CB - Seattle
The Western Athletic Conference Defender of the Year last fall, Burgess gets an invite to Atlanta preseason. A 6-foot-3 center back with decent passing range, he could end up being a sneaky good pick as United seeks to rebuild at the back.
GK - UC Davis
Another team with just two goalkeepers on the roster, LAFC could add Lapsley, the Big West Goalkeeper of the Year in 2019. Listed at 6-foot-5, he would be a serviceable option as the No. 3 on the depth chart.
RB - California
Lekressner showed a goal-scoring punch for the Bears in 2019, earning Pac-12 First-Team honors as a senior. A converted forward, Toronto FC could add the right back with an eye on trying him out as a depth player somewhere out wide.
CM - Duke
The box-to-box midfielder came through the D.C. United Academy before going to Duke, where he was solid over four years. He’s a quality player that brings versatility to a retooling Fire squad.