College Cup MLS on Campus

Mock Draft v2.0: MLS on Campus rates blue-chippers one month out from 2014 SuperDraft

A little less than a month ago, we at decided that it was as good a time as any to start making a mockery of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft as the NCAA men’s soccer tournament was about to get under way.

As expected, that version of how the SuperDraft would go down was -- we're pretty sure -- very wrong. But now that the tournament is over, we’ve gotten our act together. Cross our hearts, this is exactly how the SuperDraft is going to play out in January.*

* - This is nothing like how the SuperDraft is going to play out next month. Hell, we don’t even know who the Generation adidas signees are yet.

First Round

Pick Team  

Patrick Mullins (F)


We had Mullins going first in our last Mock Draft, and after scoring three goals at College Cup to finish his senior year with 19, we see no reason to drop him.

Best MLS comparison: Kenny Cooper


(Via Chivas USA)

Christian Dean (D)

California/ GA

Here’s a fun trick for you: Go up to someone who watches college soccer for a living and whisper Christian Dean’s name in their ear. Then watch them salivate. At 20 years old, Dean still has plenty of development ahead of him, but he’s got all the tools to become an All-Star type defender in MLS. He’s 6-foot-3. He’s fast. He’s accurate with his passes. He has great feet. And he’s a lefty. He's still raw, though -- so expect him to play at least a year at left back.

Best MLS comparison: Jalil Anibaba


(Via Toronto FC)

Andre Blake (GK)

Connecticut / GA

When Mock Draft 1.0 came out, Vancouver fans nearly broke Twitter with their outcries about how they didn’t need a ‘keeper. Now that the ‘Caps have dumped all their goalkeepers except David Ousted, looks like that’s not true anymore. Be glad, Vancouverites: Blake is really, really, really good.

Best MLS comparison: Tally Hall


Steve Birnbaum (D)


He's the most MLS-ready central defender in the draft -- and maybe the most MLS-ready player at any spot. Big, strong, fast, and a converted central midfield who is equally comfortable distributing the ball or stepping into the play with it on his foot. Some injury concerns, but he was very, very good this past year.

Best MLS comparison: Shane O'Neill


Omar Holness (M)

North Carolina / GA

He’s still young, but Holness has the size and the speed to succeed in MLS right now. His finishing is probably not where it needs to be to get starter minutes, but with his touch on the ball, his upside is tremendous.

Best MLS comparison: Gyasi Zardes


Pedro Ribeiro (M)

Coastal Carolina

A deep-lying playmaker with a ton of individual skill, Ribeiro has passing vision and combines it with a resiliency and skill set that might mean he can walk right into the starting lineup. Ribeiro is 6-foot-3, over 200 pounds, and to borrow a cliché about Brazilian soccer players, has the ball on a string.

Best MLS comparison: Tony Tchani


Marlon Hairston (M)

Louisville / GA

The 'Caps are all set up top, and they're mostly set along the backline. They have Blake on board to help out at 'keeper. Enter Hairston, a box-to-box midfielder with attacking tendencies that you could play alongside the likes of Gershon Koffie -- or maybe even in front of him in a 4-1-3-2.

Best MLS comparison: Marcelo Sarvas


Grant Van De Casteele (D)

Notre Dame

Van De Casteele's stock got a big bump in the NCAA Tournament as he anchored the Notre Dame backline to their first-ever College Cup title. He's an above-average reader of the game, and is quite good in the air. The Fire need depth in central defense, and this is how they'll get (some of) it.

Best MLS comparison: Aurelien Collin


Eric Miller (D/M)

Creighton / GA

Split time between right back and right midfield in college, but he'll be a pure fullback at the MLS level. Overlaps like mad, which means he should be a natural replacement for Steven Beitashour should Beita head to Europe.

Best MLS comparison: Chance Myers


Ben Sweat (D)


There are plenty of questions for the Impact to answer on their back line, so picking off arguably the best pure left back available would be a good way to answer at least one of them. Sweat is tall, tough on the defensive end, but can also bomb forward when the need arises.

Best MLS comparison: Roy Miller


Jared Watts (M)

Wake Forest

The Rapids have lots of attacking talent and a coach that has consistently found innovative ways to use it, but sometimes soccer becomes a slugfest, and having a hard-nosed defensive midfielder like Watts around would be a huge advantage. Especially with Hendry Thomas not 100 percent to return.

Best MLS comparison: Ben Zemanski


Mackenzie Pridham (F)

Cal Poly

Though he’s a Canadian citizen, Pridham is a green card holder, meaning he won’t take up an international roster slot on a US team. Which is a good thing, because the 6-foot-1 striker has scored 25 goals in the last two seasons, winning back-to-back Big West Offensive Player of the Year awards. Even if they find a way to bring Juan Agudelo back, this is a good pick.

Best MLS comparison: Devon Sandoval


AJ Corrado (M)


Maybe the best pure chance creator in this draft, he is elusive on the ball and able to hit the final pass when he creates separation. He's a "modern playmaker" in that he tends to work outside-in instead of inside-out.

Best MLS comparison: Dilly Duka


JJ Koval (M)


Koval is not the fastest player, but he is big, strong, good in the air, and more importantly he knows exactly what makes him a good player. Shielding LA’s back line, Koval could provide the Galaxy a little more freedom elsewhere on the field in getting forward, and having someone good in the air would certainly help them improve set-piece defense.

Best MLS comparison: Jeff Larentowicz


Joey Dillon (M)


He's not the sexiest pick out there, but any momentum TFC had last year evaporated when Matias Laba went down injured. Dillon's more of a pure No. 6, a ball-winner who can shield the defense and get spot duty closing down shop at the end of games. They've lacked that in Toronto pretty much forever.

Best MLS comparison: Sam Cronin


Kyle Venter (D)

New Mexico

A big, strong centerback with good positioning and composure in releasing pressure, he could fit into the Dynamo back line -- suddenly thin after the departure of Bobby Boswell -- rather seamlessly. And he's an absolute monster on set pieces.

Best MLS comparison: Clarence Goodson


Aodhan Quinn (F/M)


Didn’t you hear? Timbers head coach Caleb Porter is getting the Akron band back together, so Quinn should start booking his plane ticket to the Rose City now. He's a natural winger in the 4-3-3 who's already got three years of Porterball under his belt, and provides depth at a spot where the Timbers are currently one injury away from being really thin.

Best MLS comparison: Tony Cascio


Steve Neumann (M/F)


Neumann’s not going to be very popular in a certain subset of soccer fans because of what he’s not: Particularly big, fast or strong. But he can keep control of the ball in even the tightest of spaces, he has a great eye for a pass, and when he gets the opportunity, his shot can be lethal. He’ll join RSL with all the skill that they need, and with the chip on the shoulder that’s required when you play in Sandy.

Best MLS comparison: Roger Torres


Kevin Cope (D)

Michigan State

If the Revolution can still get Cope with their last pick of the first round, they should absolutely grab him. He's not as big or strong as some of the other central defenders in this class, but he's still 6-foot-1, tough as hell and an animal in the air. If Soares or Goncalves get injured, he steps right in. Even if they didn’t, he could at the very least chew up minutes to give them a day off.

Best MLS comparison: Jay Demerit



Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.