The 2015 MLS SuperDraft is in the books, with about 80 draftees headed to their respective preseason destinations.
While the 2015 season kicks off next month with CONCACAF Champions League action and MLS play starts up March 6, we thought it was time to look forward a little bit.
Here are the top 10 players on our 2016 SuperDraft big board. It's a quick look at the best in the college game and some thoughts on how their talent might translate to MLS. Six of last year's top 10 were selected in the last week, with one underclassman remaining in school.
Note: Players marked * are potential Generation adidas targets.
1) Joshua Yaro*, CB, Georgetown (pictured) – Well, since Yaro would not be torn away from his dream of getting a college education and using his degree to help change his native Ghana for the better, let the speculation on his 2016 SuperDraft prospects begin! All sarcasm aside, Yaro would have been the No. 1 pick if he signed a Generation adidas deal this year, so he’s easily the top prospect going into next year, his junior season at Georgetown. School bio
2) Michael Amick*, CB, UCLA – Widely considered as a potential Generation adidas candidate this year, Amick started all 24 games for a Bruins squad that went to the Colllege Cup final in 2014. If he can maintain his performance in his junior season, MLS will surely come back next year with another strong offer for Amick, a 1995 birthday who was in camp with the US U-20 national team but did not make the final squad for this month's qualifying tournament. School bio
3) Brandon Vincent, LB, Stanford – Yes, a Stanford kid who’s not eligible for a Homegrown Player contract is No. 3 on this list. Deal with it. He’s a team captain. He’s murderous heading down the left wing. And, lest we forget, the Cardinal won what may have been the most difficult conference in college soccer in 2014. For all the talk that Jordan Morris (rightly) gets, Vincent is going to make a name for himself in 2015 (his senior season), and one very lucky MLS team is going to pick up a great left back. School bio
4) Abu Danladi*, FW, UCLA – Danladi’s freshman season at UCLA went pretty well, we’d say: five goals, six assists in only 12 games and a trip to the national final. It was enough to get him considered for a Generation adidas deal this year, but in the end that did not pan out. Expect another offer next year if he keeps it up without Leo Stolz creating from the midfield. School bio
5) Neco Brett, FW, Robert Morris – Let’s start with the glaringly obvious when it comes to Brett: In the last two seasons at Robert Morris, the Jamaican youth international has scored 29 goals. Dude obviously knows how to put it in the back of the net. But he’s also got the speed, skill and drive to be a great striker in MLS. School bio
6) Omar Holness*, MF, North Carolina – For the second year in a row, we’re going to predict that Holness signs a Generation adidas deal next year. The Tar Heels’ sophomore central midfielder scored twice and added seven assists this season, and he also earned his first cap for Jamaica’s senior national team in September. He’s a nightmare when he gets up a good head of steam to run at defenders. School bio
7) Patrick Hodan, MF, Notre Dame – Hodan has scored 20 goals in Notre Dame’s past two seasons, and he scored five goals in five games in the 2013 postseason to help power the Irish all the way to the NCAA title. A rising senior in 2015, he’s a crafty little midfielder with an eye for goal, and he can be lethal on the run. If he gets paired up with Harry Shipp in Chicago again, God help us all. School bio
8) Femi Hollinger-Janzen, FW/MF, Indiana – Hollinger-Janzen finished his junior season with five goals and two assists, helping the Hoosiers to a 12-5-5 record (a massive improvement over 2013) and a berth in the NCAA tournament. He’s six feet, 174 pounds, athletic, fearless, and though he’s a pretty tidy player already (first team all-Big Ten as a junior last season), he’s still improving his game. School bio
9) C. Nortey, FW, Marquette – Like Brett, Nortey – a native of Ghana – stands only 5-foot-8. Also like Brett, Nortey is a goalscoring machine. After scoring nine times as a freshman, Nortey was kept out his whole sophomore season due to injury but came back strong as a redshirt sophomore and scored 10 goals. Production dropped slightly in 2014 – to seven goals scored. He’s a pesky striker with a nose for goal. He’ll fit nicely in MLS. School bio
10) Augusto Maciel, MF, University of Charleston (WV) – We’ve renamed last year’s Tesho Akindele Award – given to the guy who you’d never heard of but who went on draft day anyway – to the Sebastian Velasquez Award, because we literally spent all day trying to find information about him when Real Salt Lake drafted the Spartanburg Methodist junior college standout in 2012. So Velasquez did it first, and he was even more of an off-the-radar choice. At least Akindele was at the Combine.
Congratulations are due, first of all, to this year’s award winner: NC State’s Clément Simonin (note that French pronunciation), who Toronto plucked out of obscurity after he missed most of his senior season with an injury. Next year’s winner, we predict, will be the Golden Eagles’ Augusto Maciel, the Brazilian midfielder who finished his 2014 season in Division II with 18 goals and 14 assists. School bio