2017 SuperDraft: Minnesota United take Abu Danladi No. 1

It didn't take long for the wheeling and dealing to start in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, although the league's two newest teams held onto their picks to open the day.

The first choice turned out to be a bit of a surprise, though.

Expansion club Minnesota United took UCLA forward Abu Danladi with the top pick on Friday – bypassing early MLS signee Jeremy Ebobisse, who had been projected to go first to the Loons in several mock drafts.

Danladi was hampered by injuries during his senior season with the Bruins, appearing in only 11 matches, but still led UCLA with seven goals and then wowed observers at this week's Combine with his talent.

Fellow expansion side Atlanta United used the second overall pick to take versatile Syracuse defender and US youth international Miles Robinson, who was voted the Atlantic Cost Conference's top defender this past fall after helping the Orange record 11 shutouts during his sophomore season. Atlanta used the eighth overall pick to take Providence midfielder Julian Gressel, who had 15 goals and six assists for the Friars in 2016.

New York City made a last-minute trade for the Chicago Fire's No. 3 pick, using it to select Akron forward Jonathan Lewis and sending the Fire $250,000 in General Allocation Money in exchange. Lewis had two goals and 12 assists as a freshman with the Zips this past fall. 

The trade also marked the first time that allocation money amounts were announced for SuperDraft trades.

Though Chicago did not receive a draft pick in return, they still picked midfielder and Combine star Daniel Johnson out of Louisville with the No. 11 overall pick.

Ebobisse, a talented attacker who passed up his junior season at Duke to sign early with MLS and spent last year with the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer League, went to Portland with the fourth overall pick, after the Timbers traded up with Houston.

In return, they sent the Dynamo $100,000 of GAM, one international roster spot and their 10th overall pick, which Houston used to take English midfielder Joseph Holland -- the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year who was a late invitee to the Combine -- out of Hofstra.

If Ebobisse's slight drop was unexpected, Brandon Aubrey's fall was precipitous. The Notre Dame defender had been projected as high as No. 6 in early mock drafts, but fell to a low top-20 pick after he struggled at the Combine. Teams passed on him even beyond that, until Toronto FC took him at No. 21 -- the next-to-last pick of the first round.

Dayton center back Alhassan "Lalas" Abubakar was the second defender taken in the top five, the sturdy Ghanaian youth international going to Columbus Crew SC with the fifth overall pick. The San Jose Earthquakes followed by taking creative midfielder Jackson Yueill -- who had three assists in a 32-second span in one match this past September -- from UCLA at No. 6. Three picks later, at No. 9, Crew SC took winger Niko Hansen from New Mexico, where he scored 13 goals and added three assists last season.

Vancouver shored up their shaky right back spot with the seventh pick, taking Connecticut's Jakob Nerwinski – who also showed at the Combine that he can play on the left side.

The LA Galaxy and Orlando City were the only two teams to not have picks in either of the first two rounds, but both hold at least one pick when the draft resumes with Rounds 3 and 4 on Tuesday.

Here are Friday's SuperDraft picks by club:

Atlanta United: Miles Robinson (#2), Julian Gressel (#8)

Chicago Fire: Daniel Johnson (#11), Stefan Cleveland (#26), Guillermo Delgado (#27)

Colorado Rapids: Sam Hamilton (#15), Liam Callahan (#24)

Columbus Crew SC: Alhassan Abubakar (#5), Niko Hansen (#9)

D.C. United: Chris Odoi-Atsem (#12), Eric Klenofsky (#34), Jo Vetle Rimstad (#43)

FC Dallas: Jacori Hayes (#18), Walker Hume (#37), Adonijah Reid (#40)

Houston Dynamo: Joseph Holland (#10), Jake McGuire (#30), Danilo Radjen (#36)

LA Galaxy: No picks in Rounds 1 or 2

Minnesota United: Abu Danladi (#1), Alec Ferrell (#23), Thomas De Villardi (#42)

Montreal Impact: Nick DePuy (#19), Shamit Shome (#42)

New England Revolution: Brian Wright (#20), Napo Matsoso (#31)

New York City FC: Jonathan Lewis (#3), Kwame Awuah (#16), Jalen Brown (#38)

New York Red Bulls: Zeiko Lewis (#17), Ethan Kutler (#39)

Orlando City SC: No picks in Rounds 1 or 2

Philadelphia Union: Marcus Epps (#25), Aaron Jones (#33)

Portland Timbers: Jeremy Ebobisse (#4), Michael Amick (#32)

Real Salt Lake: Reagan Dunk (#13), Justin Schmidt (#35)

San Jose Earthquakes: Jackson Yueill (#6), Lindo Mfeka (#28)

Seattle Sounders FC: Brian Nana-Sinkam (#22), Dominic Oduro (#44)

Sporting Kansas City: Colton Storm (#14)

Toronto FC: Brandon Aubrey (#21)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Jakob Nerwinski (#7), Francis DeVries (#29)

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