Cincinnati, who held 10 picks coming into Friday's draft, first opted to add some offense with the UCLA and US Under-20 attacking midfielder. Amaya, 18, is a Generation adidas (GA) player.
There was some question as to whether Cincy would hold on to the first overall pick, as they took a time-out while the club brass talked to LAFC exec John Thorrington on draft room floor. Ultimately, though, they kept the selection, which will allow them to address a need on their expansion roster.
Cincinnati would go on to make one more pick in the first round, selecting Wake Forest fullback Logan Gdula with No. 13 pick they acquired from Philadelphia on Thursday. They held one more first-round pick, the No. 16 overall selection, but instead flipped it to the New York Red Bulls – who selected UC Davis defender Roy Boateng – along with the No. 25 pick, in exchange for $100,00 in General Allocation Money (GAM).
The San Jose Earthquakes, led by newly-appointed head coach Matias Almeyda, also opted for a GA player with the second overall pick when they selected Siad Haji. The All-American attacker out of VCU has also featured for the US youth national teams.
FC Dallas, aiming to go young under new head coach and former academy director Luchi Gonzalez, drafted one of the most pro-ready center backs in the draft with the No. 4 pick, selecting UNC-Charlotte senior Callum Montgomery, a 21-year-old British Columbia native.
The first trade of draft day game just ahead of the No. 5 pick, as the Colorado Rapids traded up for that pick, sending the Chicago Fire the 15th overall pick and $100,000 in GAMy in return. which they used to select University of Denver forward Andre Shinyashiki, the Brazilian who topped the NCAA scoring charts in 2018 with 28 goals in 21 goals.
Among the remaining Generation adidas players, midfielder/forward Griffin Dorsey went No. 6 overall to 2017 MLS champs Toronto FC, while goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair – who backstopped Maryland to an NCAA championship – followed him, going No. 7 overall to Minnesota United. Speedy Canadian forward Tajon Buchanan, who was floated as a potential first pick, eventually went No. 9 to the New England Revolution and was joined in the top 10 by the sixth GA player selected in the draft, versatile UNC defender John Nelson, who went to Dallas at No. 10. The last GA player off the board was Kentucky forward JJ Williams, who will make the move north to join Columbus Crew SC after being taken with the 18th overall pick.
Of note for fans north of the border, the selections of Montgomery, St. Clair, and Buchanan meant that a record three Canadian players were selected in the top 10 of the MLS SuperDraft.
The second trade of the first round came with the LA Galaxy set to pick at No. 12. Instead of selecting there, they swapped picks with New York City FC, moving down to the No. 19 spot and picking up $75,000 in GAM. NYCFC then used the pick to select Marquette goalkeeper Luis Barraza.
After already trading out of the No. 5 spot, Chicago got out of the first round entirely when they traded the recently-acquired No. 15 pick to Minnesota, who used it to select Maryland defender Chase Gasper, in exchange for $50,000 of GAM.
There was also some movement further down the draft as Chicago kept trading into the late afternoon. Originally slated to pick at No. 32, the Fire instead sent the pick to the Red Bulls in exchange for the rights to a player to be named later.
Immediately after that, D.C. United acquired the 33rd overall pick (Round 2, Pick 9) from New England, along with the Revs’ natural third and fourth round picks in the 2020 draft. In exchange, D.C. sent the Revs their own natural second round pick for 2020. United then flipped that 33rd pick to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for a player to be named later, reported by the Washington Post’s Steve Goff to be goalkeeper Chris Seitz. The Dynamo confirmed that Seitz, indeed, was the player to be named later after the draft.