CHICAGO – The first two rounds of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft are wrapped.
Who managed to enjoy some success in Chicago? Below is a snap judgment and grades for each team from the draft.
GRADE: B+ It’s difficult to imagine that Anderson Asiedu can make the MLS team and will probably spend 2019 with Atlanta United 2. He’s a player that has capability to see minutes in the league this season, however, and he is a savvy pick with the final selection in the first round. If the team can get him a green card sooner rather than later, he could be a surprise this season. Amir Bashti is a proven winner and a wide attacker that could provide value with the 48th pick overall.
- Anderson Asiedu (Round 1, #24)
- Amir Bashti (Round 2, #48)
GRADE: C+ The Fire ended up not making a selection on draft day, opting to trade out of the No. 5 spot, and then jettison the No. 15 selection. The additional allocation money is sure to help the team identify talent to bring in, although they left outside backs on the table that could’ve provided a depth piece or a Generation adidas player that offered roster flexibility.
- Traded first-round pick (No. 5 overall) to Colorado for No. 15 overall and $100,000 in General Allocation Money
- Traded first-round pick (No. 15 overall) to Minnesota for $50,000 in General Allocation Money
- Traded second-round pick (No. 32 overall) to RBNY for the rights of a player to be named later
GRADE: A+ It was a strong day for the expansion team, which made headlines by bringing in five picks from the Philadelphia Union and also going out to get LAFC’s first-round pick. Not only did FC Cincinnati recoup some of that allocation in a trade with the Red Bulls, they made their younger roster and deeper. Frankie Amaya has plenty to prove but adds an attacking edge to central midfield. Logan Gdula boosts their right back depth and looks nearly-pro ready. Toss in Tommy McCabe, a young central midfielder that has experience with the U.S. Under-17 national team, and if one of Jimmy Hague or Ben Lundt can slot in at goalkeeper, and it’s a very good day for the new franchise.
- Traded first-round pick (No. 16 overall) and second-round pick (No. 25 overall) to RBNY for $100,000 in General Allocation Money
- Frankie Amaya (Round 1, #1)
- Logan Gdula (Round 1, #13)
- Tommy McCabe (Round 2, #29)
- Jimmy Hague (Round 2, #30)
- Ben Lundt (Round 2, #37)
GRADE: B Adding Andre Shinyashiki brings in a player that the Rapids should know very well, having spent the past four years at Denver. The two defenders they picked in the second round, Marcello Borges (left back) and Jacob Hauser-Ramsey (center back) have talent to make the team and potentially emerge as depth options down the road.
- Traded first-round pick (No. 15 overall) and $100,000 in General Allocation Money to Chicago for No. 5 overall
- Andre Shinyashiki (Round 1, #5)
- Marcello Borges (Round 2, #28)
- Jacob Hauser-Ramsey (Round 2, #42)
Columbus Crew SC
GRADE: B Any time you can get a Generation adidas player at the No. 18 pick overall, especially one with JJ Williams’ frame, it’s not a bad day. The 6-foot-4 striker has work to do, but an interesting skill set to work with that could be a hit for the Crew one day.
- JJ Williams (Round 1, #18)
GRADE: B+ Coming into the draft, it was clear that D.C. could use help at outside back. And while the international market is sure to beckon as an option, selecting Akeem Ward provides a versatile player that looks like he could contribute sooner rather than later. Trading away a second-round pick, as they did for a proven backup like Chris Seitz, was also a shrewd move completed earlier this year.
- Traded 2020 second-round pick to New England for No. 33 overall, 2020 Third-round pick, 2020 Fourth-round pick
- Traded second-round pick (No. 33 overall) to Houston for Chris Seitz
- Akeem Ward (Round 1, #14)
GRADE: A Already possessing a tremendous academy, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see FC Dallas trade away either of their Top 10 picks. They kept both and did a good job netting Callum Montgomery and John Nelson, two of the best defenders available in the draft pool.
- Callum Montgomery (Round 1, #4)
- John Nelson (Round 1, #10)
GRADE: C California defender Sam Junqua showed well at the combine and has potential at a spot that’s always a need for just about every team. It’s likely that he would’ve likely been on the board later in the draft, however. Andrew Samuels is a versatile player that could stick either in central midfielder or provide right back depth.
- Traded Chris Seitz to D.C. United for No. 33 overall
- Sam Junqua (Round 1, #8)
- Andrew Samuels (Round 2, #33)
Los Angeles Football Club
GRADE: B Shipping pick No. 16 to FC Cincinnati to complete a reported agreement for the Expansion Draft, LAFC had to feel good heading into the season. And anytime you can pick an established full international, it’s hard to disagree. Peter-Lee Vassell will need an international slot, but he is a much different talent than most players coming through the college system.
- Peter-Lee Vassell (Round 2, #40)
GRADE: B- Any draft that ends with more allocation money than when it started is a good day. The LA Galaxy could’ve gotten better value or potentially waited for Emil Cuello later, as the central midfielder is talented though could struggle to ever make an MLS impact. Oregon State’s Don Tchilao looks like he’ll be a wide attacker and seems destined for LA Galaxy II.
- Traded first-round pick (No. 12 overall) to NYCFC for No. 19 overall, $75,000 in General Allocation Money
- Emil Cuello (Round 1, #19)
- Don Tchilao (Round 2, #36)
Minnesota United FC
GRADE: B- Getting a high-upside goalkeeper that comes with a Generation adidas contract is good business, though finding Dayne St. Clair minutes this season is critical. Trading back into the first round netted them Chase Gasper, a left back that’s struggled to stay fit during his college career but is good when he’s on the field. Hassani Dotson could emerge as a box-to-box option if he can find his way onto the team.
- Traded $50,000 in General Allocation Money to Chicago for No. 15 overall
- Dayne St. Clair (Round 1, #7)
- Chase Gasper (Round 1, #15)
- Hassani Dotson (Round 2, #31)
GRADE: B Bringing in an MLS-veteran for a first-round pick is never bad business, and the Impact had shipped off its first-round pick to Dallas in exchange for Maxi Urruti. His scoring rate aside, he should be a good fit for the system. Amar Sejdic is talented, although the central midfielder has to show that he can cope with the league’s physical demands to succeed.
- Amar Sejdic (Round 2, #34)
New England Revolution
GRADE: C+ Both DeJuan Jones and Tajon Buchanan are talented players that can run fast. But if looking to fill out a roster with players that compete for different spots, New England could’ve gone in a different direction. The attacking duo could very well pan out, however.
- Traded second-round pick (No. 33 overall), 2020 third-round pick, 2020 fourth-round pick to D.C. United for 2020 second-round pick
- Tajon Buchanan (Round 1, #9)
- DeJuan Jones (Round 1, #11)
New York City FC
GRADE: C Trading up to add Luis Barraza seemed like a bit too early for the Marquette goalkeeper, who was the Big East goalkeeper of the Year in 2018. Abdi Mohamed likely faces long odds for a roster spot. If he does, he needs to find a path to playing time, there’s a chance he can continue to develop and emerge as an MLS-caliber right back.
- Traded first-round pick (No. 19 overall), $75,000 in General Allocation Money to LA Galaxy for No. 12 overall
- Luis Barraza (Round 1, #12)
- Abdi Mohamed (Round 2, #43)
New York Red Bulls
GRADE: B- It was an interesting, topsy-turvy decision-making process for the Red Bulls. After trading up to add Roy Boateng, a center back that is athletic enough to compete in the league, they tapped former Red Bulls PDL midfielder Janos Loebe. Given their proximity to Sean Nealis they must have seen something in the Hofstra defender. But they probably didn’t need to trade up to select him in the second round, though it did bring them closer to Boateng. Rece Buckmaster comes from a tremendous program, although he’ll need to adapt and adjust very quickly to play at right back in MLS.
- Traded $100,000 in General Allocation Money to Cincinnati for No. 16 overall, No. 25 overall
- Traded the rights for a player to be named later for No. 32 overall
- Roy Boateng (Round 1, #16)
- Janos Loebe (Round 1, #22)
- Sean Nealis (Round 2, #25)
- Rece Buckmaster (Round 2, #32)
Orlando City SC
GRADE: B Looking to make a statement by bringing in Santiago Patino at No. 3, Orlando did continue to reinforce its depth at the No. 9 spot; Patino has the makeup to emerge as a goalscorer in the league (at least from the bench) and can get time with Orlando City B right away. Adding Kamal Miller provides a depth piece in central defense, and if the defender can adjust accordingly, he is one of a handful of second-round picks that could stick long-term. Taking a second-round flier on Tommy Madden, a box-to-box midfielder, was a good shot, especially in the context of having a USL League One team.
- Santiago Patino (Round 1, #3)
- Kamal Miller (Round 2, #27)
- Tommy Madden (Round 2, #38)
GRADE: B+ In an unprecedented move, Philadelphia traded away its entire cache of draft picks to FC Cincinnati. It certainly made plenty of sense, with a robust academy set to stock its USL or MLS sides. If that allocation is used to bring in an established professional that can start, it’s an even better decision from the new GM Ernst Tanner.
GRADE: B Finding value with the second to last picks in each rounds was always going to be a stretch. Ryan Sierakowski is an accomplished forward that can learn the pro grind with Timbers 2 and if he can improve his consistency in front of goal, has potential. Lennart Hein fills a specific role as a left-footed center back.
- Ryan Sierakowski (Round 1, #23)
- Lennart Hein (Round 2, #47)
Real Salt Lake
GRADE: B- Having already signed two of the top seniors in the class to Homegrown deals (Tate Schmitt and Erik Holt), there’s far less at stake for RSL. Sam Brown is a player already familiar to the organization and has an intriguing background that could pan out with a start in the USL; he likely could’ve been picked later in the draft. Kyle Coffee scored goals for Washington and was a dangerous talent during the 2018; if he can provide attacking thrust when given the chance he could end up surprising.
- Sam Brown (Round 1, #17)
- Kyle Coffee (Round 2, #41)
San Jose Earthquakes
GRADE: A+ Two of the best attacking players in college soccer in 2018 were picked up by the Earthquakes in Siad Haji (No. 2) and Sergio Rivas (No. 26). While both have developing to do, few teams matched their draft-day haul in terms of bringing in upside. Mamadi Camara scored some sensational goals in Division II for Simon Fraser and is a handful physically.
- Siad Haji (Round 1, #2)
- Sergio Rivas (Round 2, #26)
- Mamadi Camara (Round 2, #46)
GRADE: B- There are important caveats to note about Seattle’s picks. Tucker Bone could definitely work out in the right spot, as he’s a talented wide attacker. He won’t be able to join the team until the summer, and still must work out his service requirements to even see the field. If he does, it’s a great pick. Joel Rydstrand is a talented midfielder that’s going to need an international slot, though he’ll bring experience to Sounders 2.
- Tucker Bone (Round 1, #20)
- Joel Rydstrand (Round 2, #44)
GRADE: B All of Sporting KC’s draft picks face an uphill battle to make the roster spot. Their first-round pick of Kamar Marriott out of Florida Gulf Coast was a reach in the sense that they could’ve tried to (and perhaps they did) trade down to pick him. Camden Riley seems like a good fit from a style of play perspective for Sporting KC and could get the chance to climb the ladder at Swope Park Rangers.
- Kamar Marriott (Round 1, #21)
- Camden Riley (Round 2, #45)
GRADE: C It was perhaps somewhat surprising to see Toronto FC hold on to the No. 6 pick, and they opted for U.S. Under-20 International Griffin Dorsey. The wide forward needs to show the ability to impact the game consistently in the final third in order to succeed at the pro level, though he has some tools. Midfielder Adam Wilson didn’t quite influence games in the way he would’ve hoped after transferring from Cincinnati to Louisville in 2016 and should start with TFC II.
- Griffin Dorsey (Round 1, #6)
- Adam Wilson (Round 2, #39)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
GRADE: B+ Having traded away the first-round pick at the end of 2017 for Kei Kamara, the Whitecaps can’t complain about his 14-goal contribution last season, despite the fact he’s already moved on to the Rapids. Center back Brendan McDonough has pro potential as center back depth if he makes the adjustment and the talent to at least win a roster spot. Not bad for a second rounder.
- Brendan McDonough (Round 2, #35)