2023 MLS SuperDraft top prospects by position

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The MLS SuperDraft 2023 presented by adidas is slated for Wednesday at 5 pm ET. While the draft has evolved and changed in recent years, it remains a viable option in a team’s roster build.

Eleven Generation adidas signees are in the pool of players eligible for selection on Wednesday. This year’s class is similar to recent years: strong in central defense, intriguing options out wide – powered in part by the GA class – and players that could stick given the right fit and opportunity.

Here’s a look at some of the top eligible players by position.

One note: Players listed with (GA) mean they’re in the 2023 Generation adidas class.

  1. Holden Trent, High Point
  2. Cole Jensen, Xavier
  3. Sam Fowler, Washington
  4. Oliver Semmle, Mashall
  5. Russell Shealy, Syracuse

The goalkeeper spot is led by Trent, whose size, shot-stopping and athleticism mean he projects to stick at the pro level. Jensen was the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year at Xavier and earned All-American honors.

A product of the Seattle Sounders Academy, Fowler broke his wrist in the fall of 2022 but did return for the Huskies. Semmle, who’s from Germany and helped Marshall win the 2020 national title, would require an international roster spot in MLS.

Shealy, a transfer from Maryland, just won the NCAA Division 1 title with Syracuse and made several huge stops in the final. He played for the Atlanta United Academy before heading to college.

  1. Nick Richardson, Maryland
  2. Milo Garvanian, North Carolina
  3. Joey Skinner, Clemson (GA)
  4. Aidan Rocha, Georgetown

It’s not the deepest crop of outside backs, either on the right or left. But Richardson was excellent for Maryland in the fall on both sides of the ball; the two-time captain earned ​​All-American honors in 2022.

A versatile player, Garvanian could play a number of spots after a quietly excellent career at UNC. On the left side, GA signee Joey Skinner boosts the depth after a solid career at Clemson. The Big East Midfielder of the Year in 2022, Rocha projects more as an outside back, where he spent the bulk of his college career.

Center back
  1. Daniel Munie, Indiana
  2. Andreas Ueland, Virginia
  3. Joey Akpunonu, Bowling Green (GA)
  4. Hamady Diop, Clemson (GA)
  5. Moise Bombito, New Hampshire (GA)
  6. Xavier Zengue, Dayton
  7. London Aghedo, Air Force

It’s a solid group of center backs, though mostly on the right side. Munie is the clear top prospect, and Akpunonu earned a GA deal thanks to a great performance at the 2022 adidas MLS College Showcase.

Ueland is a Norwegian-American that will need to show he can defend in space and on the turn, but he offers real quality. Fellow ACC standout Hamady Diop was a key player for Clemson ever since stepping on campus and adds another intriguing center-back prospect.

A Montréal native, Bombito dominated the America East Conference and will surely earn a long look from one of the Canadian MLS sides. Zengue and Aghedo are sleepers that have intriguing traits and could thrive in the right environment.

Central midfielders
  1. Noel Caliskan, Loyola Marymount
  2. Malcolm Johnston, Maryland
  3. Christian Soto, Washington
  4. Amferny Sinclair, Syracuse

There aren’t a lot of MLS-ready options in central midfield, either in box-to-box, attacking or defensive roles.

Caliskan is a No. 8 who could slide since he’s a German international. But it wouldn’t be a shock to see Caliskan be drafted late and make a roster if it’s the right spot. As for Johnston, he has the tools and quality centrally after a strong career at Maryland. He’s the younger brother of Canadian international fullback Alistair Johnston, who just earned a transfer from CF Montréal to Scotland’s Celtic FC after featuring at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

While teams may doubt Soto because of his size, he’s a hard-working player that is clean on the ball and could make it work on the right team or formation. Sinclair hit the game-winning penalty in the national championship game for Syracuse and has pedigree as a Costa Rican youth international.

  1. Shakur Mohammed, Duke (GA)
  2. CJ Fodrey, San Diego State (GA)
  3. Josh Bolma, Maryland (GA)
  4. Bertin Jacquesson, Pittsburgh (GA)
  5. JC Ngando, UNC Greensboro (GA)
  6. Owen O’Malley, Creighton (GA)

The 2023 Generation adidas class supplies the bulk of its talent in the wide attacking areas.

Mohammed can stake a claim as the top prospect in the draft pool after two strong seasons at Duke. He played prep school soccer with San Jose Earthquakes forward Ousseni Bouda, a GA prospect from last year’s SuperDraft.

Fodrey is a big, left-footed winger with upside who just earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. He has development ahead of him to come good, but also a very high ceiling. It wasn’t a huge season for Bolma at Maryland, but he still has high-level potential as a winger. Like Mohammed, he’s from Ghana.

Two French wingers in Jacquesson and Ngando have both enjoyed stellar seasons and will look to make it work in MLS. O’Malley was a key figure for Creighton’s run to College Cup weekend in 2022. The North Carolina native has a high work rate and can create from wide areas.

  1. Stephen Afrifa, Florida International
  2. Ilijah Paul, Washington (GA)
  3. Patrick Agyemang, Rhode Island
  4. MD Myers, Rutgers
  5. Duncan McGuire, Creighton
  6. Shaun Joash, Grand Canyon

Projecting the success of forwards making the jump from college to MLS is never easy. But Afrifa, a Toronto native, is seen as one of the best (if not the best) from this year’s senior class.

GA signee Ilijah Paul had a breakout season for the Huskies, earning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors. A hard-working front-runner, he’ll need to continue improving with his combination play and his back to goal/hold-up play.

Agyemeng has the physical ability to compete in MLS, but will need to be more consistent to hit the ground running. He could potentially play out on the wing as well.

Myers, a Philadelphia Union Academy product, transferred to Rutgers ahead of the 2022 season and was the Big Ten Offensive Player.

Arguably no prospect carries intrigue like McGuire, who led the nation in scoring with 23, leading Creighton to College Cup weekend. He’s relentless and works extremely hard. Can he be efficient in finishing his chances at the next level?

Joash is a sleeper from the Western Athletic Conference. Their Offensive Player of the Year, he scored 12 goals in 16 games and perhaps did just enough to get picked despite his international status (England).

Levonte Johnson from Syracuse is another name to watch here after helping the Orange win the national championship. He was huge after transferring in from Seattle U, putting up 11g/6a in 25 games.