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2016 MLS SuperDraft: Winners and Losers from Baltimore Event

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2016

2016 MLS SuperDraft: Winners and Losers from Baltimore Event

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    The latest batch of Major League Soccer players were selected on Thursday during the first two rounds of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. 

    The Chicago Fire chose Wake Forest's Jack Harrison with the first-overall selection, but the Englishman was later traded to New York City FC in one of the many trades that took place on the floor of the Baltimore Convention Center. 

    When all the dust settled, eight of the first 15 selections were acquired through a trade, including Harrison and No. 2 pick Joshua Yaro. 

    Forty-one players were selected in total on Thursday, and an additional 40 will be selected on January 19 during the third and fourth rounds. An entire list of Thursday's selections can be found here via MLSSoccer.com.

    Here's a look at our winners and losers from Thursday's MLS SuperDraft.

Winner: Philadelphia Union

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    The Philadelphia Union made the most noise on Thursday, as they added three players in the top six picks thanks to trades made in December and before the draft began. 

    Philadelphia traded up to the No. 2 pick and selected Joshua Yaro from Georgetown University. Yaro was seen as the No. 1 pick by many, but Chicago opted for Wake Forest's Jack Harrison before shipping him to New York City FC. 

    With the third pick in the SuperDraft, the Union used their original choice to draft Yaro's college teammate Keegan Rosenberry, who had a Philadelphia homegrown claim denied before the selection process. 

    In addition to the pair of Georgetown players, the Union brought in Fabian Herbers from Creighton University at No. 6. Manager Jim Curtin's side acquired the sixth selection in a deal with Houston in December. The Union added more depth in defense at No. 23, as they chose Taylor Washington from George Mason. 

    By stockpiling three defenders, the Union added much-needed depth to the roster and handed their current defenders more competition entering the preseason. 

     

Loser: Colorado Rapids

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    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    While Philadelphia greatly improved heading into the preseason, Colorado left its fans wanting more after Thursday's festivities in Baltimore. 

    The Rapids entered Thursday with the No. 2 selection and then acquired the No. 12 pick from the LA Galaxy two hours before the draft started. 

    Colorado eventually traded down to No. 15 and selected Emmanuel Appiah from Cincinnati. The Rapids also chose Dennis Castillo from VCU in the second round. 

    The draft presented the Rapids with an opportunity to improve, but they failed to make any significant upgrades outside of gathering the No. 1 spot in the allocation ranking from Chicago. 

Winner: Jack Harrison

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    In the buildup to the draft, Jack Harrison was denied a homegrown claim to join New York City FC.

    But just like Rosenberry in Philadelphia, Harrison ended up with the club that he was trying to join during the homegrown process. 

    In addition to joining NYCFC, Harrison was selected with the first-overall choice by the Chicago Fire. After a wait of about an hour, Harrison's move to NYCFC was made official

    The acquisition of Harrison gives new NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira a chance to develop a creative young player and build him into one of the club's superstars once the likes of David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo move on. 

    If Harrison lives up to his potential in his rookie season, he should contend for the Rookie of the Year award. 

Loser: San Jose Earthquakes

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    The San Jose Earthquakes turned some heads with the No. 8 selection, as they chose Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. 

    While Tarbell will not hurt the Earthquakes in terms of the salary cap due to his Generation Adidas status, he won't earn a chance to fully develop in between the pipes with David Bingham instilled as the club's first-team netminder. 

    Tarbell probably will get a chance to develop in the USL in 2016, but one has to wonder how long he'll stick around in San Jose since Bingham is 26 and is coming off a breakout season that turned into a United States men's national team call-up. 

    By drafting Tarbell, San Jose failed to address a need in defense or up top. Forward Julian Buescher went to D.C. United at No. 11, while a slew of defenders followed Tarbell's selection. 

Winners: Georgetown, North Carolina and Clemson

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Half of the first 16 selections in the 2016 SuperDraft came from three different schools: Georgetown, North Carolina and Clemson. 

    Georgetown's defensive duo of Yaro and Rosenberry went to Philadelphia, while center back Cole Seiler was selected by Vancouver at No. 16. 

    North Carolina saw Omar Holness, Jordan McCrary and Jonathan Campbell selected fifth, 10th and 12th, respectively. Clemson had Tarbell and defender Kyle Fisher go eighth and 14th to San Jose and Montreal, respectively. 

    The slew of selections from the three schools showed that certain programs at the collegiate level are capable of churning a good amount of top picks.

    If Jordan Morris was included in the draft, we'd also add Stanford into this discussion, since Brandon Vincent was selected fourth. 

Winner/Loser: Brandon Vincent

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    Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

    Speaking of Vincent, he was topic of much speculation entering Thursday, as plenty of teams coveted the left back from Stanford. 

    Instead of going to Philadelphia at No. 3 like many expected, Vincent fell down the board to No. 4, where Chicago eventually snagged him as part of the deal with NYCFC. 

    The selection didn't seem to make sense at the start of the day, since the Fire employed Joevin Jones at the time of the pick. Vincent went from potential backup to starter in a quick period of time after Jones was shipped out to Seattle as part of another trade, per ESPN's Jeff Carlisle.

    What started out as a questionable day for Vincent turned into a spectacular afternoon, and on top of that, he is currently participating in the USMNT's January camp. 

     

    Joe Tansey covers MLS for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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