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2023 MLS Mock Draft: First-Round Predictions and Full Selection Order

Joe TanseyDecember 17, 2022

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 11: MLS Commissioner Don Garber during the MLS SuperDraft 2019 presented on January 11, 2019, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The latest crop of collegiate talent to enter Major League Soccer will be determined on Wednesday.

The 2023 MLS SuperDraft takes place before the holiday season this year. The latest draft picks will have over two weeks more than most previous selections to get accustomed to their new squads.

Expansion side St. Louis City SC holds the first overall pick in the draft.

St. Louis has a few intriguing options to choose from at the top of the draft class.

The draft holds less meaning with each passing year in MLS because of the influx of academy talent at most clubs. They can identify and develop their own talent instead of relying on the older college talent pool.

The draft has produced a few solid players recently. United States men's national team players Matt Turner and Daryl Dike were draft picks in the last five years.

The full selection order for all three rounds can be found here on the league website.


Draft Preview

St. Louis City SC has a few top-tier names to choose from with the No. 1 overall pick.

San Diego State forward CJ Fodrey could fill in some depth up top, as could Syracuse's Nathan Opoku. J.C. Ngando out of UNC Greensboro is one of the top midfield options.

St. Louis has mostly signed defenders and midfielders in preparation for its first MLS season. A forward to provide depth behind Nicholas Gioacchini and Klauss could help them.

Fodrey was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and earned an invite to the MLS combine, which hosted 44 college players.

He was responsible for seven goals and four assists at San Diego State last season. His overall chance creation could intrigue the expansion side that needs to fill depth everywhere to compete on a busy MLS schedule.

D.C. United, Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes will all be looking for depth as well in the top four. The Houston Dynamo can say the same with the fifth pick.

Most of those teams will go by the best player available strategy.

DC could stay local and select Maryland forward Joshua Bolma. Opoku, Ngando, Oregon State midfielder Joran Gerbet and Washington midfielder Kalani Kossa-Rienzi are among the other names expected to be heard in the top five at some point.

There are 29 picks in the first round now that St. Louis joined the league. The gap in talent in between the first pick and the 30th overall selection could be massive.

A majority of the players selected on Wednesday will either be MLS depth pieces or added to USL rosters to continue to develop in their young careers.

It is rare nowadays for all top-five picks to be successful in MLS because of how deep the rosters are and the preference for younger academy talent at most clubs.


Projection

1. St. Louis City SC - CJ Fodrey, F, San Diego State

2. DC United - Joshua Bolma, F, Maryland

3. Colorado Rapids - JC Ngando, M, UNC Greensboro

4. San Jose Earthquakes - Nathan Opoku, F, Syracuse

5. Houston Dynamo - Kalani Kossa-Rienzi, M, Washington