The 2019 MLS SuperDraft will take place on Friday in Chicago, as a new batch of fresh talent prepares to enter the top football league in the United States and Canada.
Expansion franchise FC Cincinnati will have the first pick, and with no consensus top pick in this year's draft, the Orange and Blue will have a big decision to make with their opening selection.
1st Round Order
1. FC Cincinnati
2. San Jose Earthquakes
3. Orlando City SC
4. FC Dallas
5. Chicago Fire
6. Toronto FC
7. Minnesota United FC
8. Houston Dynamo
9. New England Revolution
10. FC Dallas
11. New England Revolution
12. L.A. Galaxy
13. Philadelphia Union
14. D.C. United
15. Colorado Rapids
16. Los Angeles FC
17. Real Salt Lake
18. Columbus Crew SC
19. New York City FC
20. Seattle Sounders FC
21. Sporting Kansas City
22. New York Red Bulls
23. Portland Timbers
24. Atlanta United FC
For the full draft order, click here.
This year's Generation Adidas class was set before the combine, adding the following underclassmen to the group of available players, per Goal's Ives Galarcep:
Ives Galarcep @SoccerByIves
NOW official. MLS has announced the seven-player Generation adidas class ahead of the MLS Combine, which kicks off on Saturday. Frankie Amaya, Tajon Buchanan, J.J. Williams, Siad Haji, Dayne St. Clair, John Nelson and Griffin Dorsey are in the GA class & will play in the Combine https://t.co/YVgu7Ij548
MLSSoccer.com's Matthew Doyle believes Cincinnati will go with Siad Haji, the former VCU star and Generation Adidas talent. He and UCLA's Frankie Amaya are seen as the prospects with the highest overall upside, and the former's versatility could be what pushes him into the top slot.
In 37 matches over two seasons for VCU, Haji bagged seven goals and 18 assists. A fluent athlete with excellent vision, he profiles best as an attacking midfielder.
Here are some of his highlights:
Amaya's overall statistics were less impressive, but he played last season as a true freshman for UCLA. The Freshman All-American made the United States Under-20 team, unlike Haji, and went on to win the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Rob Usry of Dirty South Soccer thought Amaya made a big impression in the tournament:
Syracuse's Tajon Buchanan and Kentucky's J.J. Williams are both promising forwards with scoring potential, while Charlotte's Callum Montgomery is seen as the best centre-back in the draft, even if he's not a Generation Adidas player.
Among the goalkeepers, Maryland's Dayne St. Clair is the likely top pick, with most mock drafts linking him to hometown club Toronto FC.
With more clubs pushing through homegrown players and international prospects, it's becoming harder to make a mark on MLS as a collegiate draft pick. Expect the top teams to prioritise talent over need or reach for impact players.
Senior forward Andre Shinyashiki, who bagged 28 goals for the University of Denver, could be a popular name, especially after signing an MLS contract already.
Predictions: Cincinnati goes with Amaya's upside over Haji's production with the first overall selection. Haji goes second, ahead of Buchanan and Williams. Shinyashiki's scoring numbers make him a top-10 pick.