2019 MLS Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions and Full Selection Order

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 17: A television monitor is seen prior to the 2013 MLS SuperDraft Presented by Adidas at the Indiana Convention Center on January 17, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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:

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.

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