Frankie Amaya was the first pick of the 2019 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Friday, with FC Cincinnati securing the midfielder from UCLA.
The franchise will play in MLS for the first time in the upcoming season and were handed the prize pick as a result. The 18-year-old has been tipped for a big future having impressed in the nascent stages of his career.
Elsewhere, the San Jose Earthquakes went for VCU's Siad Haji with the second pick, while Santiago Patino was the third for Orlando City.
Here are the selections in full from the two rounds in Chicago and a look at what is always an exciting day in the MLS calendar.
1. FC Cincinnati—Frankie Amaya, Midfielder, UCLA
2. San Jose Earthquakes—Siad Haji, Midfielder, VCU
3. Orlando City—Santiago Patino, Forward, FIU
4. FC Dallas—Callum Montgomery, Defender, Charlotte
5. Colorado Rapids—Andre Shinyashiki, Forward, Denver
6. Toronto FC—Griffin Dorsey, Midfielder, Indiana
7. Minnesota United—Dayne St. Clair, Goalkeeper, Maryland
8. Houston Dynamo—Sam Junqua, Defender, Cal
9. New England Revolution—Tajon Buchanan, Midfielder, Syracuse
10. FC Dallas—John Nelson, Defender, UNC
11. New England Revolution—DeJuan Jones, Midfielder, Michigan State
12. New York City FC—Luis Barraza, Goalkeeper, Marquette
13. FC Cincinnati—Logan Gdula, Defender, Wake Forest
14. D.C. United—Akeem Ward, Defender, Creighton
15. Minnesota United—Chase Gasper, Defender, Maryland
16. New York Red Bulls—Roy Boateng, Defender, UC Davis
17. Real Salt Lake—Sam Brown, Midfielder, Harvard
18. Columbus Crew SC—JJ Williams, Forward, Kentucky
19. LA Galaxy—Emil Cuello, Midfielder, SMU
20. Seattle Sounders—Tucker Bone, Midfielder, Air Force
21. Sporting Kansas City—Kamar Marriott, Defender, Florida Gulf Coast
22. New York Red Bulls—Janos Loebe, Forward, Fordham
23. Portland Timbers—Ryan Sierakowski, Forward, Michigan State
24. Atlanta United—Anderson Asiedu, Midfielder, UCLA
25. New York Red Bulls—Sean Nealis, Defender, Hofstra
26. San Jose Earthquakes—Sergio Rivas, Midfielder, Seattle
27. Orlando City—Kamal Miller, Defender, Syracuse
28. Colorado Rapids—Marcello Borges, Defender, Michigan
29. FC Cincinnati—Tommy McCabe, Midfielder, Notre Dame
30. FC Cincinnati—Jimmy Hague, Goalkeeper, Michigan State
31. Minnesota United—Hassani Dotson, Midfielder, Oregon State
32. New York Red Bulls—Rece Buckmaster, Defender, Indiana
33. Houston Dynamo—Andrew Samuels, Defender, Maryland
34. Montreal Impact—Amar Sejdic, Midfielder, Maryland
35. Vancouver Whitecaps—Brendan McDonough, Defender, Georgetown
36. LA Galaxy—Don Tchilao, Midfielder, Oregon State
37. FC Cincinnati—Ben Lundt, Goalkeeper, Akron
38. Orlando City—Tommy Madden, Midfielder, Charlotte
39. Toronto FC—Adam Wilson, Midfielder, Louisville
40. Los Angeles FC—Peter-Lee Vassell, Midfielder, Harbor View FC
41. Real Salt Lake—Kyle Coffee, Forward, Washington
42. Colorado Rapids—Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, Defender, Connecticut
43. New York City FC—Abdi Mohamed, Defender, Akron
44. Seattle Sounders—Joel Rydstrand, Midfielder, Creighton
45. Sporting Kansas City—Camden Riley, Midfielder, Pacific
46. San Jose Earthquakes—Mamadi Camara, Midfielder, Simon Fraser
47. Portland Timbers—Lennart Hein, Defender, Saint Louis
48. Atlanta United—Amir Bashti, Midfielder, Stanford
Amaya the Top Pick for Cincinnati
Having delved into the draft for the first time, the first pick for Cincinnati was always going to be a historic moment for the franchise. In Amaya, they appear to have secured an excellent prospect too.
The MLS Twitter account offered insight into what he may be able to offer Alan Koch's team:
Copa90 noted that the top picks haven't always been a success:
The United States youth international has caught the eye on the international stage, particularly when representing his nation at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships. He impressed in the final against Mexico, as the United States clinched the title with a 2-0 win.
Although there will be plenty of excitement about Amaya and his skill set, according to Ives Galarcep of Goal, his new team may look to send him out on loan initially:
The man who many expected to rival Amaya to be top of this draft class was Haji, who is an unorthodox young player.
The 19-year-old always appears comfortable in possession and has been used in different positions during his time in college and as part of the United States youth teams. While there may be some doubts regarding his decision making, he has all the technical gifts to be a success for San Jose.
Scouted Football commented on how Haji doesn't possess the typical traits you would expect from a wide man:
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
Number Two: Siad Haji (21) Club: San Jose Earthquakes Haji was amongst the best performers at this year’s MLS Combine. He’s not the traditional wide player in that he’s fast and takes on defenders, but he provides tidy link-up play with teammates and knows how to finish. https://t.co/Fk5Kqkj1V0
One of the players best placed to make an impact this season in MLS may be 22-year-old Patino, who was drafted by Orlando.
As relayed by Pro Soccer USA, the striker was actually part of the Orlando development academy before he moved to FIU, so he's a player the club know plenty about. Understandably, he's delighted to be back with the team:
After the completion of the draft, coaches will begin to start thinking seriously about the upcoming season, which begins on March 2. The third and fourth round of draft picks will be made over a conference call ahead of the campaign starting.