David Beckham's Inter Miami took Clemson striker Robbie Robinson with the first pick in the 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Thursday.
Inter Miami also owned the third overall pick and used it to select Georgetown skipper Dylan Nealis. The cultured defender joins the prolific Robinson to underpin a Miami squad already being built to attack at pace and score goals in bunches.
Other notable picks from the opening round included Nashville SC taking gifted centre-back Jack Maher second overall. Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls selected powerhouse midfielder Cherif Dieye at 15, two picks before FC Dallas took natural finisher Cal Jennings.
1. Inter Miami CF: Robbie Robinson, Forward, Clemson
2. Nashville SC: Jack Maher, Defender, Indiana
3. Inter Miami CF: Dylan Nealis, Defender, Georgetown
4. Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Ryan Raposo, Midfielder, Syracuse
5. Orlando City: Daryl Dike, Forward, Virginia
6. New England Revolution: Henry Kessler, Defender, Virginia
7. Columbus Crew FC: Miguel Berry, Forward, Univ. of San Diego
8. Houston Dynamo: Garrett McLaughlin, Forward, SMU
9. Montreal Impact: Jeremy Kelly, Defender, UNC
10. New York Red Bulls: Patrick Seagrist, Defender, Marquette
11. Nashville SC: Alistair Johnston, Defender Wake Forest
12. San Jose Earthquakes: Tanner Beason, Defender, Stanford
13. Nashville SC: Elliot Panicco, Goalkeeper, UNC Charlotte
14. FC Dallas: Nkosi Burgess, Defender, Seattle
15. New York Red Bulls: Cherif Dieye, Midfielder, Louisville
16. Portland Timbers: Aaron Molloy, Midfielder, Penn State
17. FC Dallas: Cal Jennings, Forward, Central Florida
18. Minnesota United FC: Noah Billingsley, Defender, UC Santa Barbara
19. Toronto FC: Nyal Higgins, Defender, Syracuse
20. Real Salt Lake: Dayonn Harris, Midfielder, Connecticut
21. D.C. United: Simon Lefebvre, Goalkeeper, Temple
22. New York City FC: Jesus Perez, Midfielder, UI-Chicago
23. Atlanta United FC: Patrick Nielsen, Defender, Michigan State
24. Los Angeles FC: Paulo Pita, Goalkeeper, Marshall
25. Toronto FC: Achara, Midfielder, Georgetown
26. Chicago Fire FC: Jonathan Jimenez, Defender, Pacific
27. San Jose Earthquakes: Jack Skahan, Winger, UNC
28. Nashville SC: Tanner Dieterich, Midfielder, Clemson
29. FC Cincinnati: Rey Ortiz, Forward, Portland
30. New England Revolution: Simon Lekressner, Defender, Cal
31. Orlando City: Joey DeZart, Midfielder, Wake Forest
32. Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Daniel Gagliardi, Goalkeeper, Florida International
33. Toronto FC: Malick Mbaye, Defender, Clemson
34. Houston Dynamo: Luka Prpa, Midfielder, Marquette
35. Seattle Sounders FC: Danny Reynolds, Defender, UNC Wilmington
36. New York Red Bulls: Wallis Lapsley, Goalkeeper, UC Davis
37. Colorado Rapids: Robin Afamefuna, Defender, Virginia
38. San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Bell, Defender, UMBC
39. Orlando City: Jonathan Dean, Defender, Central Florida
40. FC Dallas: Manuel Ferriol, Midfielder, James Madison
41. New York Red Bulls: Deri Corfe, Forward, Wright State
42. D.C. United: Josh Fawole, Forward, Loyola
43. New England Revolution: Keegan Meyer, Goalkeeper, High Point
44. Orlando City: Austin Aviza, Goalkeeper, Providence
45. LA Galaxy: Tom Smart, Defender, Akron
46. Real Salt Lake: Michael Wetungu, Defender, Michigan State
47. Columbus Crew SC: Remi Prieur, Goalkeeper, Saint Mary's College
48. New York City FC: Felicien Dumas, Defender, Notre Dame
49. Columbus Crew SC: Danny Griffin, Midfielder, Providence
50. Los Angeles FC: Jack Hallahan, Midfielder, Michigan
51. Toronto FC: Simon Waever, Defender, Indiana
52. Seattle Sounders: Timo Mehlich, Midfielder, UNLV
Shortly after Robinson's name was called, Clemson celebrated the history the 21-year-old had made for the institution:
Robinson showcased both a coolness in front of goal, as well as an eye for a pass, during his time in the collegiate ranks:
Aside from the numbers, Robinson also earned the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award, along with the MAC Hermann Trophy.
Inter president Beckham took a moment to congratulate Robinson:
As for what the young attacker's role will be, Tom Bogert of the MLS official website isn't sure he'll start as a lone striker in head coach Diego Alonso's 4-2-3-1 tactical setup.
With Robinson off the board, Nashville's decision to take Maher was a no-brainer. Maher proved himself capable of being a rock at the back during a successful campaign with Indiana.
The 20-year-old's success included helping his college keep 15 clean sheets, as well as winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award, per MLSSoccer.com's Nick Rosano. Maher makes the ideal building block for an expansion team needing to create a formidable spine to aid their first season in the league.
Having already added some quality to the final third, Inter followed Nashville's blueprint when it came to making the third overall pick. By tabbing Nealis, Beckham's club fortified the backline but still kept one eye on things going forward.
Beefing up talent in forward areas was obviously on the minds of both the Red Bulls and Dallas:
D.C. United became the second team to take a goalkeeper off the board when the club made Temple's Simon Lefebvre the 21st overall pick. It was an inevitable selection after Lefebvre briefly impressed D.C. in 2019, according to Steven Goff of the Washington Post:
Supporters' Shield holders Los Angeles FC also took a stopper in 6'3" Marshall goalkeeper Paulo Pita as the opening round drew to a close.
Round 2 was the moment for defending champions the Seattle Sounders to make their first picks. The Sounders took defender Danny Reynolds off the board, before snapping up playmaker Timo Mehlich with the final pick of the round.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles FC earned praised for snaring Michigan's dynamic attacking midfielder Jack Hallahan:
Ives Galarcep @SoccerByIves
LAFC with a great late pick in Jack Hallahan, the talented Michigan forward. Surprised his teammate Nebojsa Popovic wasn't taken in the 1st two rounds. Popovic, Brandon Williamson, Daniele Proch and Brian Saramago the highest-rated players to go undrafted today. #SuperDraft
It means two of the best teams in the league last season already look significantly better ahead of the new campaign. As for Inter, the most high-profile of the expansion clubs has wisely put exciting, forward-thinking players at the forefront of their roster.