American viewers of this video will be very familiar with the draft process that is ingrained in the culture of US sports, although viewers from outside of the states may be less familiar with the process. The MLS SuperDraft, like all drafts, is just a method of allocating college players to professional teams.
In the MLS, any new expansion teams get the first pick, with the following selections being based on the teams league finish in the previous MLS season.
It has been nine months since I last did a video on the MLS, and since 12% of all the channels views come from the United States, I thought it was about time I did a new one.
Here are the last 7 MLS SuperDraft first selections: Where are they now?
7. Frankie Amaya – FC Cincinnati
Born in September 2000, 19-year-old midfielder Frankie Amaya was the first selection for MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati at the 2019 SuperDraft. The young attacking midfielder was named in the West Conference Best XI and as the number one club player in Southern California during his time at UCLA, but it was perhaps his performances for the United States under-20’s that led to him being Cincinnati’s first selection, with Amaya having bagged four goals from four appearances as a US youth international. Naturally, he is still with FC Cincinnati, where he has made 19 appearances and has had a brief loan spell with Orange County.
6. João Moutinho – Orlando City
Not to be confused with veteran Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho, who has won a whopping 121 caps for Portugal at the age of 33, young MLS starlet Joao Moutinho is also Portuguese. Born in Lisbon, Moutinho attended the University of Akron following nine years in the Sporting Club de Portugal academy. He stood out a mile in the US college game, earning All-American status and winning the National Freshman of the Year Award. Expansion franchise Los Angeles FC picked out the young left-back as their SuperDraft first selection, but he was exchanged for Libyan international Mohamed El Monir in a swap deal with his current club Orlando City in 2019.
5. Abu Danladi – Nashville SC
Abu Danladi is another UCLA graduate who was the first selection of an MLS expansion franchise, this time at the 2017 SuperDraft. Minnesota United snapped up the pacy young striker who scored frequently at college level, and he went on to bag 11 goals in 68 games for the Western Conference side. Unfortunately, almost all of those goals came in his debut campaign, and following two tricky campaigns, he was selected by another MLS expansion franchise – Nashville SC – at the 2019 SuperDraft ahead of their debut Major League Soccer campaign in 2020.
4. Jack Harrison – Leeds United
The most talented player in this seven so far, Jack Harrison spent time in the academies of both Liverpool and Manchester United before his family moved to the United States when he was 14. Harrison attended Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and he was the youngest player available at the 2016 SuperDraft. That didn’t put anyone off though, as Chicago Fire made him the drafts first selection, before trading him for Brandon Vincent plus cash with New York City FC. Harrison had two excellent seasons in New York, almost winning the MLS Rookie of the Year award, before joining NYCFC’s partner club Manchester City in 2017. Harrison is currently half-way through his second season on-loan at Championship side Leeds United, where he recently made his 70th appearance.
3. Cyle Larin – Zulte Waregem
It doesn’t seem like long ago that I was talking about Cyle Larin as a seriously impressive young prospect on this channel, but his career has maybe just hit the pause button over the last 12 to 18 months. Born in Ontario, Larin graduated from the University of Connecticut, and he was the number one pick for Orlando City in the 2015 SuperDraft. In three seasons, Larin scored 44 goals in 89 games for Orlando, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2015 and making the MLS Best XI in 2016. He joined Besiktas in January 2018, where he scored 4 goals in his first 4 games, before tailing off a little. Still only 24, Larin is now on-loan with Zulte Waregem in Belgium, where he partners Saido Berahino up front and has struck 7 times in 23 games.
2. Andre Blake – Philadelphia Union
As we get back as far as the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, we’re now talking about players who should currently be at the peak of their powers. Andre Blake was a highly-rated young goalkeeper before attending the University of Connecticut, and he added to that reputation in the college game. Philadelphia Union made him the first selection of the 2014 draft, and Blake has been with the club ever since. Capped 40 times by Jamaica, the 29-year-old shot stopper has made 122 appearances at the Talen Energy Stadium, winning one MLS Best Goalkeeper award and twice being an MLS All-Star.
1. Andrew Farrell – New England Revolution
The furthest back MLS SuperDraft we come to is the 2013 draft, in which Andrew Farrell was the number one pick. The second best known sportsman with the name Andrew Farrell, the 27-year-old attended the University of Louisville, having been born in Louisville but raised in Peru. He caught the South American football bug and became the first first selection in New England Revolution history. The former All-American is still with the Revs, where he has played more than 200 games, but despite making the 2016 MLS Best XI, he has never been capped by the USMNT.