Tonight at 4 p.m. CT, the 2023 MLS SuperDraft will officially begin. Before any selections are made, this guide will tell you what’s going on and how you can tune in to see where these future stars end up.
How to Watch
- Rounds 2 and 3 can be followed via the Draft Tracker
What’s Going On?
More than 360 collegiate soccer players will be available for selection in tonight’s SuperDraft. Across three rounds and 88 total picks, all 29 clubs will have a chance to select players to add depth, youth, or a much-needed skillset to their rosters.
Eligible players are all within one year of completing their final collegiate season. The SuperDraft is meant to provide these players with a clear path to professional soccer, while giving teams across the league a chance to grab some talent outside of their respective academy systems.
As the only expansion side participating, St Louis CITY SC will start the show with the first overall pick. MNUFC will be selecting 19th overall, with a second round pick to follow.
In this year's large field, talent abounds. 11 players were announced as part of the 2023 Generation Adidas initiative, a designation given to the cream of the crop in each year’s draft. Generation Adidas signings don’t count towards a team’s annual salary budget, ensuring that these young phenoms land in the best possible professional environment. The 2023 class can be found here, along with a more detailed explanation of this special moniker.
Does This Thing Even Work?
While this is by no means comparable to the importance of the NFL or NBA drafts, the MLS SuperDraft still serves a valuable purpose. For other American leagues, the draft, free agency, and trades are essentially the only ways to bolster a team’s roster, whereas Major League Soccer teams can develop players through their academy, sign top-level players in the international transfer market, or utilize several other means of adding talent to their rosters.
That being said, the SuperDraft is still packed with potential. Just this year, 11 former SuperDraft picks were selected to play for their national teams in Qatar, including Minnesota United’s own Dayne St. Clair. Other notable MLS stars to come out of the SuperDraft include Andre Blake, Walker Zimmerman and Ben Bender, last year’s first overall pick.
On top of the domestic success of SuperDraft products, several players have gone on to earn big-money moves to Europe. This offseason, Montreal’s Alistair Johnston made the move to Celtic FC in the Scottish Premier League. For the last two seasons, the 2016 number one pick, Jack Harrison, has been a key player for Leeds United in the English Premier League. Clearly, there are gems to be found in every draft class.
In previous years, the Loons have selected the likes of Abu Danladi, Nabilai Kibunguchy, Justin McMaster, Tani Oluwaseyi, Hassani Dotson and Chase Gasper, among others. As previously mentioned, All-Star MVP Dayne St Clair also came to the Twin Cities via the seventh pick in the 2019 SuperDraft.
If MNUFC managed to find an MLS All-Star once, who’s to say they can’t do it again this year? Be sure to tune in to the stream at 4 p.m. CT to see who will be joining your favorite team.