Every year, American professional sports leagues dip into the nationwide pool of talent that is collegiate athletics. Drafts are among the most distinctly American contributions to sports, offering franchises a chance to bring in new talent and reverse their fortunes if only they make the right pick. The 2024 MLS SuperDraft is finally here, and there’s plenty to be excited about in this year’s edition.
How to Watch
This year’s SuperDraft will begin at 2:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, December 19. Fans will be able to watch all three rounds of the draft on AppleTV’s MLS Season Pass.
Changing it Up
For the first time in SuperDraft history, this year’s eligible player pool is nearly 400 strong, including current college sophomores, juniors, and above. Previous iterations only allowed teams to select seniors or players that were within one year of their final year of college soccer, but this expanded pool ensures that even more talent will be available for selection.
With this substantial update comes a whole new set of rules. If a player who still has collegiate eligibility is selected, they will have the option to return to school. However, they will not be eligible to be drafted in the future, and their SuperDraft Priority will be owned by the team that drafted them for up to two years following their initial selection. Any player on the eligible list who isn’t selected will be allowed to return to school and be eligible to participate in future drafts.
Like most drafts, picks are awarded in reverse order of each team’s finish in the previous season. That being said, the first 10 picks in the SuperDraft will be made by the following teams:
- Toronto FC
- Colorado Rapids
- Inter Miami
- Colorado Rapids (via trade with LA)
- Austin FC
- Chicago Fire
- D.C. United
- Minnesota United
- CF Montreal
The Loons also have the 20th, 67th, and 78th picks, meaning they will not be making a selection in the second round. If you’re unable to watch the draft as it unfolds, use the SuperDraft Tracker to stay up-to-date in real time.
Diamonds in the Rough
After 24 years of SuperDrafting, there have been more than a few success stories across the league. Just this year, 2022 SuperDraft picks Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew) and Roman Celentano (FC Cincinnati) helped their respective teams earn silverware as the number one options in net, while MLS legend Darlington Nagbe was taken by the Portland Timbers in the 2011 SuperDraft following a successful spell at Akron.
For MNUFC, Dayne St. Clair and Hassani Dotson stand out as the most successful picks, with both players joining the club via the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Both have grown into important pieces for the club, providing consistency and heart in abundance.
After an exciting year of college soccer that saw Clemson take down Notre Dame in the National Championship game, it’s clear that there is plenty of talent to be found in this year’s crop of players. Tune in tomorrow to catch the next MLS legend before they’re big.