2016 MLS SuperDraft

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ProSoccerTalk’s quick fire 2016 MLS Mock SuperDraft: Who goes No. 1?

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Major League Soccer’s SuperDraft is about as predictable as the fortunes of the players selected in it, a function of Homegrown Players thinning the herd of possible picks.

Scant few players from the five round ordeal play major minutes in Year One, and it’s even a 50/50 proposition as to whether the No. 1 overall pick will thrive in the league.

[ MORE: 2015 CONCACAF Awards nominees released ]

That feels a bit different this year, at least at the top end. Stanford’s Brandon Vincent feels like he could be 12-year defender in the league. Clemson’s Andrew Tarbell is a legit United States men’s national team prospect. West Virginia’s Jack Harrison is a dynamic attacker and Georgetown’s Josh Yaro would’ve been the first pick if he came out last season.

So we’re going to do a ‘Blink’-style mock draft, one that gives only first blush thoughts at what could happen in a trade-free (yeah right!) SuperDraft.

Our 2015′ mock draft was wildly inaccurate, so feel free to trust this one done in less than an hour.

  1. Chicago Fire — Brandon Vincent, LB, Stanford
  2. Colorado Rapids — Joshua Yaro, CB, Georgetown
  3. Philadelphia Union — Jack Harrison, MF, Wake Forest
  4. New York City FC — Omar Holness, MF, North Carolina
  5. Real Salt Lake — Julian Buescher, MF, Syracuse
  6. Philadelphia Union — Jonathan Campbell, CB, North Carolina
  7. Orlando City — Keegan Rosenberry, RB, Georgetown
  8. San Jose Earthquakes — Abu Danladi, FW, UCLA
  9. Toronto FC — Ben Polk, FW, Syracuse
  10. New England Revolution –Kyle Fisher, CB, Clemson
  11. Sporting KC — Max Lachowecki, DF, Notre Dame
  12. L.A. Galaxy — Jordan McCrary, RB, North Carolina
  13. D.C. United — Michael Gamble, FW, Wake Forest
  14. Montreal Impact — Callum Irving, GK, Kentucky
  15. Seattle Sounders — Andrew Tarbell, GK, Clemson
  16. Vancouver Whitecaps — Eric Moberg, MF, Washington
  17. FC Dallas — Fabian Herbers, FW, Creighton
  18. New York Red Bulls — Neco Brett, FW, Robert Morris
  19. Columbus Crew — Patrick Hodan, MF, Notre Dame
  20. Portland Timbers — Richie Laryea, FW, Akron

Other names to consider “steals” — Ryan James, Bowling Green; Emir Alihodzic, Omaha; Chris Hellmann, Lynn; Justin Bilyeu, SIU Edwardsville; Thomas Sanner, Princeton; Zach Bennett, Michigan State; Andrew Souders, Akron.

MLS Combine begins Friday: Names to know one week from the SuperDraft

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How important, for better or worse, is the MLS Combine in relation to a player’s draft prospects?

Eighteen of the 21 players who were first round selections at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft participated in the combine, and it took to pick No. 8 for a non-combine player to be selected (Clement Simonin of NC State).

All five of the Generation Adidas players aren’t heading to the combine. Outside of those five, you’ll see most of Jan. 14’s draftees coming from the Combine.

[ MLS: Meet the five Generation Adidas players for the 2016 SuperDraft ]

The 2016 Combine will pit four squads of 15 players against each other for matches on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. Full rosters are here.

A disclaimer: the MLS Combine is far from ideal. Many players won’t be playing in their natural positions, and most have been out of game action for a month or more.

We’ll list the draft order below, and won’t bother you with a mock draft at this point. But here are some names to monitor over the next five days, ones who could make big moves under the bright lights.

Brandon Vincent, D, Stanford — Jordan Morris is a stud, sure, but his college teammate could honestly be the No. 1 overall pick if Chicago sees it close and personal this week.

Callum Irving, GK, Kentucky — The Canadian backstop played with the Whitecaps Academy before starring for the Wildcats.

Neco Brett, F, Robert Morris — A bit mercurial and undersized, you cannot ignore that Brett scored 15, 14 and 13 goals in his last three seasons in Moon. The Jamaican born striker has speed to burn and a classy touch.

Patrick Hodan, M, Notre Dame — Has a legitimate chance to be a 10-year vet in the league. A solid leader who was invited to Andreas Herzog’s U-23 College ID camp in the summer.

Kyle Fisher, D, Clemson — After a College Cup season with the Tigers, Fisher is poised to be a first year contributed in Major League Soccer.

James Moberg, M, Washington — Big and coming off a season-ending knee injury, the 6-foot-2 senior has a chance to show off the promise of elite playmaking he showed in his first three seasons (6, 9 and 6 assists).

Thomas Sanner, F, Princeton — 6-foot-4 forwards with noses for goal don’t grow on trees, and Sanner is the Tigers’ third-all-time leading scorer with 32 in 64 games.

  1. Chicago Fire
  2. Colorado Rapids
  3. Philadelphia Union
  4. New York City FC
  5. Real Salt Lake
  6. Philadelphia Union
  7. Orlando City
  8. San Jose Earthquakes
  9. Toronto FC
  10. New England Revolution
  11. Sporting KC
  12. L.A. Galaxy
  13. D.C. United
  14. Montreal Impact
  15. Seattle Sounders
  16. Vancouver Whitecaps
  17. FC Dallas
  18. New York Red Bulls
  19. Columbus Crew
  20. Portland Timbers

MLS offseason kicks off with flurry of trades 24 hours after MLS Cup

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The 2015 Major League Soccer season came to a thrilling conclusion not even 24 hours ago, and the MLS offseason is already in full-swing after a number of teams began trading well-established, noteworthy players all over the place on Monday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

A running, constantly-updated tracker and analysis of all trades and transactions made on Monday…

(All salary numbers taken from MLS Players Union salary release, found here.)

In return for Chris Pontius, D.C. United received allocation money and targeted allocation money (TAM) from the Philadelphia Union. Pontius, who is 28 and has started just 39 games the last three seasons (6 goals, 4 assists combined), counted $365,000 against the $3.49 million salary cap in 2015. Pontius turned in a 12-goal, four-assist season in 2012 to earn league MVP consideration, but a string of long-term injuries follower shortly thereafter and he has struggled to regain his form of four years ago.

[ MORE: Timbers top Crew SC to lift first MLS Cup trophy ]

Mr. Versatility, a title and trait which surely hurt Lamar Neagle’s long-term future with his hometown Seattle Sounders, has been shipped across the country to D.C. United, where he’ll likely become a full-time starter for the first time in his career. The only question that remains: where exactly is he going to play? During his time with the Sounders, Neagle featured as a winger on both sides of the field, as well as a center forward. Neagle is 28 years old and counted just $165,000 against the $3.49 million salary cap in 2015. In his last three seasons with the Sounders, Neagle racked up 21 goals and 15 assists.

[ MORE: MLS Cup Playoffs Best XI — Stars of the 2015 postseason ]

Cristian Maidana and Andrew Wenger are headed to the Houston Dynamo, where they’ll play for Owen Coyle. In exchange for the no. 10 attacking midfielder and winger/forward, the Philadelphia Union received allocation money, TAM and the Dynamo’s first-round draft pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft (6th overall). In his two seasons with the Union, the 28-year-old Maidana, who counted $203,500 against the $3.49 million salary cap in 2015, scored three goals and notched 26 assists. Wenger, the no. 1 overall SuperDraft pick of the Montreal Impact in 2012, scored just seven goals two seasons with the Union. His 2015 salary cap hit was $180,000.