John Nelson

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MLS SuperDraft: 5 players to watch ahead of Friday’s 1st two rounds

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Friday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft is considered relatively shallow, but there are some big talents near the top.

FC Cincinnati has the first pick in the draft, and nine more after acquiring all of Philadelphia’s picks on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Willian-Malcom swap? ]

The draft begins at 1 p.m. ET Friday from the USC Convention in Chicago. Here are a few names to monitor.

Dayne St. Clair, Maryland — A 6-foot-3 goalkeeper, the Canadian has played every minute of the past two seasons for the National Champions. St. Clair could one day be across the field from fellow former Terp and USMNT backstop Zack Steffen on international duty.

Andre Shinyashiki, Denver — There are some who judge the 5-foot-9 Brazilian upon the Summit League’s relatively low depth, but Shinyashiki’s outstanding 28-goal campaign included markers against Washington and SMU as well. He scored 51 goals with 15 assists on 285 (!!) shots in four seasons.

Tajon Buchanan, Syracuse — The sophomore improved his stats this season and is an exceptional athlete. The second-year Canadian has a long future in the game, and should go in the Top Ten.

Anderson Asiedu, UCLA — The diminutive midfielder from New Jersey was a star at Monmouth before surprisingly moving — transfer culture is bonkers these days — across the country and proving just as effective in a more challenging conference.

John Nelson, North Carolina — Left backs don’t grow on trees, and the Ohio-born Nelson has been a star for the Tar Heels across two seasons. At such a young age, Nelson could man the left side — maybe doing a reverse Zusi and moving into the midfield — for a team for a long time.