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Does MLS have a draft system?

MLS ball
Photo by Tareq Ismail on Unsplash

Find out everything you need to know about the MLS SuperDraft and its new eligibility rules.

The draft system, a cornerstone in many professional sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, and NHL, plays a pivotal role in shaping team rosters and cultivating emerging talent. Major League Soccer (MLS) is no exception, boasting its own version known as the MLS SuperDraft.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about SuperDraft and its newly updated player pool.

What is MLS SuperDraft?

The MLS SuperDraft serves as a crucial avenue for Major League Soccer clubs to scout and acquire top collegiate talent. Initially established to bolster teams with young players, the SuperDraft has evolved into an additional opportunity for clubs to discover hidden gems beyond their academies. The draft spans three rounds, with selections made in reverse order of the previous season’s standings, accounting for postseason performances in the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. Clubs can also alter the selection order by acquiring picks from other teams.

Who’s eligible for selection?

In a groundbreaking move for the 2024 version, Major League Soccer expanded the player pool eligible for the SuperDraft. Previously, only collegiate seniors and above, along with Generation Adidas signings, were eligible. The new criteria now include players who are collegiate sophomores, juniors, and above. This modification reflects the league’s commitment to adapting and improving player development strategies. College players can still sign Generation Adidas contracts, ensuring a diverse and comprehensive pool of talent for MLS clubs to consider during the draft.

SuperDraft Order in 2024

The order for the 2024 SuperDraft is determined by reversing the club standings at the conclusion of the previous MLS season, with postseason performances factored in. As of now, the top five in the draft order are:

1- Toronto FC

2- Colorado Rapids

3- Inter Miami CF

4- Colorado Rapids 

5- Austin FC

The draft, slated for December 19, 2023, maintains its 2024 branding despite the event taking place in the previous year.

Players to Watch

Finding the next star striker remains the most exciting part of every talent scout’s mission. This year, Marcus Calderia (West Virginia), Jacob Murrell (Georgetown), and Jason Shokalook (Akron) are the most promising forwards to watch. 

Papa Mar Boye (Clemson) and Josh Jones (Louisville) are the best defensive picks, while Jefferson Amaya (High Point) and Zach Bohane (Stanford) are the best midfielders to watch in this year’s SuperDraft.