FC Cincinnati selects U.S. U-20 star Amaya first overall in 2019 MLS SuperDraft

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Roy K. Miller
The UCLA midfielder joins the MLS expansion side with its first-ever selection

It took a time out, but UCLA product Frankie Amaya was taken by FC Cincinnati with the first pick of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

The former USL side, which will debut in MLS in the upcoming season was making its first-ever selection, and the club looked like it might move out of the first slot at the last minute before deciding on the U.S. national team under 20 star. 

Amaya was selected over the likes of VCU midfielder Siad Haji, who was also considered to be in the running for the top slot. 

The 18-year-old Amaya played his freshman season at UCLA and featured for the USMNT's U-20s during the 2018 Concacaf Championship.

Amaya started the final, in which the USA claimed their second title in the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Mexico, and is expected to be in contention for the nation's Under-20 World Cup squad for the tournament in Poland this May. 

The UCLA product became the first American take with the top pick since Andrew Farrell​ was taken number one overall in 2013. 

Cincinnati also own the 13th pick of the first round, after acquiring it from the Philadelphia Union in a trade for allocation money earlier this week.

Haji became the second pick of the draft, with the midfielder taken by the San Jose Earthquakes. 

The 19-year-old was a standout both in college and at the MLS combine. 

With the third pick of the draft Orlando City went with forward Santiago Patino of Florida International University. 

FC Dallas went with Canadian center back Callum Montgomery​ with the fourth overall pick. Montgomery​ played his college soccer at Charlotte. 

The Colorado Rapids stayed close to home with the fifth overall pick, taking Denver University standout forward Andre Shinyashiki​. 

A pair of goalkeepers were selected in the top 12 with Dayne St. Clair, widely seen as the top keeper in the draft, going seventh and Luis Barraza going to New York City FC at 12.

From there, the backline ruled the day, with the next four picks all being defenders. In total, the first round saw the selection of six midfielders, eight forwards, eight defenders and two goalkeepers.


2019 MLS SuperDraft first round


A premium was placed on attackers and pace in the early going, with four forward and two midfielders going in the top 10 picks. 

The only defenders taken in the top 10 both went to the same side in FC Dallas, while just one goalkeeper went in the top 10. 

Pick Player Club Position
1 Frankie Amaya FC Cincinnati Midfielder
2 Siad Haji San Jose Earthquakes Midfielder
3 Santiago Patino Orlando City Forward
4 Callum Montgomery FC Dallas Defender
5 Andre Shinyashiki​ Colorado Rapids Forward
6 Griffin Dorsey Toronto FC Forward
7 Dayne St. Clair Minnesota United Goalkeeper
8 Sam Junqua Houston Dynamo Defender
9 Tajon Buchanan New England Revolution Forward
10 John Nelson FC Dallas Defender
11 DeJuan Jones New England Revolution Forward
12 Luis Barraza New York City FC Goalkeeper
13 Logan Gdula FC Cincinnati Defender
14 Akeem Ward D.C. United Defender
15 Chase Gasper Minnesota United Defender
16 Roy Boateng New York Red Bulls Defender
17 Sam Brown Real Salt Lake  Midfielder
18 J.J. Williams Columbus Crew Forward
19 Emil Cuello LA Galaxy Midfielder
20 Tucker Bone Seattle Sounders Midfielder
21 Kamar Marriott Sporting KC Defender
22 Janos Loebe New York Red Bulls Forward
23 Ryan Sierakowski Portland Timbers Forward
24 Anderson Asiedu Atlanta United Midfielder

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