MLS SuperDraft 2021: Players, prospects and order for clubs

MLS 2021 SuperDraft split
Teams chose from the best players college soccer has to offer this week, with expansion club Austin FC holding the first pick

While we may not know exactly when the MLS season will begin, the first major event of the league's 2021 campaign kicked off this week.

When will the 2021 MLS SuperDraft take place?

The 2021 MLS SuperDraft was on Thursday January 21 as clubs whadtheir selection from a list of 176 eligible players joining the league from the college ranks. This year's draft was unlike any that have preceded it, with teams facing new challenges when it comes to scouting players after the coronavirus pandemic halted a large part of the 2020 fall college campaign.

Also adding to this year's event was the inclusion of Austin FC, the league's newest franchise which will continue their roster-building process with the first overall selection. The club already has Paraguayan star Cecilio Dominguez as a Designated Player as well as MLS veterans like Matt Besler, Alex Ring, Nick Lima and Ben Sweat.

Which players were chosen during the 2021 MLS SuperDraft?

With the first overall pick, Austin selected Daniel Pereira, bucking the expectations of many experts. Clemson's Philip Mayaka and Wake Forest's Calvin Harris were widely projected to be the candidates for the top spot, but the expansion franchise provided a surprise by opting for Virginia Tech product Pereira.

Harris ended up going second overall to FC Cincinnati while Mayaka, projected to be the top overall pick by most mock drafts, fell to the Colorado Rapids at three.

D.C. United finished off the with back-to-back picks, adding Clemson forward Kimarni Smith and Wake defender Michael DeShields to their squad

Defender Ethan Barlow and Bret Halsey were selected next, joining the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake, respectively, with a series of three forwards then concluding the first 10 pics.

Georgetown's Derek Dodson was chosen by Orlando, Akron's David Egbo will head to Vancouver to join the Whitecaps and Inter Miami added Indiana forward Josh Penn.

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How did the 2021 MLS SuperDraft work?

The 2021 draft had three rounds, with Austin holding the first pick of each round with the ensuing selections determined by 2020 finishes. As always, teams were able to trade their picks, with the Philadelphia Union opting to cash in on all of their picks in a trade with Nashville SC.

After the draft, pre-signed seniors, Generation adidas players and select others will be able to join up with their new teams for the 2021 preseason. Others, meanwhile, may continue to compete for their colleges before reporting to their MLS club in late May as several schools continue to eye Spring 2021 games following the upheaval of the Fall 2020 college soccer season.

2021 MLS SuperDraft Round 1

Pick Club Player Position School
1 Austin FC Daniel Pereira Midfielder Virginia Tech
2 FC Cincinnati Calvin Harris Forward Wake Forest
3 Houston Dynamo Philip Mayaka Midfielder Clemson
4 D.C. United Kimarni Smith Forward Clemson
5 D.C. United Michael DeShields Defender Wake Forest
6 Houston Dynamo Ethan Barlow Defender Washington
7 Real Salt Lake Bret Halsey Defender Virginia
8 Orlando City Derek Dodson Forward Goergetown
9 Vancouver Whitecaps David Egbo Forward Akron
10 Inter Miami Josh Penn Forward Indiana
11 Austin FC Freddy Kleeman Defender Washington
12 San Jose Earthquakes Thomas Williamson Forward California
13 New York Red Bulls Luther Archimede Forward Syracuse
14 Los Angeles FC Daniel Trejo Forward  Cal State Northridge
15 FC Dallas Nicky Hernandez Midfielder SMU
16 LA Galaxy Josh Drack Forward Denver
17 Minnesota United Justin McMaster Forward Wake Forest
18 Minnesota United Nabilai Kibunguchy Defender Cal Davis
19 Orlando City Rio Hope-Gund Defender Georgetown
20 Nashville SC Irakoze Donasiyano Forward Virginia
21 Austin FC Aedan Stanley Defender Duke
22 Orlando City Brandon Hackenberg Defender Penn State
23 Vancouver Whitecaps Javain Brown Defender South Florida
24 New England Revolution Edward Kizza Forward Pittsburgh
25 Toronto FC Matt Di Rosa Midfielder Maryland
26 Inter Miami Aime Mabika Defender Kentucky
27 Columbus Crew Justin Malou Defender Clemson

2021 MLS SuperDraft Round 2

Pick Club Player Position School
28 Austin FC Daniel Steedman Forward Virginia
29 FC Cincinnati Avionne Flanagan Defender South Florida
30 Houston Dynamo Kristofer Strickler Forward Virginia Tech
31 Atlanta United Josh Bauer Defender New Hampshire
32 D.C. United Logan Panchot Midfielder Stanford
33 Chicago Fire Jackson Ragen Defender Michigan
34 Real Salt Lake Elijah Amo Forward Louisvill
35 LA Galaxy Preson Judd Forward Denver
36 Nashville SC Tom Judge Defender James Madison
37 Inter Miami Joseph Hafferty Defender Oregon State
38 Minnesota United Sean O'Hearn Defender Georgetown
39 San Jose Earthquakes George Asoman Midfielder NC State
40 New York Red Bulls Lamine Conte Midfielder Louisville
41 Los Angeles FC CC Uche Defender Ohio State
42 Colorado Rapids PASS    
43 Portland Timbers Dawson McCartney Midfielder Dartmouth
44 New York City FC Ben Di Rosa Defender Maryland
45 Toronto FC Nathaniel Crofts Forward Virginia
46 Vancouver Whitecaps Eric Iloski Midfielder UCLA
47 Chicago Fire Christian Pinzon Forward Cal State Fullerton
48 FC Dallas Colin Shutler Goalkeeper Virginia
49 Orlando City Andrew Pannenberg Goalkeeper Wake Forest
50 Sporting KC Matt Constant Defender North Carolina
51 New England Revolution Francis Dulysse Defender Manhattan College
52 Columbus Crew Joshua Jackson-Ketchup Defender Ohio State
53 Vancouver Whitecaps Joel Harrison Defender Michigan
54 FC Cincinnati Jonas Fjeldberg Midfielder Dayton

2021 MLS SuperDraft Round 3

Pick Club Player Position School
55 Austin FC Noah Lawrence Goalkeeper Ohio State
56 FC Cincinnati Matthew Vowinkel Forward Hofstra
57 Houston Dynamo Brandon Terwege Defender SMU
58 Columbus Crew PASS    
59 Atlanta United Auden McFadden Midfielder Notre Dame
60 Chicago Fire Mitch Guitar Midfielder Wisconsin
61 Real Salt Lake Aris Briggs Forward Georgia State
62 LA Galaxy PASS    
63 CF Montreal Giuseppe Barone Midfielder Michigan
64 Toronto FC Paul Rothrock Midfielder Georgetown
65 CF Montreal PASS    
66 San Jose Earthquakes PASS    
67 New York Red Bulls AJ Marcucci Goalkeeper Connecticut College
68 Los Angeles FC Alvaro Quezada Forward UC Irvine
69 Colorado Rapids PASS    
70 Portland Timbers Diego Guttierez Forward Creighton
71 New York City FC Vuk Latinovich Midfielder University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
72 Toronto FC Jon-Talen Maples Midfielder SMU
73 Nashville SC Sondre Noreheim Defender Syracuse
74 Nashville SC Tor Saunders Goalkeeper Coastal Carolina
75 FC Dallas Thibaut Jacquel Defender Campbell
76 FC Dallas Mark Salas Defender UNC
77 Sporting KC Jamil Roberts Forward Marshall
78 New England Revolution PASS    
79 FC Dallas Giovanni Montesedeoca Forward UNC
80 Seattle Sounders TJ Bush Goalkeeper James Madison
81 New York Red Bulls PASS    

2021 MLS SuperDraft Compensatory Picks

Pick Club Player Position School
82 Sporting KC PASS    
83 Inter Miami PASS    
84 Real Salt Lake Rene White Forward New Jersey Institute of Technology
85 Inter Miami PASS    
86 Nashville SC Leroy Enzugusi Forward Drake