VANCOUVER, BC – Draft nerds, rejoice.
Is it too early to start talking about the 2017 MLS SuperDraft? Maybe. But the details were confirmed this week, so I’m going to do it anyway. The adidas MLS Player Combine is set for January 7-12 before the draft takes place on Friday, January 13.
Both events will be held in Los Angeles.
Expansion sides Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC will pick first and second overall, respectively. And Whitecaps FC own the seventh overall pick.
See the order for the top seven picks below.
1. Minnesota United FC
2. Atlanta United FC
3. Chicago Fire
4. Houston Dynamo
5. Columbus Crew SC
6. San Jose Earthquakes
7. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The natural question that follows is: who might the ‘Caps select?
Your guess is as good as mine.
The draft class hasn’t even been announced yet – aside from projected top pick Jeremy Ebobisse, who has already signed a contract with MLS – so at this point, it’s all speculation. But here are some of the names who have been thrown around as potential top 10 picks.
Jeremy Ebobisse (F, Charleston Battery)
Abu Danladi (F, UCLA)
Jackson Yueill (M, UCLA)
Miles Robinson (CB, Syracuse)
Nick DePuy (F, UC Santa Barbara)
Tomas Hilliard-Arce (CB, Stanford)
Tim Kubel (RB, Louisville)
Recent SuperDraft picks on Vancouver’s MLS roster include Kekuta Manneh and Tim Parker, who both made Major League Soccer’s 24-under-24 list, Erik Hurtado, Christian Dean, and Cole Seiler. And then, of course, there’s WFC2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey and forward Thomas Sanner, who also came through the SuperDraft. So there is clearly value to be had there.
Last year’s draft is Exhibit A.
The top four picks, Jack Harrison (New York City FC), Josh Yaro (Philadelphia Union), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), and Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), all made significant contributions this past season, each starting at least 15 matches.
“It’s very important,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “Let’s make no bones about that. You look at the examples of Dallas and Colorado, they’ve drafted very well, but its taken time for them to develop. We’ve got some key players in key areas who have come through the draft.”
And they’re hoping to find a few more.