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The SBI Soccer 2015 MLS Draft Big Board (Version 3.0)



The 2015 MLS Draft is now less than a week away, and today marks the start of the MLS Combine, which will go a long way in determining just where players will wind up going at next week’s draft in Philadelphia.

Most MLS teams have already done the bulk of their scouting beforehand, but the MLS Combine always has a way of seriously impacting draft stock. For lesser-known players, a strong combine can mean a jump into the first round, like Tesho Akindele a year ago. For others, a poor Combine can mean not even being drafted.

With this in mind, here is the latest SBI MLS Draft Big Board, to give you all a sense of where players are being ranked heading into the Combine. The sense around the league continues to be that left back, goalkeeper and central defender are the positions where talent is deepest, and the Combine will help provide a sense of just how to put the prospects at those positions in order.

The second SBI MLS Mock Draft will drop later on today, but for now be sure to check out our latest edition of the SBI 2015 MLS Draft Big Board:

SBI 2015 MLS Draft Big Board (Version 3.0)

(@-Potential Generation adidas players)

1-@ CYLE LARIN, Forward, UConn (BIO)

Teenage Canadian striker is highly coveted, boasting the tools and potential to be an impact player on the pro level. Already has Canadian national team experience and is a lock top two pick. A Generation adidas signing.

2-@ CRISTIAN ROLDAN, Midfielder, Washington (BIO)

Skilled central midfielder with excellent vision and a good motor. Would be a longer-term project, and not all teams convinced he’s ready for the next level yet. A Generation adidas signing.

3-@ ROMARIO WILLIAMS, Forward, Central Florida (BIO)

Fast Jamaican forward was a bit of a surprise Generation adidas target, but teams like his potential and track record of Jamaican forwards in the MLS Draft in recent years helps his stock. Size-speed combination and fearlessness make him a safe bet for the top of the draft. A Generation adidas signing.

4- KHIRY SHELTON, Forward, Oregon State (BIO)

Strong and skilled forward with the pace and technical quality to play as a striker or winger, Shelton boosted his stock considerably during a standout senior season. Could definitely be the first senior off the board. Has signed an MLS senior contract.

5-@ ALEX BONO, Goalkeeper, Syracuse (BIO)

Best available goalkeeper in the draft pool, the 6-foot-3 shot stopper is the top goalkeeping prospect in a good crop of netminders. A Generation adidas signing.


The U.S. Under-23 central defender was first spotted by the San Jose Earthquakes, but chances of landing him as a homegrown player were always slim. Very highly rated by a handful of teams, and could be a target for San Jose with the No. 4 pick in the draft. Has signed an MLS senior contract.

7- NICK BESLER, Central Midfielder, Notre Dame (BIO)

Matt Besler’s younger brother is a smart central midfielder who reads the game well and has the kind of poise on the ball and intelligence pro coaches love. Has signed an MLS senior contract.

8- FATAI ALASHE, Defensive Midfielder, Michigan State (BIO)

Another player with the characteristics to contribute as a rookie, Alashe covers ground in midfield well, is strong on the ball and passes well from deep in midfield. Has signed an MLS senior contract.

9- ANDY THOMA, Left Back, Washington (BIO)

Best fullback in the draft, Thoma is a quick left back who provides good service. The consensus top choice in a good class of left backs, and has signed an MLS senior contract.

@10. CONOR DONOVAN, Central Defender, North Carolina State (BIO)

A long-time youth national team player who is now a part of the U.S. Under-20 national team setup. The 6-foot-2 centerback is only 19, but his work with the U-20s helped boost his stock and should help him go in the top half of the first round of the draft. A Generation adidas signing.

11- OTIS EARLE, Left Back, UC Riverside (BIO)

The son of NBC analyst Robbie Earle is a very talented fullback with the skill set to be one of the first defenders off the board. Boasts good technique as a left back, and will push Thoma to be the first fullback off the board. Has signed an MLS senior contract.

12- DAN METZGER, Defensive Midfielder, Maryland (BIO)

Tough and intelligent midfielder who heads into the draft with the polish of four years starting for one of college soccer’s top programs. Doesn’t boast the athleticism of some other midfielders in the draft, but there aren’t many better soccer players. Has signed an MLS senior contract.

13- AXEL SJOBERG, Central Defender, Marquette (BIO)

A 6-foot-7 Swedish central defender, Sjoberg moves very well for his size and makes full use of his imposing height on set pieces. He is a graduating junior, but turns 24 on MLS opening day, so he isn’t exactly young.

14- CONNOR HALLISEY, Left Winger, California (BIO)

Considered by some teams to be the best pure winger in the draft, Hallisay is the kind of player teams could reach for in the first round to address left wing depth.

15- LEO STOLZ, Midfielder, UCLA (BIO)

The German standout is a talented central midfielder who can create his own chances and also set up teammates. From a talent standpoint, he should be higher on this list, but he will be 24 when 2015 begins. His age, coupled with his status as an international player will cost him on the draft boards of several teams. He also hasn’t signed is MLS senior deal yet, which may ultimately be what keeps teams away from him for fear of wasting a pick on a player heading to Europe.

16- AARON SIMMONS, Central Defender/Defensive Midfielder, UCLA (BIO)

One of the more pro-ready prospects in the draft, Simmons has the experience and physical attributes to play right away, either as a central defender or defensive midfielder.

17- ERIC BIRD, Central Midfielder, Virginia (BIO)

Boosted his stock with a good senior year, showing good skill on the ball, creativity and quickness while helping lead UVA to an NCAA title, but there are still some questions about whether his skills set can translate to a higher level.

18- TIM PARKER, Central Defender, St. John’s (BIO)

Tough and strong central defender who has the attributes to transition well to the pro game. A four-year starter at St. John’s, Parker is a 6-foot-2 centerback who is a safer prospect than some others with more upside but more question marks.

19- TYLER MILLER, Goalkeeper, Northwestern (BIO)

Will be the top goalkeeper in the draft unless Alex Bono signs a Generation adidas contract. The 6-foot-4 shot stopper is strong in the air and commands the penalty area well.

20-BOYD OKWUONU, Right Back, North Carolina (BIO)

The former U.S. Under-20 national team defender is one of the more experienced and polished prospects in the draft. Projects as a right back, though he has played his share of central defense. Passed over for a Homegrown Player deal by FC Dallas, which is already loaded with homegrown players, but Okwuonu should still be a first-round pick. Has signed an MLS senior contract.

21- JAMES ROGERS, Right Winger, New Mexico (BIO)

Fast and strong right winger is one of the better flank options in the draft pool. Can score goals, and also provide service. Needs a good showing at the MLS Combine to ensure a spot in the first round.

22- ANTHONY MANNING, Central Defender, Saint Louis (BIO)

A 6-foot-4 central defender who will have to show scouts at the Combine that he’s a starting caliber player, and not just a squad depth option off the bench. Good in the air, but needs to show he can handle the ball to play his way into the first round.

23- ANDY CRAVEN, Forward, North Carolina (BIO)

Talented goal scorer who some teams rate as a first-round player, certainly with first-round level speed. Boosted his stock considerably during his senior year after missing a year due to injury. Is in talks to sign an MLS senior contract.

24- OUMAR BALLO, Central Defender, UMBC (BIO)

A talented 6-foot-2 central defender who has scouts split on just how enticing a prospect he is. Left-footed centerback who boasts good athleticism and aerial prowess, but is shaky on the ball and there are questions about him being able to defend in space. Also turns 24 in April, so not exactly a young prospect.

25- AKEIL BARRETT, Right Winger/Forward, Tulsa (BIO)

The speedy Jamaican winger has been on the MLS scouting radar for a few years, but the caliber of play in Tulsa’s conference has some scouts wondering if he can produce once he makes the jump in level.

26- MIGUEL AGUILAR, Forward, San Francisco (BIO)

27- WES CHARPIE, Right Back, South Florida (BIO)

28- DZENAN CATIC, Forward, Davenport (NAIA) (BIO)

29- ROBBIE LOVEJOY, Forward/Midfielder, North Carolina (BIO)

30- JOSE RIBAS, Left Back, Creighton (BIO)

31- JORDAN MURRELL, Left Back, Syracuse (BIO)

32- LUKE MISHU, Right Back, Notre Dame (BIO)

33- DANIEL KELLER, Central Defender, Louisville (BIO)

34- ANDREW WOLVERTON, Goalkeeper, Penn State (BIO)

35- ANDREW BEVIN, Forward, West Virginia (BIO)

36- SETH CASIPLE, Midfielder, California (BIO)

37- MATT POLSTER, Central Defender, SIU-Edwardsville (BIO)

38- ADRIA BESO MARCO, Midfielder, UConn (BIO)

39- SAL BERNAL, Forward, UNLV (BIO)

40- EMEKA ONYONYE, Central Defender, Wright State (BIO)

41- SERGIO CAMPBELL, Central Defender, UConn (BIO)

42- SKYLER THOMAS, Central Defender, Syracuse (BIO)

43- IGNACIO MAGANTO, Attacking midfielder/Forward, Iona (BIO)

44- ALEX SHINSKY, Forward, Maryland (BIO)

45- DUKE LACROIX, Forward/Winger, Penn (BIO)

46- CONNOR BRANDT, Left Wing/Left Back, San Diego (BIO)


48- SAGI LEV-ARI, Forward, Cal-State Northridge (BIO)

49-FABIO MACHADO, Midfielder, Providence (BIO)

50- ZACH STEINBERGER, Forward, Butler (BIO)

51-  NICK MIELE, Central Defender, New Mexico (BIO)

52-NIKOLA PAUNIC, Central Defender, South Florida

53- SAAD ABDUL-SALAAM, Right Back, Akron

54- SPENCER RICHEY, Goalkeeper, Washington

55- CAMERON PORTER, Forward, Princeton (BIO)

56- ADAM MONTAGUE, Forward, Michigan State

57- CAMERON IWASA, Forward, UC-Irvine

58- CRAIG NITTI, Central Defender, Loyola Marymount

59- ONIEL FISHER, Midfielder, New Mexico

60- SHAWN MCLAWS, Right Back, Coastal Carolina

61- TYLER ENGEL, Forward, North Carolina

62- LAURIE BELL, Defender/Midfielder, Wisconsin-Milwaukee

63- TYLER ARNONE, Central Midfielder, Michigan

64- EARL EDWARDS, UCLA, Goalkeeper

65- ZACH BATEER, Forward, Stanford

66-TOMAS GOMEZ, Goalkeeper, Georgetown

67-WILL SEYMOUR, Central Midfielder, Oregon State

68- RICKY GARBANZO, Forward, Coastal Carolina

69-STEFANO BONOMO, Forward, California

70- JOSEPH GREENSPAN, Central Defender, Navy

71- DOMINIQUE BADJI, Forward, Boston U.

72- WILL VITALIS, Forward, Louisville

73- CHRISTIAN VOLESKY, Forward, SIU Edwardsville

74- NIKKO BOXALL, Central Defender, Northwestern

75- MANOLO SANCHEZ, Right winger, Clemson



  1. Very surprised George Mason senior Timi Mulgrew isn’t in the top 75. 1st Team all Atlantic 10, 2nd team collegesoccernews all American, 3rd team NSCAA All American, VASID Co-Player of the Year with Eric Bird? Not even top 75, what’s the reasoning?

    • College honors are based on accomplishments.

      Projected draft rank is based on accomplishments plus potential and perceived ceiling.

  2. Why isn’t James Rodgers out of New Mexico a Rapids Home Grown? He came through Rapids Academy before heading to UNM, but did start in RSL’s academy.

    Did Rapids pass on signing him?

  3. Great and thorough list, IG! As a military brat, I gotta ask…how much higher would you have ranked Joseph Greenspan if he didn’t have his Naval commitments after school? Seems like he has big potential with a big frame.


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