SBI 2020 MLS Draft: Live Commentary

SBI 2020 MLS Draft: Live Commentary

Major League Soccer

SBI 2020 MLS Draft: Live Commentary

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The 2020 MLS Draft takes place today, and SBI will have you covered with updates and analysis throughout the event.

Join SBI’s Ives Galarcep as he breaks down all the picks, and the players who begin their professional careers.

Inter Miami FC and Nashville SC start things off with the first two picks in the draft, which will be broadcast on Twitter and other social platforms.

Stay tuned here for all the picks, and our breakdown of all the action:

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2:55pm– The final two rounds of the MLS Draft will be held via conference call on January 13th, and if the speedy way the 2nd round flew by, it’s a safe bet those final two rounds will break the speed of sound.

That’s all for me, Ives Galarcep, from today’s MLS Draft. Be sure to check out SBI Soccer for your post-draft analysis. Also look for the return of The SBI Show, with a full draft recap, as well as some post-draft videos on the SBI YouTube channel, which will be reactivated shortly.

Thank you for reading.

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2:45pm– The 1st two rounds are in the books. Here are the final picks of the day:

44- Austin Aviza, Orlando City
45- Tom Smart, LA Galaxy
46- Michael Wetungu, Real Salt Lake (Solid domestic centerback)
47- Remi Prieur, Columbus
48- Felician Dumas, NYCFC
49- Danny Griffin, Columbus
50- Jack Hallahan, LAFC (Outstanding late pick, talented forward)
51- Simon Waever, TFC
52- Timo Mehlich, Seattle Sounders

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2:35pm – And more picks:

San Jose takes Jon Bell 38th
Orlando City adds Jonathan Dean 39th (A steal at right back this late)
FC Dallas takes Manuel Ferriol 40th (International, but excellent player, midfielder creator)
Red Bulls take Deri Corfe at 41st
D.C. United adds Josh Fawole 42nd
New England takes Keegan Meyer 43rd (Great value)

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2:32pm– Here are some more picks:

Toronto FC takes Malick Mbaye 33rd
Houston selects Luka Prpa 34th
Seattle takes Danny Reynolds 35th
Red Bulls take Wallis Lapsley 36th (Good GK project)
Rapids select Robin Afamefuna 37th

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2:29pm– The 2nd round #SuperDraft picks are FLYING:

San Jose takes Jack Skahan, 27th (Slid after bad senior season, but talent is there)
Nashville grabs Tanner Dieterich 28th (hometown kid)
Cincinnati adds Rey Ortiz 29th (Talented winger, but Mexican international)
New England grabs Simon LeKressner 30th (Great value at right back this late)
Orlando City takes Joey DeZart 31st (Sleeper d-mid prospect)
Vancouver adds Daniel Gagliardi at 32.

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2:25pm – As we prepare for the second round, here is a look at the Best Available players left:

Jack Skahan, UNC, Winger
Simon LeKressner, California, Right Back
Nebojsa Popovic, Michigan, Striker

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2:24pm – The Chicago Fire close out the first round taking Jonathan Jimenez with the 26th overall pick. That’s an excellent pick for the Fire, who need some left back depth. Jimenez is a tenacious defender who would have been rated higher had he not just come off a season cut short by injury.

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2:18pm– Toronto FC selects Georgetown forward Achara 25th overall, an impressive attacking player who has had some injury issues, and is an international, but the talent is there.

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2:14pm – LAFC selects Paulo Pita at 24th, the first player chosen today who isn’t on the SBI Big Board. I got nothing, but given LAFC’s extensive scouting setup you can see them uncovering a gem.

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2:13pm– NYCFC took Jesus Perez, the UIC central midfielder at 22, with Atlanta United grabbing a good centerback prospect in Patrick Nielson at 23rd. Perez is a skilled attacking midfielder who will face stiff competition for a roster spot in NYC. Nielson gives ATL much-needed CB depth.

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2:06pm– Temple goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre goes to #DCU at 21st overall. Towering 6-foot-9 prospect with good feet. Kind of funny that the best passing goalkeeper goes to a team notorious for not asking much from its goalkeepers passing wise. Ben Olsen ready to channel Pep? #IKid

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2:03pm– Real Salt Lake picks up Dayonn Harris with the 20th overall pick. Fastest player in the #SuperDraft , good wing threat. Surprised to see him slide. Canadian/Jamaican, I’m sure somewhere Andy Williams is celebrating this one.

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2pm– TFC selects Syracuse centerback Nyal Higgins with the 19th overall pick. Watched his highlight video yesterday and he’s an intriguing prospect, moves very well, also a domestic player. Good Ali Curtis grab.

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1:58pm – The Loons select UCSB’s Noah Billingsley with the 18th overall pick. Good defender, some questions about whether he’s a tweener, not really CB or FB, but he can play. International status hurt his stock, but still one of the better defenders.

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1:50pm– FC Dallas takes forward Cal Jennings with the 17th overall pick. Great pick, great value at that spot. Jennings arguably the best finisher in the draft.

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1:49pm – And the run on international players begin: Aaron Molloy goes 16th overall to the Portland Timbers. Irish-born defensive midfielder. Solid player. There was definitely a split opinion on him. Some rated him, while others question his ability to cover ground. A 10-12 value at 16.

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1:43pm – The Red Bulls select Louisville’s Cherif Dieye at the 15th overall pick. Dieye was one of the top winger options in the draft, but he’s also an international player. The Red Bulls won’t worry about that as much since they have Red Bulls II and can stash him.

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1:39pm – FC Dallas selects Seattle University centerback Nkosi Burgess with the 14th overall pick. And there’s your first “Screw your Big Board rankings” pick of the day (he was 55th on SBI’s Big Board). Burgess is a solid prospect, and domestic player.

Burgess was one of the best domestic centerback options in this pool, so from that standpoint you can see why Dallas rated him. I had him going 52nd overall in SBI’s last Mock Draft, so the dream of having every draft pick be on the Mock Draft is still alive.

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1:36pm – Nashville trades with New England to jump up to 13th. Nashville goes goalkeeper, taking Elliott Panicco, the top goalkeeper prospect, at 13th. Good prospect for Nashville goalkeeper coach Matt Pickens to work with.

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1:30pmTanner Beason is taken by San Jose with the 12th pick. A left-footed centerback/left back. Comes out of the Stanford system, can play two positions. Gives San Jose another naturally left-footed player after playing right-footed Nick Lima at left back in 2019.

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1:26pmNashville SC trades up to the 11th pick and drafts Wake Forest’s Alistair Johnston, a dynamic winger/right back option. Projects as a right back after playing there in 2019. Great pickup after grabbing Jack Maher earlier.

The Rapids received $75K in GAM for the pick.

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1:22pm – The New York Red Bulls trade up to the 10th pick and select Patrick Seagrist, the Marquette left back. Solid pick-up. The Red Bulls send $100K in general allocation money to the Fire.

I had the Red Bulls taking Seagrist in my Mock Draft, but at 15. Here’s the blurb:

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1:18pm– The Montreal trade with Minnesota United fell through and Montreal instead takes Jeremy Kelly with the 9th pick in the #SuperDraft, the North Carolina winger. He projects as a right back in the pros and scouts love his ability to get up and down the flank.

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1:15pm – The Montreal Impact have traded their pick to Minnesota United

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1:11pm – The Montreal Impact have taken a timeout to buy more time. No, I’m not kidding.

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1:08pm– The Houston Dynamo go with SMU forward Garrett McLaughlin. With Mauro Manotas a potential transfer departure, some forward depth is a good thing for Tab Ramos’ side.

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1:04pm – The Columbus Crew select Miguel Berry with the 7th pick in the #SuperDraft . My understanding is that Berry has signed a deal with a USL team. That was the word making the rounds. That didn’t seem to bother the Crew, but could lead to a complicated situation.

This contract uncertainty is why Berry slid down my Big Board and Mock Draft this week. he’s very much a top talent in this draft, the next best target striker after Daryl Dike.

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1:02pm– New England selects Henry Kessler with the 6th overall pick in the #SuperDraft . Bruce Arena had some success drafting an ACC Generation Adidas centerback many moons ago in Omar Gonzalez. Not saying Kessler is Omar Gonzalez, but the 6-foot-4 defender is a solid prospect.

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12:54pm– Orlando City takes Daryl Dike with the fifth overall pick. A powerful striker and excellent finisher, who was dominant down the stretch in the college season.

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12:51pm– Three for three on my mock draft, I’m going to go ahead and declare victory.

And Vancouver ruins the mock by selecting Ryan Raposo with the fourth pick. Not at all a surprise. Raposo is a skilled and quick midfielder who is also Canadian, so checks that box for the Whitecaps as well.

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12:49pm– Inter Miami selects DYLAN Nealis with the third overall pick in the #SuperDraft . He’s an excellent right back who could play right away and leads a very deep pool of right backs in this draft.

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12:43pm – Nashville SC selects Jack Maher, Indiana University centerback. The best defensive prospect in the draft. Good defender, solid passer, he’s young and can grown into his frame. Doesn’t need to play right away, but has major upside.

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12:38pm – Inter Miami selects Robbie Robinson from Clemson. Dynamic forward who can operate as a second forward, or a winger. Best attacking threat in the draft.

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12:36pm– We’re still waiting for the top pick. The Draft show intro talk is dragging on.

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12:30pm– And the draft is here. Still waiting for that first pick. Only three minutes between picks, so it will be a speed round compared to past years.

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12:28pm– Inter Miami is up first and the belief is the expansion team will select Robbie Robinson, the Clemson forward.

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12:23pm– The first trade of the day sees D.C. United acquire the 21st overall pick from Philadelphia in exchange for the 17th slot in the 2020 allocation ranking.

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12:15pm – Hello everybody. This is Ives Galarcep, editor-in-chief of SBI Soccer. I will be providing you with updates throughout the day, including draft pick announcements and analysis on all the moves.

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