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Mohammed, Fodrey, Bolma headline 2023 MLS Draft Generation adidas class


The 2023 Major League Soccer Draft is set to take place on Wednesday, and the number of talented young Americans available has been boosted by the signing of a sizeable Generation Adidas class.

Duke University forward Shakur Mohammed, San Diego State University forward C.J. Fodrey, and University of Maryland midfielder Joshua Bolma headline the 11 underclassmen named to the Generation Adidas class. All 11 will be among several talented collegiate athletes available for selection in Wednesday’s draft.

Duke forward Shakur Mohammed led the Blue Devils with 10 goals in 2022 and was named a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist. He also earned first-team All-American and ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors during his sophomore season. A Ghana native, Mohammed also totaled three goals and seven assists in 2021, earning ACC Freshman of the Year and All-ACC second team honors.

Fodrey was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2022, becoming the first San Diego State player since 2006 to win a Pac-12 major award. He played in all 18 matches for the Azteca, registering team-highs in goals (7) and points (18). He was previously coached by former U.S. men’s national team legend Landon Donovan with the San Diego Loyal.

Skinner featured in every match for the Clemson Tigers this season, scoring twice and providing one assist. A transfer from UNC Greensboro, Skinner was a first-team All-SoCon selection as a freshman in 2021.

Bolma starred in his two years with the Maryland Terrapins, registering eight assists during the 2022 campaign alone. He earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors in 2021 and finished as only the fourth player in Maryland history to earn multiple first-team All-Big Ten honors.

New Hampshire defender Moise Bambino earned 2022 America East Defender of the Year honors and was also named a second team All-American selection. Bambino’s stellar season helped New Hampshire finish third in the national with a 0.5 goals against average.

Creighton University’s Owen O’Malley was key in the Bluejays run to a 2022 National Championship appearance. He finished with eight goals and six assists this past season, earning All-BIG EAST first-team honors.

Ilijah Paul was the top offensive threat for the Washington Huskies, eventually being named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2022. Paul was also a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist after scoring 11 goals in 2022. An Arizona native, Paul previously spent time in the Real Salt Lake Academy and Barça Residency Academy.

Bowling Green’s Joey Akpunonu heads into the MLS Draft as one of the top defensive options. In 2022, Akpunonu earned All-MAC first-team honors after leading the team with six goals and playing every minute in his 16 appearances. He also played in all but 11 minutes for the Falcons during the 2021 campaign.

Clemson’s Hamady Diop was one of the Tigers key defenders over the past three seasons. He started in 13 games for the Tigers in 2022, earning Second-Team All-ACC honors for the second-consecutive campaign.

A three-time All-ACC Second Team selection Pittsburgh’s Bertin Jacquesson is one of the top forwards in Wednesday’s draft. His 23 assists is ranked second all-time in program history. He previously played in Strasbourg’s academy in France.

UNC-Greensboro’s J.C. Ngando enjoyed a stellar 2022 campaign which saw him win the SoCon Player of the Year award. Ngando contributed 14 assists in 2022, which was tied for the second most in the country. A former player with Paris FC in France, Ngando helped UNC Greensboro reach the NCAA Division I quarterfinals for the first time in program history.

2023 Expansion side St Louis CITY SC holds the No. 1 overall pick heading into Wednesday’s MLS Draft.


  1. Does anyone know if this is a talented group or not? College soccer is my least followed level of American soccer. Does anyone follow closely enough to know how this class stacks up to previous years?

    • The only one I know anything about is Joey Skinner from Clemson. Left back, 1-year transfer from some 2A school up in North Carolina, I don’t remember which one offhand. Skinner was good enough to start at LB ahead of a kid I used to coach back in Academy, Ben Erkens, who I always figured would end up in MLS, mostly because Ben’s better and a far better athlete than a couple of other guys I know from Greenville who also made MLS teams (Wes Knight, who played for Vancouver, and Sebastian Velasquez, who played for RSL). The thing is, though, Ben’s big enough to play CB as well – he’s built along the lines of Jedi Robinson (and is also a natural lefty) and is similarly athletic – so Noonan may have decided, hey, let’s play Ben at LCB and Skinner at LB to get them both on the field…and then, unfortunately, Ben got hurt after six games and Skinner appears to have killed it. Which kind of surprised me because I knew nothing about Skinner prior to the year and I definitely figured Ben would be the big Clemson product coming out after this season.

      So Skinner’s likely legit. Clemson’s had a veritable parade of MLS draft picks and Gen Adidas guys the last few years, though, under Mike Noonan, who I’m honestly kind of surprised some MLS squad hasn’t picked up as a coach. Noonan’s got an incredible eye for talent and can develop second to none, has put together a program at Clemson that’s even better than the one Doug Allison has at cross-town Furman…and Doug had Clint Dempsey, Walker Zimmerman, Shea Salinas, and Ricardo Clark, among numerous others. So that’s saying a lot.

    • Also…saw Joey Akpunonu from Bowling Green is on that list, Toledo kid. I’m actually up in Toledo now for work reasons (kind of a holding pattern) but I know some of the guys from the local club and I do remember one of them was bragging on his buddy from BG, I’m presuming it’s the same guy. I’ll ask around.

      • To follow up…talked to a guy from Toledo Soccer Academy today, and it was indeed Akpunonu he was talking up a few weeks back. He played with Akpunonu at TSA, also apparently played with him for Pacesetters, a club I am not familiar with. I have not seen Akpunonu myself, but what he said:
        *Right-footed CB
        *About 6’2″, really athletic, can jump over the moon and scores a ton of goals for a CB, mostly with his head.
        *CALM. He said this about ten times. He said the dude is just unnaturally calm, never seems to raise a sweat, never seems hurried, incredible vision and anticipation, sees everything.
        *Excellent distributor. Says his passing out of the back is top-shelf, and can put a ball on a dime from 30-40 yards. Compared him to Chris Richards.

        Locals always hype their guy, of course, but he seems pretty rational and knowledgeable, and he thinks Akpunonu is a Euro league guy all the way after a year or two in MLS.


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