The SuperDraft by the numbers -- 2021 update

Grab a coffee. This is a long one.

Ten years ago, I started a project to objectively evaluate the value of the MLS SuperDraft. At the time, the purpose was to see if the feeling that I was having – that the draft held much less importance than the league and (many) fans were giving it — was true.

The results of my study more or less backed up that theory. Although there were always a few players that would come out of any draft, the amount of picks that ended up never playing was astounding. And, we aren’t talking about late round picks here – most first rounders had little to no playing time in the league.

When it came to late round gems, I found that there were so few successes late in the draft that it was pointless to even look at them. No one team had more incidences of making good late picks, which led me to conclude that any success beyond the first round could be chalked up to luck.

That first review came at a time when the league was starting to move away from using college players. Earlier drafts did have more value. However, the full effect of the Homegrown Rule had yet to be felt back in 2011. In the years that followed, more and more players were skipping the college route altogether.

So, as I complete the fourth major update of the study now, ten years later (God, the old), there is no longer any question: The draft has far less value than drafts do in other North American sports and, although the league is starting to downplay it a bit, it still doesn’t live up to even the reduced hype MLS provides it.

Preamble done, let’s get into it:

The process is fairly simple. As stated, the study was limited to first round picks only. Additionally, I breakout the top 5 picks in each draft as there is a clear drop in successes after that.

As for what measurement I looked for, I settled on total appearances. It’s simply the most objective measure you can use that is equal across all positions. The purpose of the draft is to find players that play. So, I look at whether they played or not.

By taking all subjective opinion of the player’s quality out I do run into what I call the Chad Barrett Effect – a player that meets the criteria for the highest level of success in my system – Franchise Player – that, clearly, isn’t a franchise player in the traditional way that we think of the term. If you want to change that term to “MLS Lifer” in your mind to help you wrap your head around it, that’s fine.

The same goes for the other categories I created – Exceptional, Solid, Poor and Failure. Change them to “regular starter,” “squad player,” “had a cup of coffee” and “who?” if it helps you wrap your head around the ratings.

The measurement also restricts itself to MLS play. If a player was sold out of the league, he wasn’t contributing to MLS and thus the goal of drafting – finding contributing players -- was lost. Yes, there is value in the money that is gained from selling a player, but keep in mind that for the first decade or so of the draft selling a player that was drafted was exceptionally rare. Even today, there aren’t many Cyle Larin’s out there. Generally, the ceiling of players being drafted is to become a MLS regular. Top prospects these days are coming through the homegrown program.   

I also didn’t worry about whether the player ended up staying at the club that drafted him in MLS, or if he went on to play for another MLS club. The purpose of the exercise isn’t to judge whether MLS GMs/Managers know what they are doing on a day-to-day bases, but rather if they can identify players that will have MLS careers.  

I looked at every player picked in the first round from 2000 to 2020 (there were a few players that I could not find data for. I omitted those players).

As stated, I categorized the players into four levels of success – exceptional, solid, poor and failure. An exceptional player appeared in at least 75 per cent of games over their career (to be able to compare the older drafts, I considered six seasons to be a typical career and 30 games to be a typical season – i.e. players drafted from 2000 to 2015 were expected to have appeared in 75 per cent of 180 games). Solid players appeared in 50 to 74 per cent of games, poor picks appeared in 25 to 49 per cent and failures appeared in less than 25 per cent.

Last year’s draft picks will be evaluated using 22 games – the median amount that all teams played – as a full season.

  •     2001-2015 More than 134 (exceptional), 90-134 (solid), 45-89 (poor), less than 45 (failure)

  •     2016 – More than 109 (exceptional), 72-108 (solid), 35-71 (poor), less than 35 (failure)

  •     2017 – More than 86 (exceptional), 57-85 (solid), 27-56 (poor), less than 27 (failure)

  •     2018 – More than 67 (exceptional), 42-64 (solid), 20-63 (poor), less than 20 (failure)

  •     2019 – More than 44 (exceptional), 27-41 (solid), 12-40 (poor), less than 12 (failure)

  •     2020 – More than 17 (exceptional), 11-16 (solid), 6-11 (poor), less than 6 (failure)

There is an additional category of “franchise player” – that is a player that played the equivalent of 75 percent of games over 10 seasons (only players drafted prior to 2012 eligible).

    Here are the results:

    Franchise players in italics.

    2000

  1.     Steve Shak – 22 (age in draft year) – 38 (appearances) – New York - Failure

  2.     Nick Garcia – 21 – 296 – Kansas City – Exceptional/franchise

  3.     Adin Brown – 22 – 85 – Colorado - Poor

  4.     Carlos Bocanegra – 21 – 87 - Chicago - Poor

  5.     Aleksey Korol – 22 – 40 – Dallas - Failure

  6.     Danny Califf – 20 – 186 - Los Angeles - Exceptional

  7.     Wes Hart – 23 – 92 – Colorado - Solid

  8.     Travis Mulraine – 23 – 15 – San Jose - Failure

  9.     John Wilson – 23 – 32 – Kansas City – Failure

  10.     Alan Woods – 22 – 19 – Colorado – Failure

  11.     Sasha Victorine – 22 – 239 – Los Angeles – Exceptional

  12.     Bobby Convey – 17 – 164 - DC United – Exceptional

Total – 12 picks.

Average appearances – 108 - solid, Average age of picks: 21.5

Exceptional picks: 4, Solid picks: 3, Poor picks: 2, Failures: 3, Top 5 Ave: 109.2, Franchise players: 1 - Nick Garcia (2nd overall), Kansas City

There is something symbolic about the first ever pick in the first ever SuperDraft being a bust. Sort of a sign, don’t you think?

Unfair, perhaps, with Nick Garcia going second. Poor Nick had nothing left in the tank by the time he ended him career in Toronto, but is easily one of the best Super Draft picks of all time.

Aside: In case you don’t know, the reason it’s called the SuperDraft isn’t because they thought it was some kind of unheard of amazing draft, but rather because they were combining several drafts into one and they named it in the late 90s. Just be thankful it isn’t called the Xtreme Draft Presented by Taco Bell.

2001

  1.   Chris Carrieri – 21 – 70 – San Jose – poor

  2.   Ali Curtis – 23 – 50 – Tampa Bay – poor

  3.   Mark Lisi – 24 – 120 – DC United – solid

  4.   Ryan Nelsen – 24 – 81 - DC United – poor

  5.   Joselito Velasco – 19 – 94 - Dallas – solid

  6.   Craig Demmin – 30 -19 – Tampa – failure

  7.   Ryan Suarez – 24 -75 – Dallas -- poor

  8.   Santino Quaranta – 17 -180 – DC United – exceptional

  9.   Brian Mullan – 23 – 273 Los Angeles – exceptional/franchise

  10.   Duncan Oughton – 24 – 136 – Columbus – exceptional

  11.   Isaias Bardales Jr – 22 – 12 – Los Angeles – failure

  12.   José Luis Burciaga – 19 – 127 – Kansas City – solid

    Total – 12 picks.

Average appearances: 103 - solid, Median appearances: 87.5, Average age of picks: 22.5

Exceptional picks: 3, Solid picks: 3, Poor picks: 4, Failures: 2, Ave top 5: 83.2 – poor, Franchise players: 1 – Brian Mullan (9th overall), Galaxy

Considering this came during the golden era of the Super Draft, such as it was, this ended up being a bit of a dud.

It is notable in that a future TFC manager (Ryan Nelsen) and GM (Ali Curtis) selected in the first five picks.

Speaking of Nelsen, his status here underlines one of the weaknesses of the format — I have yet to figure out how to factor players that go to Europe into my evaluation. However, I (more or less) stand by my position that if they aren’t playing for you then the pick is wasted. Later, when MLS started to actually get transfer fees there is a better argument to be made that there is value, even if they aren’t playing.

2002

  1. Chris Gbandi – 23 – 111 – Dallas – solid

  2. Taylor Twellman – 22 – 174 - New England – exceptional

  3. Brad Davis – 20 – 271 – New York – exceptional/franchise

  4. Justin Mapp – 18 – 223 - DC United – exceptional

  5. Kelly Gray – 21 – 167 – Chicago – exceptional

  6. Luchi Gonzalez – 22 – 30 – San Jose – failure

  7. Kyle Martino – 21 – 141 – Columbus – exceptional

  8. Carl Bussey – 22 – 9 – Dallas – failure

  9. Daouda Kante – 22 – 26 – DC United – failure

    Total – 12 picks (no stats for three players), Average appearances: 128– solid, Median appearances: 154, Average age of picks: 21.2

    Exceptional picks: 5, Solid picks: 1, Poor picks: 0, Failures: 3, Top 5 Ave: 189.2 – exceptional, Franchise Players: 1 – Brad Davis (3rd overall), New York

It’s hard to imagine back-to-back picks as good as Twellman and Davis. This is one of the few SuperDrafts that kind of lived up to its name.

2003

  1. Alecko Eskandarian – 21 – 125 – DC United – solid

  2. Ricardo Clark – 20 – 185 – New York – exceptional

  3. Nate Jaqua – 22 – 193 – Chicago – exceptional

  4. Mike Magee – 19 – 286 – New York – exceptional/franchise

  5. David Stokes – 21 – 24 – DC United – failure

  6. Todd Dunivant – 22 – 284 – San Jose – exceptional/franchise

  7. Diego Walsh – 19 – 30 – Columbus – poor

  8. Guillermo Gonzalez – 17 – 12 – Los Angeles – failure

  9. Pat Noonan – 23 – 208 – New England – exceptional

  10. Shavar Thomas – 22 – 174 – Dallas – exceptional

Total – 10 picks, Average appearances: 127 – solid, Median appearances: 173, Average age of picks: 20.6

Exceptional picks: 6, Solid picks: 1, Poor picks: 0, Failures: 3, Ave top 5: 162.6 – exceptional, Franchise players: 2 – Mike McGee (4th overall), New York; Todd Dunivant (6th overall), San Jose

We are now in the peak era of the SuperDraft, when screwing up a pick truly was something that handicapped your team. It’s also the smallest of the drafts — third round selections in this draft are first rounders now. You’ll note that the late first rounders in later drafts don’t do so well.

2004

  1. Freddy Adu – 15 – 133- DC United - solid

  2. Chad Marshall – 20 – 308 – Columbus – exceptional/franchise

  3. Joseph Ngwenya – 23 – 118 – Los Angeles - solid

  4. Matthew Taylor – 23 – 54 - Kansas City - poor

  5. Ryan Cochrane – 21 – 172 – San Jose - exceptional

  6. Ramón Núñez – 18 – 75- Dallas - poor

  7. Clarence Goodson – 22 – 118 – Dallas - solid

  8. Clint Dempsey – 21 – 186- New England - exceptional

  9. Scott Buete – 24 – 21 – Chicago - failure

  10. Steve Cronin – 21 – 86 – San Jose - poor 127

    Total – 10 picks, Average appearances: 127.1 – solid, Average age of picks: 20.8

Exceptional picks: 3, Solid picks: 3, Poor picks: 2, Failures: 1, Top 5 average: 157 – exceptional, Franchise players: 1 – Ryan Cochrane (5th overall), San Jose

American Pele, my ass.

But, seriously, this is likely the only time that the SuperDraft got national attention and it was all because of Adu.

Was he a complete bust? No, but as the numbers suggest, he wasn’t a good first overall pick — not that DC United had much choice in the matter.

That No 2 pick tho…..

2005

  1. Nikolas Besagno – 16 – 8 – Salt Lake – Failure

  2. Brad Guzan – 21 – 183 - Chivas - Exceptional

  3. Chad Barrett – 20 – 278 – Chicago – exceptional/franchise

  4. Danny O'Rourke – 22 – 189 – San Jose – exceptional

  5. Ugo Ihemelu – 22 – 186 – Los Angeles – exceptional

  6. Drew Moor – 21- 390 – Dallas – exceptional/franchise

  7. Hunter Freeman – 20 – 126 – Colorado – solid

  8. Troy Roberts – 22 – 61 – Los Angeles – poor

  9. Michael Parkhurst – 21 – 301 - New England – exceptional/franchise

  10. Jack Stewart – 22 – 39 – Chicago- poor

  11. Scott Sealy – 24 – 144 – Kansas City – exceptional

  12. Tim Ward – 18 – 71 – New York – poor

 Total – 12 picks, Average appearances: 164.66 – exceptional, Median appearances: 109, Average age of picks: 20.75

Exceptional picks: 7, Solid picks: 1, Poor picks: 3, Failures: 1, Ave top 5: 143.4 – exceptional, Franchise players: 3 – Chad Barrett (3rd overall), Chicago; Drew Moor (6th overall), Dallas, Michael Parkhurst New England (9th overall)

The golden era of the draft is in full swing, with the average first round pick falling in the exceptional category.

This draft also has the player that, I’d argue, is the best SuperDraft selection of all time (when you factor where he was picked and what his career ended up being).

Come on down, Drew Moor!

2006

  1. Marvell Wynne – 19 – 301 – New York – exceptional/franchise

  2. Mehdi Ballouchy – 22 – 216 – Salt Lake – exceptional

  3. Jason Garey – 21-97 – Columbus - solid

  4. Yura Movsisyan – 18 – 81 – Kansas City - poor

  5. Sacha Kljestan – 19 – 279- Chivas – exceptional/franchise

  6. Dax McCarty – 18 – 382 – Dallas – exceptional/franchise

  7. Justin Moose – 21 – 8 – DC United – poor

  8. Patrick Ianni – 20 – 130 – Houston – solid

  9. Kei Kamara – 21 – 359 – Columbus – exceptional/franchise

  10. Calen Carr – 23 – 117 – Chicago – solid

  11. Nathan Sturgis – 18 – 141 – Los Angeles – solid

Total – 12 picks (no stats on one player), Average appearances: 191.9 – exceptional, Median appearances: 106, Average age of picks: 20

Exceptional picks: 5, Solid picks: 4, Poor picks: 2, Failures: 1, Top 5 Ave.: 160.2 – exceptional, Franchise players: 3 - Marvell Wynne (1st overall) Red Bulls, Sacha Kljestan (5th overall) Chivas USA, Kei Kamara (9th overall) Columbus

When you are arguing about what the best overall draft year of all-time is, there is only one right answer: It’s 2006. This first round is chalked full of players that made significant impact of the league and the three Franchise Players are first round Hall of Fame types.

The GOAT draft.

2007

  1. Maurice Edu – 20 – 91 – Toronto – solid

  2. Bakary Soumaré – 20 – 125 – Chicago – solid

  3. Michael Harrington – 20 – 221 – Kansas City – exceptional

  4. Chris Seitz – 19 – 112 – Salt Lake - solid

  5. Wells Thompson – 22 – 158 – New England - exceptional

  6. Nico Colaluca – 20 – 11 – Colorado – failure

  7. John Cunliffe – 25 – 27 – Chivas – failure

  8. Jerson Monteiro – 21 – 5 – Chicago – Failure

  9. Anthony Wallace – 17 – 44- Dallas – failure

  10. Andrew Boyens – 23 – 70 – Toronto - poor

  11. Bryan Arguez – 17 – 0 – DC United – failure

  12. Amaechi Igwe – 18 – 22 – New England – failure

  13. John Michael Hayden – 23 – 18 – Houston – failure

Total – 13 picks, Average appearances: 69.5 - poor, Median appearances: 31.5, Average age of picks: 20.4, Exceptional picks: 2, Solid picks: 2, Poor picks: 2, Failures: 7, Top 5 Ave: 131.6 - solid, Franchise Players: None

TFC fans will think to themselves ‘Of course the greatest draft of all-time came just before we came into the the league. And, it’s a significant drop in quality to the 2007 draft.

Mo Edu did get Grass to BMO though (and no you can’t get a copy of the podcast Rycroft, Squizz and I did after following a Toronto city council meeting at Scallywags for three hours and 15 beers. Squizz burned the tape #DeepCutForTheLongtimeListeners)

In 2008 the Homegrown Rule was adopted by Major League Soccer. In hindsight, it was the start of the decline in importance of the SuperDraft.

2008

  1. Chance Myers – 19 – 148 – Kansas City – solid,

  2. Brek Shea – 17 – 229 – Dallas – Exceptional

  3. Tony Beltran – 20 – 245 – Salt Lake – exceptional

  4. Sean Franklin – 22 – 272 – Los Angeles – exceptional/franchise player

  5. Ciaran O'Brien – 19 – 1 – Colorado – failure

  6. Andy Iro – 22 – 71 – Columbus – poor

  7. Patrick Nyarko – 21 – 236 – Chicago – Exceptional

  8. Josh Lambo – 16 – 0 – Dallas- failure

  9. Julius James – 23 – 95 – Toronto – solid

  10. Pat Phelan – 22 – 80 – Toronto – poor

  11. Roger Espinoza – 21 – 254 – Kansas City — Exceptional

  12. Dominic Cervi – 21 – 0 - Chicago – failure

  13. Rob Valentino – 21 – 0 – New England – failure

  14. David Horst – 22 – 19 – Salt Lake – failure

Total – 14 picks, Average appearances: 113.4 - solid, Median appearances: 74.5, Average age of picks: 20.4

Exceptional picks: 5, Solid picks: 2, Poor picks: 2, Failures: 5, Ave top 5: 129.8 – solid, Franchise Players 1 - Sean Frankland (4th overall) Los Angeles

As pointed out above, this is the first draft with the homegrown rule in effect. The change isn’t immediate, but the great players in the drafts that follow are closer to “Solid MLS lifers” than stars.

2009

  1. Steve Zakuani – 21 – 97 – Seattle – solid

  2. Sam Cronin – 22 – 253 – Toronto – exceptional

  3. Omar Gonzalez – 21 – 217 – Los Angeles – exceptional

  4. O'Brian White – 23 – 40 – Toronto - poor

  5. Peri Marošević – 20 – 11 – Dallas - poor

  6. Rodney Wallace – 21 – 204 – DC United – exceptional

  7. Chris Pontius – 22 – 259 – DC United – exceptional/franchise player

  8. Matt Besler – 22 – 294 – Kansas City – exceptional/franchise player

  9. Michael Lahoud – 23 – 122 – Chivas - solid

  10. Kevin Alston – 21 – 172 – New England – exceptional

  11. Jeremy Hall – 21 – 88 – New York- poor

  12. Jean-Marc Alexandre – 23 – 40 – Salt Lake – failure

  13. Stefan Frei – 23 – 302 – Toronto – exceptional/franchise player

  14. George John – 22 – 119 – Dallas – solid 2218

Total – 15 picks (Stats missing on one player), Average appearances: 158.4 - exceptional, Median appearances: 66.5, Average age of picks: 21.8

Exceptional picks: 7, Solid picks: 3, Poor picks: 3, Failures: 1, Top 5 Ave: 105.4 – solid, Franchise players: 3 - Chris Pontius (7th overall) DC United, Matt Besler (8th overall) SKC, Stefan Frei (13th overall) Toronto

You know when I argued that Drew Moor was the draft GOAT above? Although I still am going with that, you have a solid argument if you say Stef Frei.

That said, the draft decline is clearly starting now.

Also, whatever happened to O’Brien White?

2010

  1. Danny Mwanga – 19 – 102 – Philly – solid

  2. Tony Tchani – 21 – 212 – New York – exceptional

  3. Ike Opara – 21 – 180 – San Jose - Exceptional

  4. Teal Bunbury – 20 – 297 – Kansas City – exceptional/franchise player

  5. Zach Loyd – 23 – 180 – Dallas – exceptional

  6. Amobi Okugo – 19 – 149 – Philly – exceptional

  7. Jack McInerney – 18 – 175– Philly – exceptional

  8. Dilly Duka – 21 – 141 – Columbus – exceptional

  9. Zack Schilawski – 23 – 50 – New England – poor

  10. Blair Gavin – 21 – 43 – Chivas – failure

  11. David Estrada – 22 – 50 – Seattle - poor

  12. Bright Dike – 23 – 34 – Columbus – failure

  13. Corben Bone – 22 – 20 – Chicago – failure

  14. Austin da Luz – 23 – 21 – New York – failure

  15. Collen Warner – 22 – 209 – Salt Lake – exceptional

  16. Michael Stephens – 21 – 131 – Los Angeles - solid

Total – 16 picks, Average appearances: 124.6 – solid, Median appearances: 35.2, Average age of picks: 21.2

Exceptional picks: 8, Solid picks: 2, Poor picks: 2, Failures: 4, Ave top 5: 194.2, Franchise players: 1 - Team Bunbury (4th overall) SKC

My biggest memory of this draft was the Sons of Ben making all kinds of noise throughout and the Union putting all kinds of emphasis on the importance of the draft in building the team.

They got good when they started to develop their own players and trading all their draft picks away.

2011

  1. Omar Salgado – 18 – 26 – Vancouver – failure

  2. Darlington Nagbe – 21 – 285 – Portland – exceptional/franchise player

  3. Perry Kitchen – 19 – 218 – DC United – exceptional

  4. Zarek Valentin – 20 – 151 – Chivas - exceptional

  5. Zac MacMath – 20 – 148 – Philly – solid 828

  6. A. J. Soares – 22 – 108 – New England – solid

  7. Kofi Sarkodie – 20 – 130 – Houston – solid

  8. Michael Nanchoff – 23 – 22 – Vancouver – failure

  9. Jalil Anibaba – 23 – 231 – Chicago – exceptional

  10. C. J. Sapong – 22 – 280 – Kansas City – exceptional/franchise player

  11. Will Bruin – 22 – 261 – Houston – exceptional/franchise player

  12. Rich Balchan – 22 – 23 – Columbus – failure

  13. Corey Hertzog – 21 – 12 – New York – failure

  14. Víctor Mairongo – 23 – 9 – Chivas – failure

  15. Justin Meram – 264 – 17 – Columbus – exceptional/franchise player

  16. Paolo Cardozo – 22 – 27 – Los Angeles – failure

  17. Bobby Warshaw – 22 – 32 – Dallas – failure

  18. Eddie Ababio – 23 – 0 – Colorado – failure

Total – 18 picks, Average appearances: 123.7 - solid, Median appearances: 17.5, Average age of picks: 20.1

Exceptional picks: 5, Solid picks: 3, Poor picks: 1, Failures: 9, Top 5 Ave: 165.6 – exceptional, Franchise players: 3 - Darlington Nagbe (2nd overall) Portland, C. J. Sapong (10th Overall) SKC, Will Bruin (11th Overall) Houston

Ok, passing over Nagbe for Salgado as your first ever move as a MLS club isn’t great, but it wasn’t fatal to the Whitecaps - the attitude that they were the smartest person in the room was though.

They could have got him at the 8 pick. They could have started their MLS life with Darlington friggin Nagbe.

Pretty dumb.

2012

  1. Andrew Wenger - Montreal 22-- 181 – Exceptional

  2. Darren Mattocks - Vancouver – 22 - 182 – Exceptional

  3. Kelyn Rowe - New Eng - 21- 240 – Exceptional

  4. Luis Silva – Toronto- 24 - 162 - Exceptional

  5. Casey Townsand - Chivas -23- 26 –failure

  6. Sam Garza - San Jose -23-- 12 – Failure

  7. Nick DeLeon - DCU -22- 233 - Exceptional

  8. Andrew Jean-Baptiste -20- PDX - 41 – poor

  9. Austin Berry - Chicago -24- 118 - solid

  10. Ethan Finlay - Columbus -22- 215 – exceptional

  11. Matt Hedges - Dallas -22- 262 – Exceptional/franchise player

  12. Aaron Maund - Toronto -22- 91 – Solid

  13. Chandler Hoffman - Philly -22- 20 – Failure 1026

  14. Tony Cascio - Colorado -22- 42 – poor

  15. Andrew Duran - Seattle -23- 0 – Failure

  16. Dom Dwyer - KC -22- 208 - Exceptional

  17. Enzo Martinez - SLC -22- 0 - Failure

  18. Colin Rolfe - Houston -22- 0 - Failure

  19. Tommy Meyer - LAG -22- 33 - poor

Total – 18 picks, Average appearances: 109.1 - solid, Median appearances: 46 – poor, Average age of picks: 21.1

Exceptional picks: 7, Solid picks: 1, Poor picks: 4, Failures: 6, Top 5 Ave: 153 – exceptional, Franchise players: 1 - Matt Hedges (11th Overall) Dallas

I mean…we’re getting into the point where it’s hard to find anything to say about these drafts. They all are the sane — a bunch of 2-3 year squad players, with 1-2 starters and the rest are USL players, at best.

2013

  1. Andrew Farrell - New England -21- 239 - Exceptional

  2. Carlos Alvarez - Chivas -23- 51 – poor

  3. Kyle Bekker - Toronto -23- 59 - poor

  4. Kekuta Manneh – Vancouver -19- 155 – exceptional

  5. Erik Hurtado - Vancouver -23- 133 - Solid

  6. Deshorn Brown - Colorado -23-- 62 - poor

  7. Walker Zimmerman - Dallas -20- 162 - Exceptional

  8. Blake Smith - Montreal -22- 19 - failure

  9. Ryan Finley - Columbus - 30 – 22 – failure

  10. Eriq Zavaleta - Seattle -21- 109 - solid

  11. Dillon Powers - Colorado -22- 152 - Exceptional

  12. John Stertzer - SLC -23- 28- poor

  13. Jason Johnson - Houston -23- 41 - poor

  14. Mikey Lopez - KC 20- 13 - Failure

  15. Tommy Muller - San Jose -22- 0 - Failure

  16. Emery Welshman – Toronto-22 - 1 - Failure 1291

  17. Taylor Kemp - DCU -22- 43 - poor

  18. Fernando Monge -23- Montreal - 0 - Failure

  19. Charlie Rugg - LAG -23- 4 - Failure

Total – 19 picks, Average appearances: 67.9 – poor, Median appearances: 40 – poor, Average age of picks: 21.9

Exceptional picks: 4, Solid picks: 2, Poor picks: 6, Failures: 7, Top 5 Ave: 127.4 -- solid, Franchise players: 0

Kevin Payne, footballing genius…That’s also a deep cut for the long time readers and listeners.

2014

  1. Andre Blake – Philadelphia 24 – 145 – Exceptional

  2. Steve Birnbaum - D.C. United 23- 173 - Exceptional

  3. Christian Dean - Vancouver Whitecaps 21- 9 – failure

  4. Steve Neumann - New England Revolution 23- 36 - failure

  5. Eric Miller - Montreal Impact 21 – 121 - solid 484

  6. Tesho Akindele - FC Dallas 22 – 178 – exceptional

  7. Andre Lewis – Vancouver – 20 – 0 - failure

  8. Damion Lowe - Seattle Sounders 21 – 0 – failure

  9. J. J. Koval - San Jose Earthquakes 22 – 37 - - failure

  10. Nick Hagglund - Toronto FC 24 – 121 – solid

  11. Patrick Mullins - New England Revolution 22 – 139 – exceptional

  12. Marlon Hairston - Colorado Rapids 20 – 25 - poor 554

  13. Marco Franco - Chicago Fire 23 – 0 - failure

  14. Ben Sweat - Columbus Crew 23 – 0 – failure

  15. Pedro Ribeiro - Philadelphia Union 24 – 27 – poor

  16. A. J. Cochran - Houston Dynamo 21 – 26 – poor

  17. Schillo Tshuma - Portland Timbers 22 – 0 – failure

  18. Ryan Neil - Real Salt Lake 22 – 0 – failure

  19. Grant Van De Casteele - Colorado Rapids 23 – 1 – failure

Total – 19 picks.

Average appearances: 54.6 -- poor, Median appearances: 25 – poor, Average age of picks: 22.1

Exceptional picks: 2, Solid picks: 5, Poor picks: 3, Failures: 9, Top 5 Ave: 110.8 – solid, Franchise players: 0

Another draft where the average appearances falls in to the poor range.

2015

  1. Cyle Larin - Orlando City SC 19 – 87 -- Poor

  2. Khiry Shelton - New York City FC 21 – 96 – solid

  3. Romario Williams - Montreal Impact 20 – 28 – failure

  4. Fatai Alashe - San Jose Earthquakes 21 – 107 – Solid

  5. Nick Besler - Portland Timbers 21 – 51 - poor 369

  6. Alex Bono - Toronto FC 20 – 82 – poor

  7. Matt Polster - Chicago Fire 21 – 30 – exceptional

  8. Zach Steinberger - Houston Dynamo 22 – 3 – failure

  9. Clément Simonin - Toronto FC 23 – 2 – failure

  10. Connor Hallisey - Sporting Kansas City - 21 – 30 - poor

  11. Skylar Thomas - Toronto FC 21 – 0 – failure

  12. Saad Abdul-Salaam - Sporting Kansas City - 23 – 94 – solid

  13. Tim Parker - Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 21 – 155 – Exceptional

  14. Axel Sjöberg - Colorado Rapids - 23 – 90 – Solid

  15. Otis Earle - FC Dallas - 22 – 0 – failure

  16. Cristian Roldan - Seattle Sounders FC - 19 – 173 – exceptional

  17. Miguel Aguilar - D.C. United - 21 – 23 – Failure

  18. Leo Stolz - New York Red Bulls - 23 – 0 – failure

  19. Sergio Campbell - Columbus Crew SC - 22 – 1 – failure

  20. Amadou Dia - Sporting Kansas City - 21 – 55 – poor

  21. Ignacio Maganto - Los Angeles Galaxy - 23 – 13 - Failure 1121

Total – 21 picks (Extra pick due to need to honour Chivas trades), Average appearances: 53.4– poor, Median appearances: 14 – poor, Average age of picks: 21.4

Exceptional picks: 5, Solid picks: 4, Poor picks: 3, Failures: 9, Top 5 Ave: 73.8 – poor, Franchise players: 0

Seeing Alex Bono in there is a good time to talk about keepers — my system eventually works out for them, but it can take years. Bono will probably eventually be an exceptional level pick. But, he’s not now.

Is what it is; it washes out in the end. Also, Bono should have saved that free kick vs Chivas.

2016

  1. Jack Harrison - Chicago - 20 - 55 - Poor

  2. Josh Yaro - Philadelphia Union - 22 - 23 - Failure

  3. Keegan Rosenberry - Philadelphia Union - 23 - 131 - Exceptional

  4. Brandon Vincent - Chicago Fire FC - 22 - 85 - Solid

  5. Omar Holness - Real Salt Lake - 22 - 18 - Failure

  6. Fabian Herbers - Philadelphia Union - 23 - 91 - Solid

  7. Richie Laryea - Orlando City SC - 22 - 61 - Poor

  8. Andrew Tarbell - San Jose Earthquakes - 23 - 48 - Poor

  9. Tsubasa Endoh - Toronto FC - 23 - 55 - Poor

  10. Jordan McCrary - New England Revolution - 23 - 15 - failure

  11. Julian Buescher - D.C. United - 23 - 27 - Failure

  12. Jonathan Campbell - Chicago Fire FC - 23 - 76 - Solid

  13. Hadji Barry - Orlando City SC - 24 - 11 - Failure

  14. Kyle Fisher - Impact - 22 - 22 - Failure

  15. Emmanuel Appiah - Colorado Rapids - 23 - 1 - Failure

  16. Cole Seiler - Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 22 - 0 - Failure

  17. Ryan Herman - Dallas - 23 - 0 - Failure

  18. Justin Bilyeu - New York Red Bulls - 22 - 4 - Failure

  19. Rodrigo Saravia - Columbus Crew SC - 23 - 10 - Failure

  20. Ben Polk - Portland Timbers - 24 - 0 - Failure

Total – 20 picks, Average appearances 36.6 - poor, Average age of picks: 22.4

Exceptional picks 1, Solid picks 3, Poor picks 4, Failures 12, Top 5 Ave: 62.4 – poor, Franchise players: 0

2017

  1. Abu Danladi  - Minnesota United - 22 - 84 - Solid         

  2. Miles Robinson  - Atlanta United - 20 - 61 - Solid            

  3. Jonathan Lewis - New York City FC - 20 - 65 - Solid         

  4. Jeremy Ebobisse - Portland Timbers - 20 - 75 - Solid      

  5. Lalas Abubakar - Columbus Crew - 23 - 58 - Solid        

  6. Jackson Yueill  - San Jose Earthquakes - 20 - 87 - Exceptional

  7. Jakob Nerwinski  - Vancouver Whitecaps - 23 - 92 - Exceptional

  8. Julian Gressel  - Atlanta United - 24 - 120 - Exceptional

  9. Niko Hansen  - Columbus Crew - 23 - 66 - Solid 

  10. Joe Holland  - Houston Dynamo - 24 - 5 - Failure

  11. Daniel Johnson  - Chicago Fire  - 22 - 15 - failure

  12. Chris Odoi-Atsem - D.C. United  - 22 - 28 - Poor

  13. Reagan Dunk  - Real Salt Lake 23 - 3 - Poor 

  14. Colton Storm  - Sporting Kansas City - 23- 0 - Failure       

  15. Sam Hamilton  - Colorado Rapids  - 22 - 3 - Failure          

  16. Kwame Awuah  - New York City FC - 22 - 10 - Failure        

  17. Zeiko Lewis  - New York Red Bulls - 23 - 0 - Failure            

  18. Jacori Hayes  - FC Dallas - 22 - 38 - Poor

  19. Nick DePuy  - Montreal Impact   - 23 - 5 - Failure

  20. Brian Wright  - New England Revolution - 22 - 14 - Failure

  21. Brandon Aubrey  - Toronto FC  - 22 - 0 - Failure  

  22. Brian Nana-Sinkam  - Seattle Sounders - 23 - 0 - Failure 

Total - 22 picks, Average appearances 38.5 - Poor, Average age of picks: 22.1

Exceptional picks 3, Solid picks 3, Poor picks 3, Failures 10, Top 5 Ave: 75.6 - Solid, Franchise players: 0

We are now deep in the homegrown era and that average appearance just keeps dropping. It’s hard to see it ever reversing.

2018

  1. Joao Moutinho  - Los Angeles FC - 20 -38 - Poor

  2. Tomas Hilliard-Arce  - LA Galaxy: 23- 5 - Failure

  3. Tristan Blackmon -  Los Angeles FC - 22 - 42 - Solid

  4. Francis Atuahene  - FC Dallas - 22 - 1 - Failure

  5. Jon Bakero  - Chicago Fire - 22 - 7 - Failure 95

  6. Chris Mueller - Orlando City - 22 - 83 - Exceptional

  7. Mason Toye - Minnesota United - 20 - 48 - Solid

  8. Brandon Bye - New England Revolution - 23 - 76 - Exceptional

  9. Mark Segbers - New England Revolution - 22 - 1 - Failure

  10. Mo Adams -  Chicago Fire - 22 - 42 - Solid

  11. Ema Twumasi  - FC Dallas - 21 - 7 - Failure

  12. Paul Marie-  San Jose Earthquakes - 23 - 21 - Poor

  13. Eric Dick  - Sporting Kansas City - 24 - 1 - Failure

  14. Jon Gallagher - Atlanta United FC - 22 - 16 - Failure

  15. Wyatt Omsberg -  Minnesota United FC - 23 - 12 - Failure

  16. Brian White  - New York Red Bulls - 22 - 42 - Solid

  17. Justin Fiddes - Vancouver Whitecaps - 23 - 0 - Failure

  18. Graham Smith - Sporting Kansas City - 23 - 17 - Failure

  19. Jeff Caldwell  - New York City FC - 22 - 0 - Failure

  20. Michael Nelson  - Houston Dynamo - 23 - 0 - Failure

  21. Ben Lundgaard  - Columbus Crew - 23 - 0 - Failure

  22. Alex Roldan  - Seattle Sounders - 22 - 46 - Solid

  23. Carter Manley - Minnesota United - 22 - 9 - Failure

Total –  picks, Average appearances 18.5 - Failure, Average age of picks: 22.2

Exceptional picks 2, Solid picks 4, Poor picks 2, Failures 14, Top 5 Ave: 19 - Failure, Franchise players: 0

This is likely the worst draft of all-time.

2019

  1. Frankie Amaya - FC Cincinnati - 19 - 40 - Solid

  2. Siad Haji - San Jose Earthquakes - 20 - 8 - Failure

  3. Santiago Patino  - Orlando City - 22 - 13 - Poor

  4. Callum Montgomery  - FC Dallas 22 - 0 - Failure

  5. Andre Shinyashiki - Colorado Rapids - 22 - 46 - Exceptional

  6. Griffin Dorsey - Toronto FC - 20 - 2 - Failure

  7. Dayne St. Clair - Minnesota United - 22 - 13 - poor

  8. Sam Junqua  - Houston Dynamo - 23 - 9 - Failure

  9. Tajon Buchanan  - New England Revolution - 20 - 33 - Solid

  10. John Nelson - FC Dallas 21 - 20 - Poor

  11. DeJuan Jones - New England Revolution 22 - 38 - Solid

  12. Luis Barraza - New York City FC - 23 - 0 - Failure

  13. Logan Gdula-  FC Cincinnati - 23 - 0 - Failure

  14. Akeem Ward  - D.C. United 24 - 1 - Failure

  15. Chase Gasper  - Minnesota United - 23 - 33 - Solid

  16. Roy Boateng  - New York Red Bulls 23 - 0 - Failure

  17. Sam Brown - Real Salt Lake - 23 - 0 - Failure

  18. JJ Williams  - Columbus Crew SC - 22 - 8 - Failure

  19. Emil Cuello  - LA Galaxy - 23 - 20 - Poor

  20. Tucker Bone  - Seattle Sounders - 23 - 0 - Failure

  21. Kamar Marriott  - Sporting Kansas City - 23 - 0 - Failure

  22. Janos Loebe  - New York Red Bulls - 24 - 0 - Failure

  23. Ryan Sierakowski  - Portland Timbers - 22 - 0 - Failure

  24. Anderson Asiedu - Atlanta United - 23 - 0 - Failure

Total - 24 picks, Average appearances 11.7 - Failure, Average age of picks 21.9

Exceptional picks 1, Solid picks 4, Poor picks 3, Failures 15, Top 5 Ave 21.4 , Franchise players: 0

Dayne St Clair is suffering fro the same fate as Alex Bono here (and it probably the best of a blah bunch)

2020

  1. Robbie Robinson  - Inter Miami CF - 21 -12 - Exceptional

  2. Jack Maher  - Nashville SC - 20 - 3 - Failure

  3. Dylan Nealis  - Inter Miami CF - 21 - 19 - Exceptional

  4. Ryan Raposo  - Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 20 - 15 - Exceptional

  5. Daryl Dike  - Orlando City - 19 - 17 - Exceptional 66

  6. Henry Kessler  - New England Revolution - 21 - 22 - Exceptional

  7. Miguel Berry  - Columbus Crew FC - 22 - 0 - Failure

  8. Garrett McLaughlin  - Houston Dynamo - 22 - 0 - Failure

  9. Jeremy Kelly  - Montreal Impact - 22 - 8 - Poor

  10. Patrick Seagrist  - New York Red Bulls - 21 - 3 - Failure

  11. Alistair Johnston  - Nashville SC - 21 - 18 - Exceptional

  12. Tanner Beason  - San Jose Earthquakes - 22 - 9 - poor 62

  13. Elliot Panicco  - Nashville SC - 23 - 0 - Failure

  14. Nkosi Burgess  - FC Dallas - 22 - 0 - Failure

  15. Cherif Dieye - New York Red Bulls - 23 -0 - Failure

  16. Aaron Molloy  - Portland Timbers - 23 - 0 - Failure

  17. Cal Jennings  - FC Dallas - 22 - 0 - Failure

  18. Noah Billingsley  - Minnesota United FC - 22 - 1 - Failure

  19. Nyal Higgins  - Toronto FC - 22 - 0 - Failure

  20. Dayonn Harris  - Real Salt Lake - 22 - 0 - Failure

  21. Simon Lefebvre  - D.C. United - 22 - 0 - Failure

  22. Jesus Perez - New York City FC - 22 - 0 - Failure

  23. Patrick Nielsen  - Atlanta United FC - 22 - 0 - Failure

  24. Paulo Pita  - Los Angeles FC - 25 - 0 - Failure

  25. Achara  - Toronto FC - 22 - 1 - Failure

  26. Jonathan Jimenez  - Chicago Fire FC - 22 - 0 - Failure

Total –  picks, Average appearances 4.9 - Failure, Average age of picks 21.6

Exceptional picks 5, Solid picks 0, Poor picks 2, Failures 18, Top 5 Ave: 13.2, Franchise players: 0

It was a bit of a bounce back for the draft. Likely, the COVID-19 virus and its effect of transfers around the world meant that more young players were given an opportunity. Sometimes that’s all it takes. We will see whether 2021 will offer up similar opportunities.

I’ll break down the numbers a bit more tomorrow and SoccerToday will discuss the draft in detail Friday at 11a ET at @SoccerTodaySPN on Twitter.

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