2016 MLS Mock Draft v 1.0

2016 MLS Mock Draft v 1.0
by TopDrawerSoccer
December 29, 2015

The 2016 MLS Draft is just a few weeks away, as the whirlwind MLS offseason shifts attention to Baltimore for a day and pro hopefuls figure out their next step.

The 2016 Generation adidas class has yet to be resolved, with a number of players considering offers extended last week. Reports indicate that Clemson's Andrew Tarbell is the first member of the class, and plenty of other dominoes should fall ahead of the upcoming combine.

Below is TopDrawerSoccer.com's first round mock draft. Expect a few more ahead of the January 14 draft.

1   Joshua Yaro* Georgetown D  5-11  163
A firm favorite for a Generation adidas offer, Yaro reportedly has signed with an agent and could still opt to give Europe a try. He's far from an ironclad No. 1 pick and certainly undersized for a central defender role in MLS, but he's talented, athletic and dynamic enough to come off the board very early in the draft should he sign with MLS.
2 Jack Harrison* Wake Forest  M  5-9  155
The Gatorade High School Player of the Year dominated college soccer in his first season at Wake, as the left-footed winger possess blazing speed and impressive attacking instincts. While a reported Homegrown claim from NYCFC raises questions about his draft status, Harrison would make the Rapids a much more dangerous team in the final third.
3  Brandon Vincent Stanford D  5-11  175
Left backs are a rare commodity to come by in the draft, especially one as good as Vincent. Philadelphia would be foolish to pass on the Cardinal captain here, as he's shown the ability to compete for minutes in his rookie season.
4 Abu Danladi* UCLA F 5-10  170
NYCFC isn't short of attacking options and could go for a defender here. But if Danladi signs a GA deal and is available here, he would be hard to pass up as Patrick Vieria prepares for 2016.
5 Fabian Herbers* Creighton F  6-0 170
There should be a handful of helpful options available for RSL, and adding Herbers, a forward who can both score and create for his teammates, would be a savvy move for a team with international slots available.
6 Richie Laryea*  Akron M  5-9  150
Picking twice in the first six spots, Philadelphia has a good chance of adding a pair of players capable of making an impact in 2016. Laryea is a dynamic midfielder who would feature out wide or be fashioned into a box-to-box threat at both ends.
7 Jake Rozhansky* Virginia M  5-8 140
One of the rare bright spots in Virginia's turgid approach to the game, Rozhansky has left school early and could end up signing with a European club. If he turns to MLS and inks a GA deal, Orlando would be smart to grab him here, as an attacking player who would feature on the flanks or get a look in central midfield.
8 Kyle Fisher Clemson D 6-0  176
An injury in the second half of the 2015 season slowed Fisher down, but he still back stopped a quality defense for the Tigers. He would be a nice depth addition for San Jose's back line.
9 Keegan Rosenberry  Georgetown D  5-8 160
Rosenberry had a homegrown claim from the Union shot down ahead of the draft, though he's one of the top seniors on the board. A quality attacking right back who must show that he can handle defensive duties adequately, he'd provide another outside back option behind the newly-acquired Steven Beitashour. He could even receive a look in a wide midfield role.
10 Julian Buescher*  Syracuse  M 5-10 170
Bolstering central midfield options is a priority of New England's, and they could fashion Buescher's quality into a stay at home midfielder capable of maintaining possession and creating chances from deeper central positions.
11 Jonathan Campbell North Carolina  D 6-2  188
Sporting KC needs depth at center back with Ike Opara's injury history in mind, and they can hardly do better in this draft than the sturdy Campbell, who would be a steal if he fell outside the top 10. His mix of aerial prowess and vision will work well in MLS, though he needs to show he can keep pace with the league.
12 Ben Polk Syracuse  F 5-9  175
Polk flew out of nowhere this season, and his strong finish to 2015 should have MLS clubs salivating at his MLS-ready frame and back-to-goal ability as a forward. LA has a history of taking fliers on forwards high in the draft, and Polk is the best non-GA forward in this class.
13 Jordan McCrary North Carolina D 5-9  165
It's no secret D.C. United has always built pragmatically from the back under Ben Olsen, and McCrary would be an immediate fit in Olsen's system. He's versatile but probably projects as a raiding outside back at the next level, giving them depth on both flanks.
14 Michael Gamble Wake Forest  M/F 5-7  150
The Impact have the middle core of its midfield in Ignacio Piatti, and adding Gamble as a wide attacking midfielder in that system - or maybe even as a second forward - will give them a wider dimension they don't currently possess. This could well be the sleeper pick of the draft.
15 James Moberg  Washington M 6-2  -
Could Seattle be reuniting former UW bash brothers Cristian Roldan and James Moberg? The Sounders desperately need depth at defensive midfielder, and Moberg is among the most versatile and steady CMs in the entire draft. His injury in 2015 might've scared off some suitors, but he's good enough to provide depth in MLS.
16 Michael Salazar UC Riverside F 5-11 165
Salazar has the speed and lateral quickness the Whitecaps typically ask out of their forwards in Carl Robinson's run-and-gun system. He's a bit more plodding than Rivero or Mattocks, so the Whitecaps could use him as a change of pace guy up top.
17 Zachary Carroll Michigan State D 6-3 187
Carroll's had a length college career that's witnessed a few ups and downs, but at his best there aren't many more MLS-ready CBs in this pool. FC Dallas needs to cultivate depth in the middle, and if he was more consistent Carroll would've been a lock as a top 10 player. He's a gem this late.
18 Cole Seiler Georgetown  D 6-1 180
When you play next to Joshua Yaro, there's a tendency to be overlooked, and that's been Seiler's plight over the last few years. That said, he's a versatile defender who would immediately push the Red Bulls' aging back line for playing time.
19 Timo Pitter  Creighton M/F 5-9 150
Creighton's system is brilliant for producing attack-minded players who like to press, and that suits Gregg Berhalter's scheme in Columbus to a T. Pitter is an international, so his fit here might be tricky, but he certainly has the guile to play as a withdrawn forward or a raiding midfielder right away.
20 Dennis Castillo VCU  D 5-10 160
VCU's Dave Giffard is a product of Caleb Porter's Akron coaching tree, so expect Castillo to be well-versed in the way the Timbers like to play their defenders. Plus, he's spent time with the Timbers U23 team, making this fit seamless. Castillo can slot in as a center back or as a right-sided defender.
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