2017 MLS Mock Draft: Version 1.0
The 2017 MLS Draft is just over a week away, with the MLS Combine slated to start this weekend.
The 2017 Generation adidas class is yet to be official, although three players (Abu Danladi, Miles Robinson and Jackson Yueill) are expected to join Jeremy Ebobisse in this year's draft pool.
Below is TopDrawerSoccer.com's first round mock draft, with Gen. adidas players noted with an asterisk. Expect a few more ahead of the January 14 draft.
|The fact that Ebobisse’s been on a confirmed contract for months allowed Minnesota to plan out in advance, and there’s little question he’s the safest forward in the draft. Shouldn’t be long before he’s getting full USMNT looks, if all goes well.|
|Abu Danladi has been on the MLS radar since he arrived at Westwood three years ago. The former Gatorade Player of the Year could easily be the best player in this draft class, but all teams have concerns about his injury history.|
|If he even drops this far, the Chicago Fire shouldn’t think twice about this. Robinson, a lanky center back with range for days, is the best defender in the draft pool and on a GA contract to boot.|
|Jackson Yueill is a talented midfielder with experience at the U.S. Youth National Team level. Some MLS General Managers have compared his game to Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley, which should give some idea of how he fits into the MLS style of play.|
|Dunk’s profile skyrocketed in 2016, and he might’ve played his way into the top five with an incredible performance in the College Cup. Think Keegan Rosenberry: solid, do-everything right back.|
|6||Jacori Hayes||Wake Forest||M||5-7||150|
|Jacori Hayes offers an athletic midfielder to the Earthquakes. Hayes was a star for Wake Forest for the past four seasons. He is good on the ball and covers a ton of ground.|
|7||Brandon Aubrey||Notre Dame||D||6-3||192|
|If Aubrey dips past No. 6, the Whitecaps should tear up their plans and go best player available. He might be the best senior center back option here, and he’s about as steady as they come.|
Chris Odoi-Atsem was First Team All-Big Ten last season as he was one of the key players for Maryland. Odoi-Atsem has been one of the most consistent players for the Terps over the past few seasons.
|9||Nick DePuy||UC Santa Barbara||F||6-4||184|
|The Crew could use some reinforcement up top, and a back-to-goal forward like DePuy would be the perfect complement to Ola Kamara. He’s as true a No. 9 as there is in this draft pool.|
|10||Francis de Vries||Saint Francis (PA)(m)||D||6-2||176|
Francis de Vries is an intriguing option in this draft. The center defender could transition to outside back at the professional level or slot in as a left center back. He is lethal on set pieces, which is a nice added bonus.
|The Fire under Veljko Paunovic play hot-rod soccer, and they need reinforcement in the middle capable of keeping up with the pace. Matsoso is about as able as it gets, and he can go box-to-box with the best of them.|
Christian Thierjung is an under-the-radar prospect in this draft. A winger in a similar mold to Chris Pontius, he'd be a solid depth addition for D.C.
|13||Zeiko Lewis||Boston College||M/F||5-6||-|
|Any team looking for versatility can’t do much better than Lewis. He projects as a hybrid forward/winger at the next level, and his eight assists in 2016 would look mighty good in Sandy.|
|14||Niko Hansen||New Mexico||M/F||5-10||170|
Sporting Kansas City likes to make selections that are a bit outside of the box. Niko Hansen had a really good career at New Mexico and showed enough that suggests he could be a promising addition to any MLS team in the right role.
|15||Walker Hume||North Carolina||D||6-5||203|
|You’re telling us Pablo Mastroeni has the chance to pair the 6-foot-7 Axel Sjoberg with the 6-foot-5 Walker Hume? The center back-crazy Rapids almost have to pull the trigger (it helps he’s quite good too).|
Seattle Sounders never turn down a speedy option in the attack. If they do manage to sign another Homegrown, the Sounders could go another direction with this pick, but Chris Nanco makes the most sense in this spot.
|The Red Bulls cultivated the SIUE pipeline when they drafted Justin Bilyeu last year, and Austin Ledbetter is in the same mold. A staunch defender with the ability to flex out, Ledbetter looks an awful lot like former SIUE standout Matt Polster.|
FC Dallas likes to build from the Academy, but Guillermo Delgado is a unique talent that could help the first team in 2017. He is good on the ball and an above average finisher.
|Providence’s wacky 2016 postseason run helped illuminate how integral Gressel’s been to the Friars’ renaissance the past three years. As a technical No. 8, he’d help Montreal’s midfield get younger immediately.|
|20||Colton Storm||North Carolina||D||5-10||166|
Colton Storm looks to be an option at outside back at the MLS level. He is athletic and competitive enough to earn a roster spot in that role.
|You’re telling us Colorado has a crack at a center back who’s won back-to-back national titles? The Rapids don’t think twice about stocking up at the back, especially with this sort of pedigree. Never separate Pablo Mastroeni and his drafted center backs.|
Sounders keep the theme alive of forwards-only in this draft with Brian Wright. The Vermont forward is a target in the attack who dominated at the collegiate level.
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