The MLS Draft, despite the marketing surrounding the day itself, has mimimal impact on MLS rosters these days.
Seven of the first round picks from the 2017 draft failed to see their options picked up for next season, reflecting the gulf between NCAA Soccer and the North American domestic league.
That being said, TopDrawerSoccer.com will do its best to cover the upcoming draft, as new franchise LAFC will join the league and pick first overall at the January 19 event in Philadelphia.
One of the mysteries surrounding this year's draft is which players will end up signing a Generation adidas contract to leave college early. Ema Twumasi and Francis Atuahene are two names that could be available, and both could end up coming off the board with the first two picks. At minimum, their attacking upside should have them off the board quickly, if both sign. They are included for the purposes of the first round mock draft, which is below.
Under first-year head coach Brad Friedel, it's hard to know what direction that the Revolution head in with its back-to-back picks. Winn's a solid attacking option that can fit in on the flanks no matter the formation.
Playing in San Jose's back yard the past four seasons, Skundrich should be no stranger to SJ's technical staff, even with the changeover. He's not a Scandinavian, though he's leadership and intangibles make him a strong addition to the team's central midfielder stables.
The Red Bulls are working to rebuild their roster ahead of a new season, and could look to Manley, a versatile defender likely to compete for minutes as an outside back.
Without obvious holes on the field, Sporting can look to bring in players capable of seeing minutes right away in USL. If Omsberg's still here at No. 18, the mammoth central defender is a strong candidate to end up getting picked.
A prolific scorer in the PDL and ACC, White's a quality finisher that can do well in the front environment. He could certainly provide goals for the Sounders from a wide forward position in a 4-2-3-1, though he does lack a clear position on most MLS sides.
The right back would be a perfect fit for Toronto FC's wingback system, as he'd be capable of coming in and contributing, provided TFC have enough international slots for the German.