2019 MLS Mock Draft: Version 2.0

2019 MLS Mock Draft: Version 2.0
by Travis Clark
January 4, 2019

With the 2019 MLS Draft set for Friday, January 11, below is another first round mock draft projecting the potential players picked up by MLS franchises in Chicago.

MORE: MLS Big Board 2.0 | 2019 Generation adidas class announced

1 Siad Haji* VCU  M 5-8  150 
FC Cincinnati could go in any direction, as it hauls an old roster into its expansion season in Major League Soccer. While JJ Wiliams or Frankie Amaya seem like strong candidates, Haji's a young, creative attacker that can play in wide spaces, something the team isn't as deep in as it contructs its new team.
2 san jose soccer Frankie Amaya*  UCLA M 5-4  145
A matchup of Amaya and new SJ head coach Matias Almeyda would bode well for the U.S. U20 international. He's certainly talented, though he fits a profile of player that has challenges getting opportunities to play in MLS. Competing for a coach like Almeyda would open up doors for Amaya.
3   JJ Williams* Kentucky F 6-4  200 
While Orlando already brought in one striker from the college ranks in Benji Michel, Williams is another player that could deputize behind Michel and Dom Dwyer. He could start the season with Orlando City B as he adjust to the pro game.
4  Callum Montgomery  Charlotte  6-2  170
If Chris Richards is transferred to Bayern Munich as expected, adding a center back that can get minutes on the new USL team and make the roster for depth could lead them to Montgomery, one of the top central defenders in the draft pool.
5    John Nelson* North Carolina   5-9 160 
Considering Chicago is hosting the draft, look for the Fire to do something wild. What that ends up being is anyone's guess, but it could make things a bit more interesting on the floor. If they stand pat and are unable to complete a deal with Andrew Gutman, drafting Nelson here gives them an option at left back.
6 Dayne St. Clair* Maryland  GK  6-4  185 
One of the biggest surprises at the draft would be if Toronto ends up picking a player at this spot. However, with just two goalkeepers on the roster, adding Ontario native Dayne St. Clair is a logical step after he signed with the Generation adidas class.
7 minnesota draft Brad Dunwell Wake Forest   M  5-8 165 
While Minnesota would love to see St. Clair or Nelson available at this spot, they have plenty of attacking options with only Dorsey and Buchanan left from the GA class. Adding Dunwell would give them central midfield depth and arguably the best senior prospect in the class.
8  Griffin Dorsey* Indiana   F  6-0  160
The hard-working U.S. U20 forward projects more as an outside attacker/winger type in MLS. He may not have the highest ceiling, but he'd be a solid pickup for Houston here to deputize their stable of flank players.
9 Tajon Buchanan Syracuse  6-0   152
While the team isn't exactly hurting at forward, Buchanan provides an up-and-coming option that can compete for minutes behind Juan Agudelo or Teal Bunbury.
10 Sergio Rivas  Seattle  5-11  150 
It's difficult to imagine either of FCD's Top 10 picks getting minutes this season, so even at No. 10, this pick could either be moved or picked for USL purposes. Rivas is an under-the-radar prospect that could thrive as a focal piece for North Texas SC and play his way into the FCD first team.
11 Akeem Ward   Creighton 5-7   150
Edgar Castillo's been brought in as a left back option in the wake of Chris Tierney's retirement, though Ward is another option to provide depth at that spot.
12 Logan Gdula   Wake Forest 5-11   160
The Galaxy is under new management, as former Boca Juniors head coach and Crew midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto was introduced on Thursday. They couldn't hurt to add quality defenders, and Gdula is as high-upside as they come at right back.
13    Abdi Mohamed Akron  M/D  5-11  151 
With Keegan Rosenberry out the door, Mohamed's a candidate to get picked by Philly here and provide depth behind Ray Gaddis and Olivier Mbaizo.
14 dc united draft Andrew Samuels   Maryland  M/D 5-9  150 
In need of players for its USL roster, it's highly unlikely D.C.'s first round pick even sees any minutes this season. With Loudoun United launching, a player like Samuels might come in handy, as he could potentially play as an outside back for the first team or central midfield with Loudoun.
15  Marcello Borges Michigan   D  5-8 150 
Left backs are always a rare commodity coming through the draft, and Borges is a smart player that could add some depth on the left side along with Homegrown signing Sam Vines.
16  Wouter Verstraaten  Pacific  D  6-2 159 
Center back depth is likely to come from another source than just the draft, though LAFC will have had plenty of time and opportunity to scout Verstraaten. The question then becomes whether or not they rate him enough and have the international slot to accommodate him.
17 real salt lake draft  Tommy McCabe Notre Dame  5-11  174 
A former U.S. U17 World Cup player, McCabe is a young central midfielder (he's graduating early from Notre Dame), McCabe offers central midfield depth and someone that can drop down to Real Monarchs to help his adjustment.
18 crew draft  Camden Riley  Pacific  M/F  6-1
The wide attacker would be a nice fit on the Crew SC roster, although it's unclear how things are going to look when new head coach Caleb Porter takes over.
19 nycfc logo  Andre Shinyashiki  Denver 5-9   150
Equipped with a senior contract and requiring a foreign spot, it's going to be an interesting draft day for Shinyashiki. He's a dogged worker and astute finisher that can provide an option up front for New York City.
20 Joey Piatczyc   West Virginia 5-8   158
After missing 2017 with a serious knee injury, Piatczyc seems like a decent fit for the Sounders, a versatile player that could provide depth centrally or get some run with Sounders 2 in the USL.
21 Santiago Patino  Florida International   6-1 192 
Boasting a well-filled roster even before the draft, don't be surprised to see Sporting KC move out of this pick if possible. Taking a flier on Patino, who may not be the busy, buzzing striker Peter Vermes would like to use, but a more focal, back-to-goal, Plan B type forward to deploy.
22 Jacob Hauser-Ramsey   Connecticut 6-3   195
Aaron Long and Tim Parker are the starting center backs in New York, with Amro Tarek brought in as a backup. If the Red Bulls keep this pick, taking a chance on a central defender doesn't seem like too much of a stretch. Hauser-Ramsey is a big defender and one of a handful of options that'll be on the table at this point.
23 portland draft Amar Sejdic  Maryland  M 5-10   158
The Timbers could use some midfield reinforcements centrally. While Sejdic's lack of athleticism may catch up with him in MLS, he's a technical and tactical player that can add some depth.
24 atlanta united logo Rashid Nuhu  Fordham   GK  6-1  175

If there's a team that could afford to pass in the first round, it might be the MLS Cup champs, who have very few holes to fill on the roster. New head coach Frank de Boer's approach is uncertain at this point, although if they switch to a back four, center back's not even as much of a position of need. Nuhu's a ball-playing goalkeeper that could materialize as a third-string goalkeeper, though he may require an international spot.

*Denotes projected Generation adidas signee.

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