2020 MLS Mock Draft: Version 2.0

2020 MLS Mock Draft: Version 2.0
by TopDrawerSoccer
January 8, 2020

The 2020 edition of the MLS Draft is set for Thursday.

It's obviously an impossible task to predict how the first round may go. And with international players facing the most uncertainty of it all, it's even more difficult to predict than usual.

Daryl Dike has been added to this year's Generation adidas class, which is reflected in the second and final edition.

Below is the TopDrawerSoccer mock draft of the first round.

1 miami logo  Daryl Dike* Virginia F  6-2  220
It's easy to get hung up on a player's physicality, but Dike's size alone is going to make him an intriguing prospect. He's not too bad with his feet, it's worth noting, and at No. 1 could be a rotation option up front for Miami right away up front.
2 nashville sc logo Jack Maher* Indiana 6-2 175
A center back seems likely for Nashville here, which could end up being either Maher or Kessler, depending on internal preference.
3 miami logo  Dylan Nealis  Georgetown  5-11  175
The Georgetown right back's been heavily scouted by Miami, who can add a second player capable of contributing in one way or another, this upcoming season.
4 whitecaps logo  Henry Kessler* Virginia  D  6-4 185 
Center back may not be a dire need for the Whitecaps, but the combination of roster flexibility afforded by a Generation adidas addition and Kessler's potential to contribute sooner, rather than later makes him a candidate to go here.
5 Robbie Robinson* Clemson  F 6-0  175
If Robinson is available here, it would probably cause Orlando to think long and hard about grabbing the forward out of Clemson. He could be slotted into the pecking order up front or on the wing, and give him a chance to adjust to the demands of MLS.
6 Jeremy Kelly North Carolina CM/RB 5-10   145
The Revolution has put in the work to build up its roster, and the two first-round picks could be moved for allocation money or to provide players for the soon-to-launch USL League One team. Kelly is versatile and has the chance to stick at center mid for either team. Aaron Molloy would be a good pick here if the Revolution decide to use an international spot in that way.
7 crew draft Garrett McLaughlin SMU M/F  6-0 175 
Likely to play as a winger in MLS, McLaughlin provides depth as a wide attacker that can come in contribute whenever he shows that he's ready.
8 Miguel Berry San Diego  F 6-3 180
It's going to be interesting to see if Berry has the pace to really make an impact or if he's tried at center back. But the forward has plenty of skill that he's shown in the college game, and he could be an option for Tab Ramos to come in off the bench as a rookie to try and provide game-changing moments.
9 Ryan Raposo* Syracuse M/F 5-7  142 
What Thierry Henry might do with the draft is anyone's guess. But if the Onatrio native and Canadian native Raposo is available, it makes plenty of sense, in terms of bringing on young talent and 
10 chicago fire Tanner Beason  Stanford 6-1  175 
The leader of Stanford's back line, Beason's already signed a pre-draft contract. He'll need to figure out if he can play as a left back or centrally at an MLS level, but would be a nice depth piece for Raphael Wicky.
11 Alistair Johnston Wake Forest CM/RB 5-11  170
Relatively well-stock at the back, the Rapids could grab Johnston and shift him back to his central midfield role. Regardless, his versatility and quality make him a prime option.
12 san jose soccer Manuel Ferriol  James Madison   5-11 150 
Ferriol's going to be fascinating to watch on draft day. A creative central midfielder who played as a No. 6 in his younger days, he could be an intriging fit for Matias Almeyda's system. It would at least bring out the best in him, provided they are willing to use up an international spot on him.
13   Jack Skahan  North Carolina  W 5-10 165
An international on the table here could be appealing, provided it makes sense for New England's roster build. But dipping back into the Tar Heel pool is another possibility, with Skahan as an option for the team's back end of the roster or USL League One team.
14 Cal Jennings  UCF  CF  5-11   163
Depending on the trust level that FC Dallas has in Ricardo Pepi's ability to contribute this season, FC Dallas could certainly opt elsewhere than a striker. But if Jennings is available in the teens, he's worth bringing into camp to see if he can boost the team up front.
15 Aaron Molloy  Penn State   DM  5-11 165 
Are the Red Bulls going to bring in any players from abroad? They surely will make a move at some point. But if a high-end international college player like Molloy is available here, it could make the organization stronly consider making a move. And someone like Molloy could slot in on loan to Red Bulls II for the roster flexibility.
16 portland draft Patrick Seagrist  Marquette   LB 6-0  170 
Draft picks have a tough chance of making the Timbers roster, and they do have a couple of left backs already on the roster in Jorge Villafana and Marco Farfan. Seagrist adds to the depth there if he can win a roster spot.
17 Patrick Nielsen  Michigan State  CB  6-4  187 
The Dane could return to school given he's only a redshirt junior. And while he'd require an international spot, FCD could draft Nielsen and park him down with North Texas SC to see if he can cut it at the next level.
18 minnesota draft Nebojsa Popovic Michigan  CF  5-11 175 
While not in dire need of a center forward, Minnesota could take a long look at one here to play behind Angelo Rodriguez and Mason Toye.
19 Dayonn Harris   Connecticut M/F  5-7  155 
TFC draft picks outside the top 10 face a difficult time making the roster. Harris could be an interesting pickup as an Onatrio native that could play as an attacking winger.
20 real salt lake draft Cherif Dieye  Louisville   5-9 150 
The dynamic wing player from Louisville would be a nice addition to the Real Monarchs, as he'd require an international spot on an MLS roster. There, he could get minutes to cut his teeth and hopefully become relevant for RSL.
21 Brandon Williamson  Duke  CM  5-10   135
Given Ernest Tanner's disdain for the draft, don't be surprised if the Union pass here. Williamson is a box-to-box midfielder that has shown flashes over his four-year college career of high level potential. There's a potential right back here as well, which would suit the Union nicely.
22 nycfc logo Brian Saramago  Loyola (MD)  CF   5-10  175
At the very least, selecting Saramago here would be a nice troll move as he came through the Red Bulls Academy. He could play anywhere in NYCFC's front three, assuming the team continue to play like that.
23 atlanta united logo Nkosi Burgess  Seattle  CB  6-4   185
Defensive reinforcements are reportedly coming at the back from international options, but Burgess could also earn an invite to camp. The WAC Defensive Player of the Year has an intriguing skill set and could end up sticking.
24 Elliot Panicco  Charlotte  GK   6-5 205 
With just two goalkeepers on the roster as of publication, grabbing Panicco as a third option here makes sense.
25 Jonathan Jimenez Pacific LW/LB 5-11 
Injuries curtailed Jimenez's 2019, so perhaps it's a stretch to suggest that he would be picked in the first round. However, with the potential to play either on the wing or converted to left back, he's worth a flier to help fill a position that can be tricky to find cheap options for.
26 chicago fire Wallis Lapsley  UC Davis   GK  6-5  205

The Fire are likely to be in the market for a goalkeeper, featuring just two on the roster -- one of whom is 16-year-old Gabe Slonina. Lapsley is the Big West Goalkeeper of the Year and has the frame and ability to at least be a potential option in goal.

*Denotes Generation adidas signee.

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