Final 2022 MLS Mock Draft

Final 2022 MLS Mock Draft
by Travis Clark
January 11, 2022

The 2022 MLS Draft takes place tomorrow, as the stars of the 2021 fall college season get their shot.

This year's draft is similar to year's past. Not a mind-blowing level of talent, but a solid crop of contributors that could emerge as potential options in the near or even longer term. In the right scenario, players that have joined MLS through the draft have made national team appearances (Henry Kessler, Alistair Johnston) or transferred to clubs in Europe (Daryl Dike, Richie Laryea, Tajon Buchanan).

MORE: Scouting the Generation adidas class | Position-by-position breakdown | Big Board

Center back is a particular area of strength in this draft pool, while the eight-player Generation adidas class adds a layer of intrigue.

Check out the TDS mock draft, projecting all three rounds (note: expect teams to pass on third round picks).

Editor's Note: This has been updated in the wake of the FC Dallas trade with Toronto FC.

FIRST ROUND

ORDER TEAM NAME COLLEGE POS
1   charlotte logo Benjamin Bender* Maryland   CM
If Charlotte hangs on to this pick, it's going to be fascinating to see what they do. Sources say they like Bender, and the roster is littered with center backs. So Bender is the pick here, even if it seems like a coin flip. The box-to-box attacking midfielder would force a nice tandom of young center mids with the recently signed Chris Hegardt
2 fc cincinnati Kipp Keller* Saint Louis  CB
Should Charlotte go with Bender, Keller is a no-brainer for FC Cincinnati. A young, domestic central defender would be a huge pickup.
3 Thor Ulfarsson* Duke 
Is this a reach for Thor? FC Dallas traded into this spot and it's a direction they could take as they search for a finisher to help replace Ricardo Pepi's goals.
4 houston Dynamo Isaiah Parker* Saint Louis  F
The electric left-sided player is a dynamic talent that can drive a team forward. Could he move to left back? That doesn't seem like a stretch, and he has the tools to really excel.
5 austin fc   Ousseni Bouda*  Stanford  F
The speedy winger from Stanford missed the 2020-21 season due to injury, though he was largely back to his best in the fall of 2021. In the right system, he has the potential and ability to really thrive at the next level. A center back could be the move here too. (Highlights)
6 Ryan Sailor Washington  CB
FC Dallas can use the depth in central defense, and Sailor is a high-level, mature athlete that could learn under Matt Hedges.
7 chicago fire fc   Mohamed Omar Notre Dame    CM
The central midfielder oozes quality, and has the physical profile that could even work in central defense. That kind of versatile and quality would be a nice fit for the Fire. (Highlights)
8 san jose soccer Ahmed Longmire  UCLA CB
There's a range of opinions on Longmire, who missed a chunk of 2021 with injury. He's one of a handful of candidates that the Earthquakes could grab to reinforce the back line. San Jose will have had the chance to scout him as he faced Pac-12 opponents. Having only played 20 games for UCLA, all in 2021, there's a chance he slides a bit on draft day.
9 miami logo Roman Celentano* Indiana GK
With two goalkeepers on the roster at the moment, Miami seems likely to jump at the chance to pick a Generation adidas shot-stopper. Celetano is the higher-rated one depending on who you talk to. (Highlights)
10 Kyle Holcomb   Wake Forest F
A clinical finisher at Wake Forest, Holcomb is the best domestic forward in the draft. The Rapids can nab him here and help his development and transition to the next level.
11   CF Montreal Sofiane Djeffal Oregon State CM 
Another fascinating prospect to watch on draft day, Djeffal's quality is easy to spot, as he's been excellent since his first day in Corvallis. He'd be a logical target, adding midfield quality, provided the international flexibility is there. (Highlights)
12 crew sc logo Kendall Burks   Washington  CB
UW center backs Burks and Sailor are among the several standout performers at their position, even if Burks played as a right back for a big chunk of the 2021 season.
13 dc united Patrick Schulte* Saint Louis GK
In need of goalkeeping reinforcements, how the first 12 picks progress can factor into D.C.'s approach. If one of the two GA goalkeepers remain here when United picks, it makes plenty of sense. 
14 fc cincinnati Erik Centeno* Pacific W/RB
Adding Centeno with their second pick of the day would bring in another young domestic player with upside and roster flexibility. They could given Centeno a shot at right back or on the wing. 
15 Lucas Bartlett  St. John's CB
The Red Bulls should have solid knowledge of the St. John's center back, as he played there in the fall of 2021 after transferring from Drake. Bartlett's age profile could impact him on draft day, as he turns 25 in 2022. He could be signed to anchor Red Bulls II, at the very minimum. (Highlights)
16 whitecaps logo  Farai Mutatu Michigan State   W/RB
The senior out of Michigan State was one of the best wide attackers in college soccer last fall. The Whitecaps aren't in need of a great deal, so Mutatu could be a good option to try and convert to a right back or add to the attacking ranks. (Highlights)
17 minnesota draft Tani Olusaweyi   St. John's F
Minnesota has big gaps at a numbre of spots. Olusaweyi missed a big chunk of the fall of 2021 season, so he could end up slipping. He's a wide-attacking talent that looks like he could fit well into Minnesota's 4-2-3-1. (Highlights)
18 Jack Lynn  Notre Dame 
The Orlando forward line has lost quite a bit this offseason, with Nani, Daryl Dike and Chris Mueller out the door. Lynn's postional fit in MLS is tricky to suss out, though Orlando could go in this direction if they see the right path forward for the ACC attacker.
19 atlanta united Esai Easley Grand Canyon  CB/RB
Played as a left center back in the fall 2021 season, Easley projects as a right center back or right back in MLS. That could offer a more conservative option to backup Brooks Lennon. (Highlights)
20 sounders   Charlie Ostrem  Washington  LB
Ostrem is a known commodity to the coaching staff at Seattle after playing at nearby UW. He's very effective getting into the attack, and if he hones the defensive side, will continue to get better. (Highlights)
21 la galaxy Alec Smir North Carolina GK
The Galaxy are one of several teams that could pick a goalkeeper on draft day. Smir is one of the top talents from the senior class, arguable the best outside the two Generation adidas prospects. (Highlights)
22 sporting kansas city Philip Quinton Notre Dame CB
Yet another big center back, Quinton's profile popped after Notre Dame's deep run in the tournament. Standing at 6-foot-6, he'll get a shot at boosting the team's back line depth. Plus, there's a history of Sporting taking center backs out of Notre Dame, so why not give it a shot again?
23 Anthony Markanich Northern Illinois   LB
The MAC standout is one of a handful of intriguing left backs on the board for this year's draft and a likely first-round pick.
24 revolution   Justin Rasmussen  Grand Canyon LB/LM
With few clear needs, adding a versatile player like Rasmussen wouldn't be a bad move at this spot. He can play in left midfield or as a left back, a valuable add this late in the draft if he shows Bruce Arena that he can stick at this level. (Highlights)
25 real salt lake draft Charlie Asensio Clemson LB
A former Atlanta United Academy player, Asensio offers depth at left back for Real Sale Lake. Consistency was one of the themes he brought to the 2021 national champs, and he'll see to replicate that at the next level. (Highlights)
26 nashville sc logo O'Vonte Mullings  FGCU W/RB

The tricky Canadian brings speed and savvy to flanks, and is another quality college winger that could be tried either in the final third of converted to wing back. (Highlights)

27 portland draft Matthew Nocita  Navy  CB

The 6-foot-8 center back from Navy has won three Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year awards, and could make for an all-Service Academy center back partnership with Zac McGraw. He moves well for his size, and if he can make it work to get into a preseason, he could earn a roster spot and contract that would allow him to delay military commitments. (Highlights)

28 nycfc logo Oskar Agren  Clemson CB

Back line depth is something teams can find plenty of in this draft. Agren is a quality candidate that could go much higher to the team willing to accommodate his international status.

SECOND ROUND

ORDER TEAM NAME COLLEGE POS
29   charlotte logo Roberto Molina Las Vegas Lights W/F
30 fc cincinnati Simon Becher Saint Louis  F
31 Luka Gavran  St. John's  GK 
32 houston Dynamo Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador   Clemson   CM
33 chicago fire fc  Brett St. Martin Maryland  CB 
34 Nicholas Markanich  Northern Illinois  W/F
35 austin fc   Tristan Trager Air Force F
36 san jose soccer Ian Murphy Duke   LB/CB
37 miami logo  Giovanni Aguilar CSUN   CM
38 nashville sc logo Oscar Pereira   Army  CM
39   houston Dynamo Jacob Labovitz  Virginia Tech   CF
40 crew sc logo   Carlo Ritaccio Akron  CB 
41 dc united  Chris Donovan  Drexel F/W 
42 la galaxy Ben Reveno  UCLA   CB
43 Marcel Meinzer  Kentucky  CM 
44 whitecaps logo  Milo Yosef  Marshall 
45  Paulo Lima Providence  CM 
46 Jake Arteaga   Portland CM 
47 atlanta united Jasper Loeffelsend  Pittsburgh   RB
48 miami logo David Garcia  Florida International   CB
49 whitecaps logo   Kevin O'Toole  Princeton
50 sporting kansas city Kingsford Adjei Dayton
51 Daniel Strachan Akron  CB 
52 revolution   Justin Bloyou   Penn State
53 real salt lake draft Ike Swiger   West Virginia RB 
54 miami logo Delasi Batse  Charlotte  RB 
55 portland draft Laukoa Santos  San Diego State  RB 
56 nycfc logo Sebastian Schacht  St. Mary's (CA)  DM 

THIRD ROUND

ORDER TEAM NAME COLLEGE POS
57   charlotte logo Tyler Bagley  Cornell 
58 fc cincinnati Haji Abdikadir  Louisville  CM 
59 Seth Kuhn   Penn State CM 
60 la galaxy Vitor Dias  Marshall   CM
61 austin fc   Frank Daroma  Las Vegas Lights  CM 
62 Franck Momo   Campbell RB 
63 chicago fire fc Jacob Erlandson  Bowling Green   CB
64 san jose soccer Arturo Ordonez  Pittsburgh   CB
65 miami logo  Tsiki Ntsabeleng  Oregon State 
66 Carter Payne   Michigan  RB
67   CF Montreal Nathan Dossantos   Marshall CB 
68 crew sc logo  Sivert Haugli  Virginia Tech   CB
69 dc united Marc Ybarra  Michigan   CM
70 la galaxy Carson Vom Steeg  UC Santa Barbara   CB
71 Andrew Akindele  Wisconsin   W
72 whitecaps logo  Charles Auguste  Creighton   CM
73  Christopher Grey California   LB
74 Bridger Hansen  New Hampshire  CB 
75 atlanta united Lucas Meek  Washington 
76 sounders   Achille Robin   Washington CB 
77 nashville sc logo Nick Hazel  Lafayette   CB
78 sporting kansas city Callum Johnson  Clemson  CM 
79  Holland Rula Wake Forest  LB 
80 revolution    Zeron Sewell VCU   CB
81 real salt lake draft Gabriel Costa  SMU 
82 union Pierre Reedy  Penn State  CM 
83 portland draft George Marks  Clemson  GK 
84 nycfc logo Raul Giovanni Miglietti  Washington   F

*Denotes Generation adidas signee.

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