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MLS Dec 22, 2022

Charlotte FC selects Clemson’s Hamady Diop with No. 1 pick in MLS SuperDraft

NEW YORK – In an exciting move at the top of the draft, Charlotte FC traded into the first overall position and selected Clemson University defender Hamady Diop with the No. 1 pick in MLS SuperDraft 2023.

Charlotte FC acquired the No. 1 overall pick in MLS SuperDraft 2023 from expansion side St. Louis CITY SC in exchange for $200,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM), $200,000 in 2024 GAM, up to $50,000 in conditional GAM, and Charlotte’s first-round selection (20th overall) in MLS SuperDraft 2023.

One of Clemson’s key defenders for three seasons, Diop was named second-team All-ACC in 2022 after starting 13 games for the Tigers and it marked the second consecutive season Diop earned the honor. He started his career with the Tigers in 2020 where he was named to the ACC All-Freshman team. A native of Dakar, Senegal, Diop is the first Senegalese player to be selected as the No. 1 overall pick in an MLS SuperDraft.

A member of Generation adidas, Diop’s selection marked the 21st consecutive year the first selection overall was part of Generation adidas or its predecessor. He is the second player from Clemson selected with the No. 1 overall pick, joining Robbie Robinson, who was the top overall selection by Inter Miami CF in 2020.

Charlotte has made the No. 1 overall MLS SuperDraft pick in consecutive years after drafting midfielder Ben Bender out of the University of Maryland in 2022. The last MLS club to do so was D.C. United when they selected Alecko Eskandarian in 2003 and traded up to acquire Freddy Adu in 2004. The last No. 1 overall pick to be traded was Jack Harrison in 2016, who was dealt from Chicago Fire FC to New York City FC after being selected.

The first five picks in the SuperDraft were all members of the Generation adidas class and seven of the top 10 picks were Generation adidas signees. Orlando City SC acquired the No. 2 overall selection in the draft from D.C. United in exchange for defender Ruan and used that pick to select Duke University forward Shakur Mohammed. The Colorado Rapids used the third overall selection to select defender Moise Bombito of the University of New Hampshire. University of Maryland midfielder Joshua Bolma was selected by the New England Revolution with the No. 4 overall pick and University of North Carolina, Greensboro midfielder J.C. Ngando rounded out the top five as he was selected by Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Twelve of the first 13 selections in MLS SuperDraft 2023 presented by adidas were acquired via trade, including each of the top seven picks in the draft. After trading the No. 1 overall pick to Charlotte FC, St. Louis CITY SC, Major League Soccer’s 29th club which is set to debut in 2023, made the first draft pick in club history when they selected Generation adidas signee and Creighton University midfielder Owen O’Malley with the ninth overall pick.

For the second consecutive year, six colleges had multiple players taken in the first round: Clemson (Hamady Diop, Joey Skinner), Creighton (Duncan McGuire, Owen O’Malley), Indiana (Herbert Endeley, Daniel Munie), Maryland (Joshua Bolma, Malcolm Johnston), Pittsburgh (Bertin Jacquesson, Valentin Noel), and Syracuse (Levonte Johnson, Abdi Salim).

Players from 49 colleges and universities were represented in the 83 selections overall, led by five picks from Syracuse University and four from the University of Maryland. Twenty-one players selected in the SuperDraft previously played with MLS NEXT clubs.

Full results of MLS SuperDraft 2023 presented by adidas are available by clicking HERE.

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