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Global Jan 23, 2018

Forty-four Development Academy alums selected in MLS SuperDraft

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Of the 220 players eligible for selection in the 2018 MLS Super Draft, 44 of the 81 overall picks selected spent at least one season playing for a U.S. Soccer Development Academy club along their pathway to the professional level.

During rounds one and two of the 2018 MLS Super Draft, broadcasted live from the Philadelphia Convention Center, 27 of the 46 players selected collectively spent 78 seasons in the Academy.

Round One

The first DA product to come off the board didn’t have to wait long when the LA Galaxy selected Tomas Hilliard second overall. The former Stanford Cardinal played four seasons in the Academy with Charlotte Soccer Academy from 2010-2014 and collected South Conference Starting XI honors in 2012. A three-time NCAA national champion, the defender collected 13 collegiate goals in 87 appearances.

Named the Big Ten Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at Wisconsin, forward Chris Mueller was selected sixth overall by Orlando City SC. Mueller played three seasons with Sockers FC (Chicago, Ill.) from 2011-2014.

+READ: Sporting KC signs Matt Lewis as club’s 8th Homegrown Player

Next up was former Players Development Academy and New York Red Bulls Academy forward Mason Toye, who was taken by Minnesota United FC via a trade with Montreal Impact.

Two picks later, former St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri (now St Louis FC) defender Mark Segbers went ninth overall to the New England Revolution. In his time with SLSG, Segbers tallied three Central Conference Starting XI selections: 2011, 2012, 2013. Attending his first ever MLS Super Draft as a head coach, former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper and U-19 Men’s National Team coach Brad Friedel was especially pleased with the Revolution’s selection of Segbers.

Round Two

In the second round of the 2018 MLS Super Draft, more than half of the 23 picks have ties to the Academy.

From selections 25-27, three straight Academy players were taken: Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea SC) to Colorado Rapids, Lucas Stauffer (Shattuck-St. Mary’s) to Vancouver Whitecaps, and Frantzdy Pierrot (Seacoast United) also to the Rapids. Winn took home Central Conference Player of the Year honors in 2012 and repeated the feat in 2014. Fellow draftee Pierrot was named to the 2012 Central Conference Starting XI during his first of six seasons with Seacoast United.

Former Portland Timbers Academy player Niko De Vera taken by the New York Red Bulls at 31, followed by Shattuck-St. Mary’s second Academy draftee at pick number 33 when Real Salt Lake took 2014 East Conference Starting XI award winner Ricky Lopez-Espin. Next up, FC Dallas took Georgetown midfielder and two-time Development Academy National Champion Christopher Lema, who spent four seasons with New York Red Bulls’ Academy.

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Maryland forward Gordon Wild, who spent four seasons in the Academy, was taken 37th overall by Atlanta United FC. Slots 39-41 saw another trio of players with time in the Academy taken by New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy, and Minnesota United in Tom Barlow (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri), Drew Skundrich (PA Classics), and Xavier Gomez (Sockers FC), repsectively.

The final three Academy players taken on Day 1 came in at picks 43, 44 and 46. Houston took FC Boston Bolts Alum Mac Steeves with its second draft pick of the day, followed by another Bethesda-Olney 2014 East Conference Starting XI and National Champion runner up in Maryland midfielder Jake Rozhansky. Former Crew SC Academy Wolves goalkeeper Drew Shepherd was chosen by Toronto FC with the 46th overall pick to close out the round.

Rounds Three and Four

Rounds three and four of the 2018 MLS Super Draft, which took place via conference call, saw 17 Academy Alums become professional players, who combined for 43 seasons spent developing in the Academy.

Pick MLS Club Player Pos. College Academy Club Seasons
ROUND 1 2 LA Galaxy Tomas Hilliard-Arce D Stanford Charlotte Soccer Academy 4
6 Orlando City SC Christopher Mueller F Wisconsin Sockers FC Chicago 3
7 Minnesota United FC Mason Toye F Indiana New York Red Bulls; PDA 2
9 New England Revolution Mark Segbers D Wisconsin St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri 4
11 FC Dallas Ema Twumasi M Wake Forest Oakwood Soccer Club 1
13 Sporting Kansas City Eric Dick GK Butler Indiana Fire Academy 1
14 Atlanta United FC Jon Gallagher M Notre Dame Beachside SC 1
15 Minnesota United FC Wyatt Omsberg D Dartmouth Seacoast United 1
16 New York Red Bulls Brian White F Duke PDA 3
17 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Justin Fiddes D Washington San Diego Surf 2
18 Sporting Kansas City Graham Smith D Univ. of Denver Real Colorado 4
19 New York City FC Jefferson Caldwell GK Virginia North Carolina Fusion 4
20 Houston Dynamo Michael Nelson GK SMU Lonestar SC Academy 2
23 Minnesota United FC Carter Manley D Duke Bethesda-Olney 1
ROUND 2 25 Colorado Rapids Alan Winn M North Carolina Solar Chelsea SC 3
26 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Lucas Stauffer D Creighton Shattuck-St. Mary’s 3
27 Colorado Rapids Frantzdy Pierrot F Coastal Carolina Seacoast United 6
31 New York Red Bulls Niko De Vera D Akron Portland Timbers 2
33 Real Salt Lake Ricky Lopez-Espin F Creighton Shattuck-Saint Mary’s 4
34 FC Dallas Christopher Lema M Georgetown New York Red Bulls 4
37 Atlanta United FC Gordon Wild F Maryland Seacoast United 4
39 New York Red Bulls Tom Barlow F Wisconsin St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri 5
40 LA Galaxy Drew Skundrich M Stanford PA Classics 4
41 Minnesota United FC Xavier Gomez M Nebraska Sockers FC 3
43 Houston Dynamo Mac Steeves F Providence FC Boston Bolts 4
44 Columbus Crew SC Jake Rozhansky M Maryland Bethesda-Olney 1
46 Toronto FC Drew Shepherd GK Western Michigan Crew SC Academy Wolves 2
ROUND 3 48 LA Galaxy Nate Shultz D Akron Internationals 2
52 New York City FC Alex Bumpus D Kentucky Crew SC Academy 3
53 Montreal Impact Ken Krolicki M Michigan State Crew SC Academy 2
54 Philadelphia Union Mike Catalano M Wisconsin Chicago Fire 4
57 FC Dallas Amer Sasivarevic M Grand Canyon Real Salt Lake AZ 1
59 Houston Dynamo Pablo Aguilar M Virginia IMG Academy 4
61 Portland Timbers Caleb Duvernay D NC State Capital Area RailHawks 3
66 Houston Dynamo Sheldon Sullivan D Virginia McLean Youth Soccer 2
ROUND 4 70 Atlanta United FC Paul Christensen GK Univ. of Portland Seattle Sounders FC 3
72 Colorado Rapids Brian Iloski M UCLA San Diego Surf; LA Galaxy 3
77 Philadelphia Union Matt Danilack M Dartmouth Potomac 3
80 FC Dallas Noah Franke D Creighton Orlando City SC 2
82 Sporting Kansas City Wilfred Williams D Oakland Univ. FC Dallas 1
83 New York Red Bulls Jared Stroud M Colgate PDA 2
84 Chicago Fire Josh Morton D California San Jose Earthquakes 2
89 Houston Dynamo Manny Padilla D San Francisco LA Galaxy 4
92 Toronto FC Ben White D Gonzaga Portland Timbers 2

In total, the 44 draft picks with ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy combined to average 2.75 seasons in the Academy.