MLS SuperDraft Preview: Breaking down the top prospects by position

LAFC selects Joao Moutinho with first overall pick in MLS draft

Major League Soccer's SuperDraft, always a crapshoot, is more complicated than ever this year. There's talent to be had, but not much sticks. When we look at what we have, what we need and what is on offer, we think that there are very good options for us that can help us right away.

The Sounders held the 22nd pick in last year's draft, too, and selected defender Brian Nana-Sinkam.

As a Generation Adidas player, Moutinho will not count against LAFC's salary cap.

The influx of targeted allocation money, used to finance the acquisition of or to pay down the salary cap hit of elite players, had an effect with some teams reluctant to use valuable worldwide roster spots on untried youngsters.

Hilliard-Arce, 22, was part of the three-time NCAA national championship teams at Stanford.

Each team is getting US$1.2 million in TAM from the league in both 2018 and '19 with clubs allowed to add to that with $2.8 million of their own money each year. The Loons added Kapp, Atlanta's fourth round pick, in the summer. GM Tim Bezbatchenko said trading his first-round pick was a successful gamble that he could get Kubel five picks later. "You're one of the two teams fighting for the points". "They were taking him with the next pick", Heath said. Chivas USA did - and was a Western Conference contender under Bradley, to boot. The attack is coming together as well: Bradley expects Uruguay youth global Diego Rossi to play as a No. 9, while Mexico worldwide Carlos Vela can fill roles up top or out wide.

Players drafted drew from 10 different countries: Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the U.S.

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Blackmon said his strengths are going forward and being aggressive out of the back. He was followed by Stanford University defender Tomas Hillard-Arce going at No. 2 to the Los Angeles Galaxy, University of the Pacific defender Tristan Blackmon going at No. 3 to LAFC and University of MI forward Francis Atuahene going to FC Dallas at No. 4. A natural right back, Blackmon gives LAFC an option behind new signing Steven Beitashour - likely allowing Egypt worldwide Omar Gaber to play defensive midfield instead of fullback. The team declined to make a team official available for interview prior to the draft.

Vancouver has the 17th pick and reigning MLS Cup champion Toronto FC has the 23rd pick. Toronto has the No. 23, 46, 69 and 92 picks. Live coverage from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia begins at 10 a.m. CT, with Sporting KC holding the No. 13 and No. 18 overall picks.

The third and fourth rounds of the draft will take place Sunday, via conference call.

Expansion has also made the draft more of a challenge. Maryland midfielder Jake Rozhansky was drafted with the No. 21 pick in the second round (No. 44 overall) by Columbus Crew SC.

Below are two top prospects at each position ahead of Friday. Bakero won the Hermann Trophy as the top college soccer player this past season.

Vancouver has already shaken up its roster, acquiring strikers Kei Kamara and Anthony Blondell, goalkeeper Brian Rowe and Canadian worldwide defender Doneil Henry among others.

Taider was shown on Twitter signing a contract. But with Beitashour likely to join Raheem Edwards (now in Montreal) out the door, it may well be looking for wingback depth to back up Justin Morrow and Nicolas Hasler. His dilemma is how much does he want to add to/disrupt an already deep roster. Their future may depend on how Toronto fills its global roster spots.

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