The MLS SuperDraft 2023 presented by adidas is set for Wednesday, December 21.
Here’s everything you need to know about the offseason roster-building mechanism that sees collegiate players enter the professional ranks – how to watch, player lists, history and more.
How to watch
Streaming MLS SuperDraft 2023
The SuperDraft will be held on December 21 and can be watched across several MLS platforms.
- Pre-Draft show: 4:30 pm ET
- SuperDraft: 5 pm ET
- Watch on: YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, MLSsoccer.com
- Fans can follow Rounds 2 and 3 using the Draft Tracker
Player eligible list: Over 360 players are available for selection to all 29 MLS clubs.
Generation adidas class: Eight players are signed to GA deals ahead of the 2023 MLS SuperDraft.
How it works
The SuperDraft has three rounds, with each team allowed one pick per round – 88 total this year (one compensatory selection).
The first pick goes to expansion side St. Louis CITY SC, followed by the teams that did not qualify for the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs and beginning with the team with the fewest 2022 regular-season points (3 points per win, 1 point per tie). The remaining positions are ranked by the fewest regular-season points among the teams that were eliminated in the same round of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
However, some teams moved up or down following trades. The order can be found at the Draft Tracker.
From SuperDraft to World Cup
Several players who competed for the United States and Canada at the 2022 FIFA World Cup were products of the SuperDraft – 11 total between the Concacaf nations.
The USMNT list includes Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman, who started all but one game in Qatar. Atlanta United center back Miles Robinson (No. 2 overall in 2017 SuperDraft) would have likely been a lock if not for a season-ending Achilles injury.
Meanwhile, 2022 CF Montréal standout defenders Alistair Johnston and Kamal Miller started every game during Canada’s first men's World Cup appearance in 36 years.
- Sean Johnson (No. 51, 2010 SuperDraft)
- Aaron Long (No. 36, 2014 SuperDraft)
- Tim Ream (No. 18, 2010 SuperDraft)
- Cristian Roldan (No. 16, 2015 SuperDraft)
- Walker Zimmerman (No. 7, 2013 SuperDraft)
- Tajon Buchanan (No. 9, 2019 SuperDraft)
- Alistair Johnston (No. 11, 2020 SuperDraft)
- Cyle Larin (No. 1, 2015 SuperDraft)
- Richie Laryea (No. 7, 2016 SuperDraft)
- Kamal Miller (No. 27, 2019 SuperDraft)
- Dayne St. Clair (No. 7, 2019 SuperDraft)
From SuperDraft to Europe
It's not just MLS academies churning out some of the region’s top young talent.
Here are recent examples of players who were selected in the MLS SuperDraft and secured lucrative moves to Europe.
- Alistair Johnson (CF Montréal to Celtic FC in Scotland)
- Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution to Club Brugge in Belgium)
- Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC to West Bromwich Albion in England)
The SuperDraft has also proven there are players who can make an immediate first-team impact.
Ben Bender (Charlotte FC) and Roman Celentano (FC Cincinnati), respectively the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the 2022 SuperDraft, played pivotal roles for their clubs during their inaugural season.
Here are 10 players from the last three MLS SuperDrafts who have made significant contributions.
2022 MLS SuperDraft
- Ben Bender, M (Charlotte FC, No. 1): 3g/6a in 28 games
- Roman Celentano, GK (FC Cincinnati, No. 2): five clean sheets in 27 games
- Thor Úlfarsson, F (Houston Dynamo FC, No. 4): 4g/1a in 31 games
2021 MLS SuperDraft
- Daniel Pereira, M (Austin FC, No. 1): 2g/4a in 55 games
- Javain Brown, D (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, No. 23): 1g/6a in 52 games
2020 MLS SuperDraft (not already mentioned)
- Jack Maher, D (Nashville SC, No. 2): 3g/2a in 50 games
- Ryan Raposo, M (Vancouver Whitecaps, No. 4): 2g/6a in 66 games
- Henry Kessler, D (New England Revolution, No. 6): 3g/0a in 72 games
- Miguel Berry, F (Columbus Crew, No. 7): 10g/2a in 48 games
- Tanner Beason, D (San Jose Earthquakes, No. 12): 0g/1a in 61 games
Back in its early days, the MLS SuperDraft was the way for teams to add the most promising young talented players from college soccer. That's changed as MLS academies grow, but it's still an important piece of the landscape.
While the SuperDraft isn't supplying the same quantity of MLS day-one starters as years past, there's still incredible value to be found. Plus, keep in mind that Generation adidas players don't count against the salary cap, offering great flexibility to clubs if they strike gold.
Stay tuned for Dec. 21 when the MLS SuperDraft 2023 presented by adidas gets underway. As much as MLS academies are rising and clubs are benefitting with first-team minutes and transfers, a few gems are likely to arise.