With the introduction of Homegrown players and the Academy system into the American soccer landscape, Major League Soccer’s annual SuperDraft has taken on — in some respects, and depending on which pundit to whom one listens — lessened importance in the grooming of talent.
However, that is not always the case. Talent is cyclical in every sport. There are down years, and there are good years. That is — in my opinion — the case with this current crop of prospective players up for selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft this Friday afternoon (1 p.m. ET). There are quite a few steals in this year’s draft, including solid finds at all positions.
Let’s start with strikers and attacking midfielders.
All of the following have good pace/speed, as well as solid skill on the ball. Some, however, are better than others.
Andre Shinyashiki, University of Denver
Shinyashiki has already signed with MLS, so it’s just a matter of where. The Brazilian scored 28 goals for Denver this past fall, by far the most of any of the potential draftees. Of all the video I watched, Shinyashiki communicated the most, dances into the box with ease, and is quite possibly the best in 1-v-1 situations. He did not participate in Saturday’s Combine game, but is expected to take part in Wednesday’s game. I don’t expect him to be around when the Revolution pick at No. 9.
Ryan Sierakowski, Michigan State
He didn’t score Saturday, but he had several opportunities to do so. What I liked about him in film is his aggressive manner in the attacking third. He’s got some power behind his shot, and he can score with both feet. He also has a great first touch.