MLS SuperDraft

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2014 MLS SuperDraft logo.png

The MLS SuperDraft is an annual event, taking place in January of each year, in which the teams of Major League Soccer select players who have graduated from college or otherwise been signed by the league. The SuperDraft was first instituted in 2000, as a combination of the MLS College Draft, in which players having graduated from college were selected, and the MLS Supplemental Draft, in which all other players were chosen. The draft is divided into four rounds in which each club has a selection, the order of which is determined by a combination of the teams' playoff and regular season positions, with the last placed team (or expansion teams) getting the first pick.


The MLS SuperDraft was created by merging the original Supplemental Draft with the now-defunct College Draft. Originally created to ensure strict parity in the league, the draft was designed to allow weaker clubs to develop their rosters. The first draft was held in 2000, and since then has become the flagship draft of the league. Recently, the draft has been considered to be secondary to youth academies.[1][2][3]

Eligible players[edit]

Only players from the American college sports system (the NCAA) are eligible to be drafted. Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's soccer players are not included, despite numerous proposals and discussions in 2010[4] and 2012.[5]

Rules of Draft Selection[edit]

The draft process for the SuperDraft closely resembles the NFL Draft. Below was the process for the 2015 MLS SuperDraft:

  1. Any expansion club automatically gets the first pick; should there be two expansion teams, a coin toss determines who picks first in the SuperDraft and who picks first in the expansion draft.
  2. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record.
  3. Teams that made the MLS Cup Playoffs are then ordered by which round of the playoffs they are eliminated.
  4. The winners of the MLS Cup are given the last selection, and the losers the penultimate selection.
  5. Remaining ties are broken by the goal differential, goals scored, goals conceded, and then the flip of a coin.
Status Draft picks
Expansion clubs 1-2
Non-playoff clubs 3-10
Eliminated in knockout round 11-12
Eliminated in conference semifinals 13-16
Eliminated in conference championships 17-18
MLS Cup finalist 19
MLS Cup winner 20

List of SuperDrafts[edit]

Draft steals[edit]

The following table includes players widely considered to be among the best steals in MLS draft history.

Draft Pick Player Pos MLS team Achievements Ref
2004 36 United States Michael Bradley MF MetroStars U.S. national team (>100 caps) [6]
1997 29 United States Kevin Hartman GK Los Angeles Galaxy Ranked #2 in MLS career shutouts (112) [7]
2000 35 United States Nick Rimando GK Miami Fusion Ranked #1 in MLS career shutouts (123)

See also[edit]