With the 2017 MLS SuperDraft coming up on Friday, January 13th, the 22 MLS SBNation Blogs and the smartest people we have here at E Pluribus Loonum* united for an epic mock draft for the ages.
Minnesota United FC currently hold the first overall pick in the SuperDraft as a result of the Priority Draft alongside Atlanta United. MNUFC also holds the 23rd overall pick (first pick of the second round) and the 25th pick (the 3rd pick of the second round) as a result of the Allocation Order trade with the Chicago Fire.
We did not debate long about who to take with the Loons’ first pick but we did talk at length about who to take in the second round. We hoped to be able to trade our two second round picks to jump back in the first round, but that was against the rules that SBNation had in place.
So let’s take a look at how we did:
Our First Pick (#1 Overall) : Jeremy Ebobisse - F - Duke
It had to be “Ebo” (“Jebo” according to his twitter handle).
Ebobisse has been at the top of Top Drawer Soccer’s Big Board for players expected to be picked in the upcoming draft. Ebobisse has been on loan from the MLS with the Charleston Battery after declaring himself eligible for the SuperDraft and leaving Duke at age 19.
Before signing in the MLS, Jebo scored nine goals and had seven assists for the Blue Devils across two NCAA seasons.
Ebobisse was part of the USMNT U-20 team that competed in the Four Nations Tournament this past fall. Ebobisse netted a hat trick in a 5-3 loss to the Netherlands. (The U-20 team fell to 0-2-0 in the Four Nations Tournament in that loss).
There is some debate about whether the Loons should use this pick on Abu Dunladi or hometown boy, Jackson Yueill. There is even some thought that the Loons could trade out because they do not necessarily need Ebobisse. We felt that the risk was too high with Dunladi due to injury (also a high reward player), and we just did not feel that we could justify Jackson Yuiell over the forward from Duke.
Our Second Pick (#23 Overall): Eric Klenofsky - GK - Monmouth
This should come as no surprise after the recent articles coming from this site. When we looked at the Big Board from Top Drawer Soccer, we immediately looked at where the top goalkeepers landed.
Eric Klenofsky was the top rated goalkeeper and has been a familiar name to college soccer fans for a couple of years now. The 22-year-old Keeper was profiled by Pro Soccer Talk before his junior campaign for the Hawks following seasons where he was one of the leaders in the NCAA in goals against average.
The former member of the New York Red Bulls U-23 team stands at 6’6”. Klenofsky was recently on a trial with Everton FC and looks likely to be the first keeper taken on the 13th.
Our Third Pick (#25 Overall): Francis De Vries - D - St. Francis (PA)
The kid from New Zealand was our pick at 25. We were not super enamored with the midfield talent still available, so we decided to add some young depth to the back line.
Francis De Vries grew up in New Zealand, had a brief soccer stopover in Switzerland with a trial at FC Basel before ending up playing college soccer at St. Francis in Pennsylvania. Most recently, De Vries was plying his trade with the Michigan Bucks in the PDL when not with St. Francis.
De Vries stands at 6’2” and has the experience from his time on trial with the Basel academy. He was a two-time Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the year during his time with the Red Flash.
This just feels like a good pickup for the Loons. He has some European training experience and had success with a college team.
Did you like how we did? Let us know below! And start getting ready for the real deal coming up on the 13th!
*Up for large debate.