What is the MLS SuperDraft?
The MLS SuperDraft is an annual college draft for Major League Soccer teams. It is an event that takes place in January and is used by teams to select players who have graduated from college or have decided to turn professional.
From 1996 to 1999, all U.S. players who were graduating from college were entered into the MLS College Draft, and were eligible to be selected by all Major League Soccer teams. Players who had already graduated from college were entered in an MLS Supplemental Draft. The division between the two was eliminated in 2000, when they were combined into a single MLS SuperDraft. Originally created to ensure strict parity in the league, the draft was designed to allow weaker clubs to develop their rosters. The first SuperDraft was held in 2000, and has since become the league’s premier draft.
The 2020 MLS SuperDraft was conducted for the first time exclusively via conference call and online streaming.
The majority of draft prospects are NCAA college seniors who have exhausted their college eligibility. Generation adidas players and non-collegiate international players are also eligible for selection in the SuperDraft. Clubs may nominate players for the League’s Draft Eligible List, and only players from that list may be selected.
How does it work?
The MLS SuperDraft selection order is determined as follows:
The first selection is from the expansion team. The next eight selections are from teams that did not qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, starting with the team with the fewest points per game in the regular season. The remaining 18 positions are ranked by the fewest regular season points per game among teams that were eliminated in the same round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Selection Clock: Teams will have three (3) minutes to make a selection.
Intermissions: There will be a ten (10) minute break between rounds.
Timeouts: Each team is allowed one (1) timeout. Time-outs are three (3) minutes in length. Selections must be made immediately after the time-out (no additional time is given). No more than two (2) consecutive time-outs may be used.
Failure to make selection in the designated time: Clubs that do not make their selection on time must wait until the next selection is made, regardless of whether their selection is submitted prior to the next club’s decision. The team that was late with its selection must have its choice immediately following the selection of the club that followed. If not, the original club must wait again for the next selection to be made.
Exchanges: Before being announced, exchanges must be verified and approved by the Commissioner and/or his designee. Announcements of trades will not reveal the identity of the players until they have been contacted by their respective clubs. For example, Team A trades a “player to be named later” for Team B’s first pick.
Passing teams: Should a team pass, it may not make any further selections for the remainder of the MLS SuperDraft.