Trades and Generation Adidas players dominated the first 10 picks of the 2023 MLS SuperDraft on Wednesday in St. Louis.
Beginning with Charlotte FC selecting Clemson defender Hamady Diop as the No. 1 overall pick, Generation Adidas players occupied the first five spots and seven of 10.
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Generation Adidas is a league-sponsored program for top college players who leave school early to sign with MLS. Those players don’t take a spot on the team’s senior roster or count against the salary cap.
Diop was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast after starting 13 games for the Tigers.
Seven of the first 10 picks involved trades on Wednesday, beginning with expansion team St. Louis City FC dealing the top pick to Charlotte.
Following a trade with DC United, Orlando City SC obtained the second pick after dealing Brazilian defender Ruan and selected Duke forward Shakur Mohammed. He scored a team-high 10 goals and was a first-team All-American and a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy as the top college player.
Defender Moise Bombito of New Hampshire was selected third by the Colorado Rapids.
The New England Revolution acquired the fourth pick from the San Jose Earthquakes for the 10th selection and tabbed Maryland midfielder Joshua Bolma.
Houston Dynamo FC at No. 5 swapped picks with Vancouver Whitecaps at 13 and the Canadian side took UNC Greensboro midfielder JC Ngando. His 14 assists were tied for second in the nation.
The first non-Generation Adidas player was Creighton forward Duncan McGuire going to Orlando at No. 6. He led the nation with 23 goals.
Real Salt Lake gave Atlanta United FC $175,000 in general allocation money to take Washington forward Llijah Paul, a Generation Adidas player, in the seventh spot.
Sporting Kansas City selected Florida International forward Stephen Afrifa at No. 8. The Toronto native had 10 goals and four assists last season.
St. Louis traded up for the ninth pick from the Seattle Sounders FC to draft Creighton midfielder Owen O’Malley. He scored eight goals and had six assists last season.
San Jose at No. 10 drafted Indiana defender Daniel Munie, the captain of the NCAA runner-up.
The SuperDraft consists of three rounds. More than 360 players are eligible to be drafted.
Reigning MLS Cup champion LAFC does not have a selection in the opening round after trading the 29th pick to the Whitecaps on Oct. 15 for an international slot.
MLS Cup runner-up Philadelphia Union is scheduled to draft 28th.