With the 2021 Major League Soccer season in the books, the 2022 MLS SuperDraft is quickly approaching.
With less than a week to go until the event, these are the top players to keep an eye on at the top of the first round, as MLS newcomers Charlotte FC will make the first overall selection.
7. Philip Quinton
Notre Dame’s team captain helped his team reach the College Cup Semifinals and win the ACC Tournament. Quinton was in top form in the postseason, being named to the Top Drawer Soccer Postseason Best XI First Team during a massive tournament run for the Irish. The 6’6” Portland native is one of the biggest players in the Draft, and would immediately contribute to any MLS defense.
6. Diogo Pacheco
One of the more experienced players in the Draft, the redshirt senior from Portugal was a stalwart of the Zips’ attack during his career. The international player had seven goals and seven assists in 2021, including an eight-shot performance against Georgia State. While he would take up an international spot, Pachecho would be an experienced addition to any side, as he can use his left foot to create in just about any situation.
5. Isaiah Parker
The second Billiken on this list, Parker was the offensive star of the team while Keller manned the defense. The Gurnee, Illnois, native was one of the top true freshmen in the nation in 2021, in which he was named to the Top Drawer Soccer first-team Freshman Best XI team. Parker notched three goals and seven assists in 21 appearances last season, helping the Billikens win the Atlantic 10. One of the younger players in the SuperDraft, Parker is a player to keep an eye on.
4. Kyle Holcomb
The native Californian enjoyed a storied collegiate career in the ACC with the Demon Deacons, being named a 2021 United Soccer Coaches Second-Team All-American and finishing near the top in program history in several statistical categories. Wake Forest reached the College Cup in each of Holcomb’s seasons with the program, a reliable and technical scorer that the team relied on for four years.
3. Ousseni Bouda
A star since his high school days, Bouda has sat out in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned to the pitch in Palo Alto for his junior year. The Burkina Faso native racked up the accolades as a freshman in 2019, being named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, as well as to the Top Drawer Soccer Best XI Freshman First Team and the Pac-12 Best XI. Bouda notched five goals and nine assists for the Cardinal in 2021.
2. Roman Celentano
Celentano was the most reliable goalkeeper in college soccer during his three years with the Hoosiers, becoming the first player in Big Ten history to be named conference Goalkeeper of the Year twice. Celentano helped the Hoosiers reach the College Cup Final in the 2020-21 season, being named to the Top Drawer Soccer Best XI first team in both his sophomore and junior seasons. The Naperville, Illinois, native is an impenetrable goalie and made one of the most prolific plays you will ever see in the 2021 Big Ten Tournament, saving four shots in succession in overtime.
1. Kipp Keller
A high-upside defender who improved in each of his three years with the Billikens, Keller has a chance to be the top player selected in the Draft. SLU opponents averaged just 9.2 shots and 2.6 corner kicks per game, as both the team and Keller took major leaps on the national stage in 2021. The St. Louis native is an active defender who every team in the league could use.