Austin FC already signed Rodney Reyes and is targeting Vincent Janssen. You also add Danny Hosen as a striker playing the 9 along with Jon Gallagher at right wing. Austin F.C. is pretty deep at forward and midfielder. In fact, I'd argue their only immediate need lies at center back.
Ousenni Bouda went back to school and turned down his Generation Adidas offer. Bouda will be my number one pick in my 2022 MLS Mock Draft where he will be mocked to Charlotte F.C. For now, I have Austin F.C. taking the best player on my board as well as the consensus top ranked Generation Adidas prospect in Philip Mayaka at 1. Austin F.C. is expected to take Mayaka first overall.
The 5-7 135 lb Philip Mayaka picked up where Edward Kizza left off at Montverde Academy after being born in Ghana. What I can tell you is that Mayaka was the second best freshman recruit in High School behind Ousseni Bouda for the class of 2019. Mayaka was also one of two freshman to be invited to the 2019 MLS College Showcase after having 2 goals, 8 assists, and 12 points as a true freshman en route to winning ACC Freshman Of The Year in 2019. Philip Mayaka transitioned from being an offensive midfielder to defensive midfielder on Clemson in 2020.
Philip Mayaka has the soccer IQ to play effectively both on offense and on defense. He plays aggresive too. He led Clemson with 8 yellow cards, but had 0 red cards. Mayaka can play reckless at times, but he also plays smart and is a very decisive midfielder.
Philip Mayaka can line up at left wing, attacking midfielder where he's used as a playmaker who can generate 10 assists, right winger, defensive midfielder, left back, center back, and right back. Mayaka is a pretty versatile prospect who can line up anywhere at midfielder or defense.
Philip Mayaka will be the top pick in the 2021 MLS Super Draft if he gets a Generation Adidas offer simply due to his leadership and how consistent he is on tape even dating back to when he was the second best recruit in the country coming out of High School. Clemson beat an unbeaten Pittsburgh team to win the 2020 ACC Championship and he looked like the best player in the 2021 MLS Super Draft on tape despite having 0 goals, 0 assists, and 0 points in a shortened 2020 Fall Season.
I posted a film cut of Clemson midfielder Philip Mayaka VS Pittsburgh. Philip Mayaka has the highest ceiling of any prospect in this draft. I have another film cut of Mayaka versus Notre Dame on our Youtube Channel which you can watch by subscribing to Draft Utopia on Youtube. He takes too many plays off which is something Jadeveon Clowney was guilty of coming out of South Carolina when he was the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. If Austin F.C. thinks they can get the most out of Mayaka they should take him since he looks like a much better prospect on tape than Robbie Robinson who went first overall in the 2020 MLS Super Draft out of Clemson.
F.C. Cincinnati needs more players to build around their former number one overall pick Frankie Amaya. This team has ten different players to upgrade outside of Amaya. It's amazing that three expansion teams, two which made the 2020 MLS Playoffs, did a better job building their teams then F.C. Cincinnati. Getting the best overall striker or defender in this draft would be huge for F.C. Cincinnnati.
With Philip Mayaka off the board, Ethan Bartlow becomes the best available player for F.C. Cincinnati to draft at 2. However, as of Sunday January 17, 2021, Bartlow hasn't signed his Generation Adidas offer even though he's close to signing it according to reports. If Bartlow doesn't sign the offer then Wake Forest forward Calvin Harris and New Hampshire center back Josh Bauer become contingency plans for a team that is leaning towards Bartlow at 2 should he sign his Generation Adidas offer making him draft eligible for the 2021 MLS Super Draft.
Ethan Bartlow dominated at Crossfire Premier SC. Bartlow scored 7 goals as a senior before Crossfire Premier SC's coaching staff called him the top High School defender in the country. This resulted in Bartlow enrolling into Washington. Jesse Clark raved about Bartlow.
The 6-1 170 lb Ethan Bartlow anchored Washington's defense as a true freshman at center back anchoring a unit that only allowed 20 goals in 2018. Bartlow anchored a unit that only allowed 14 goals and helped record 12 shutouts in 2019 en route to winning PAC 12 Player of the Year while leading Washington to a PAC 12 Championship in 2019.
Ethan Bartlow had 5 goals, 1 assist, and 11 points in 2019. Bartlow can drill a ball 20-to-30 yards when passing it to teammates. His kicking power and kicking accuracy is better than any defender in the past five MLS Super Drafts. He's a dominant two-way defender that could provide some excitement if he manages to make an MLS roster.
I posted a film cut of Washington center back Ethan Bartlow VS Georgetown. Ethan Bartlow dominated this game despite Georgetown coming back to win 2-1 en route to Georgetown winning the 2019 College Cup. Ethan Bartlow also had a strong performance at the 2020 MLS College Invitational Combine cementing his status as a top two selection assuming he gets a Generation Adidas offer because he's the only player that I see as someone who can push Ousseni Bouda to be the top pick in this draft class.
Houston will grab the best player on the board at 3 that is a midfielder or a defender unless someone as talented as Calvin Harris falls to their lap at 3. In this scenario, that happens, but if Bartlow doesn't sign, look for Virginia Tech midfielder Daniel Periera or New Hampshire center back Josh Bauer to be Houston's pick at 3. The 6-0 160 lb Calvin Harris played left winger as a freshman. He moved to the 9 where he played the main striker role on Wake Forest in 2020.
Calvin Harris had 3 goals, 3 assists, and 9 points as a freshman in 2019. Calvin Harris had 4 goals, 2 assists, and 10 points in 2020. He's the one player in this draft who may have a higher ceiling than the projected first overall pick Philip Mayaka. That's why he will be my pick at 2 if Ethan Bartlow doesn't sign his Generation Adidas offer by Wednesday. As of Sunday, I have Calvin Harris at 3.
I posted a film cut of Wake Forest striker Calvin Harris VS Clemson. Calvin Harris did a good job helping Wake Forest defeat Clemson 2-0 in this contest.
D.C. United gets Edward Kizza here even though there are numerous other strikers they could also consider at four including Rodney Michael, Kimarni Smith, Derek Dotson, and Luther Archimede. It's a strong forward group for teams that need a striker. He's my top forward not named Ousseni Bouda. Smith had 13 goals, 5 assists, and 31 points in 2019. He began the season as a starter unlike Robbie Robinson which is why I love the idea of a team like D.C. United getting Kimarni Smith here at 9.
The 5-9 170 lb Edward Kizza was a top 50 recruit out of Montverde Academy High School in Florida where he took over for 2019 MLS Rookie Of The Year Andre Shinyashiki before enrolling into Pittsburgh in 2017 after being born in Uganda. Kizza's impact with this Pittsburgh soccer team speaks for itself.
Edward Kizza had 4 goals, 3 assists, and 11 points in his true freshman season with Pittsburgh helping the Pitt Panthers defeat some of their more prominent rivals like West Virginia and Penn State as a true freshman while scoring goals against ranked teams like North Carolina and Syracuse in 2017. As a sophomore Kizza led the ACC with 15 goals in 2018 while leading Pitt to a home win over Clemson. Kizza dominated on tape against quality opponents like Indiana, Virginia, Duke, and North Carolina State in 2019 with 12 goals, 4 assists, 28 points, 60 shots, and a .500 shots on goal percentage. Virginia was undefeated until Pittsburgh won on the road at Virginia.
Edward Kizza has the speed, kicking power, kicking accuracy, and passing you want a striker to have. He is an offensive dynamo, but you'd like to see him do more defensively. Despite that, the leadership traits are there as I went to Pittsburgh's last two games at Ambrose Urbanic Field where Pitt hosted Duke and Lehigh. Kizza showed assertiveness and leadership traits that MLS coaches want to see in those two games. He's also compassionate off the field and just a remarkable student athlete that carries himself with a lot of integrity.
Edward Kizza did get dismissed from Pittsburgh for undisclosed reasons. Despite this, he still scored a goal during the 2020 MLS College Invitational Combine. I've seen two of Kizza's games in person, and did two film cuts of the exhibition games that Kizza participated in.
I posted a film cut of Pittsburgh forward Edward Kizza VS Wake Forest. I have another film cut of Kizza versus Louisville on our Youtube Channel which you can watch by subscribing to Draft Utopia on Youtube.
Atlanta United F.C. loves New Hampshire center back Josh Bauer according to the reports I've read. Josh Bauer may not even make it to 5. The 6-1 175 lb Josh Bauer helped New Hampshire record 13 shutouts as their center back in 2019. New Hamshire didn't play in 2020, but Josh Bauer played in the 2020 MLS College Invitational Combine. Josh Bauer temporarily played in the USL this year. He's the top senior not named Edward Kizza in the 2021 MLS Super Draft.
I posted a film cut of New Hampshire center back Josh Bauer VS Marist. Josh Bauer is a cleaner passer than Ethan Bartlow on tape which is why I could see Bauer going ahead of Bartlow. The gap between the top two center backs in the 2021 MLS Super Draft is a lot smaller than most realize.
Colorado grabs the best player on the board at 6 that is a midfielder or a defender after giving Chicago Fire F.C. $125,000 in Allocation Money for this pick. The 5-9 155 lb Daniel Pereira is one of the confirmed Generation Adidas signings. Ethan Barltow and Bret Halsey could end up joining this group of three giving the 2021 MLS Super Draft up to five Generation Adidas prospects.
I posted a film cut of Virginia Tech midfielder Daniel Pereira VS Virginia. He's a box-to-box midfielder that can play attacking or defensive midfielder. He took free kicks and corner kicks. He probably has the most kicking power of any prospect in this class. His kicking accuracy and decision making needs to improve. Pereira can be a star if he improves those two areas of his game. If he doesn't improve in these areas he could have a short MLS career because he plays extremely recklessly on tape making Pereira the boom or bust prospect of this draft.
Real Salt Lake drafts the best player on the board. The 6-3 180 lb Nabi Kibunguchy has the best athleticism of any center back in the 2021 MLS Super Draft. His offensive awareness is good as he has the kicking power and kicking accuracy to execute short and medium passes. Kicking accuracy on deep balls along with defensive awareness are two big areas that Kibunguchy needs to improve in, but the upside to be the top center back in this draft is there if he corrects these two areas of his game due to having outstanding athleticism.
I posted a film cut of UC Davis center back Nabi Kibunguchy VS Loyola Marymount. The game film where UC Davis lost their 2019 game to Louisville is on Youtube today. Nabi Kibunguchy held UCSB to a shutout and they have a first round prospect in Rodney Michael. Nabi Kibunguchy had 10 good plays and 5 bad plays versus Loyola Marymount.
Portland traded their starting left back to the Los Angeles Galaxy for this pick. The 5-9 150 lb Bret Halsey can play left wing, right wing, attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, center back, left back, or right back with his versatility. His size will limit him to either a winger, defensive midfielder, or fullback role on the outside at right back since he's more comfortable at right back. Bret Halsey is the final Generation Adidas prospect in this draft which is why he's not getting past 8 on my board since he showed a lot of promise on film.
I posted a film cut of Virginia midfielder Bret Halsey VS Virginia Tech. Brett Halsey can be an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, center back, left back, or right back. He can play anywhere at midfielder or on defense like Philip Mayaka. He's a good passer with great decision making on both ends, but he needs to get stronger. Halsey doesn't have the upside of Daniel Pereira, but I'd argue he's got a better floor making him a safer prospect to draft.
The Whitecaps get a forward at 9. The 6-1 160 lb Kimarni Smith had 13 goals, 5 assists, and 31 points in 2019. He led the NCAA with 8 goals, 3 assists, and 19 points in 2020.
I posted a film cut of Clemson forward Kimarni Smith VS North Carolina. Kimarni Smith had 2 goals versus North Carolina. He had a hat trick against Virginia Tech, but Smith's North Carolina game film was the only game film I could find where Smith dominated on film in 2020.
The 6-1 180 lb Michael DeShields is one of the best center backs in the 2021 MLS Super Draft that nobody is talking about. He's going to be my replacement ot Roman Torres on Inter Miami C.F. as he shows flashes of a young Roman Torres on film.
I posted a film cut of Wake Forest center back Michael DeShields VS Pittsburgh. Edward Kizza struggled against Wake Forest until DeShields left this game injured.
Austin FC goes for need after taking the best player on their board at 1 with their second selection at 11 thanks to trading Kamal Miller to CF Montreal for this pick. Our 2021 MLS Draft Game with an interactive top 60 is updated.
The 6-6 215 lb Aime Mabika is the biggest player in the 2021 MLS Super Draft. He also competed in the 2020 MLS College Invitational Combine. He looked great defending against Louisville in Kentucky's 3-1 win over Louisville. I'd post a film cut of him if I had more free time leading up to Thursday's 2021 MLS Super Draft, but trust me when I say he's a top 15 talent, but not a top ten talent that the media is hyping him up to be.
San Jose has drafted well dating back to 2015 getting value at every pick they make which is why they can ignore need and take the best player on their board. Jackson Yueill is the only starter on their MLS team that they got through the draft and I like Tanner Beason's future with this team. I even put together a 2021 MLS Super Draft Playlist on my Youtube channel. After the mock is done, I'll go back and find highlights for first round prospects outside of my top ten.
I am giving the San Jose Earthquakes a successor to Wondo at 12. The 5-8 150 lb Rodney Michael had 8 goals, 8 assists, and 24 points in 2019. His tape in both 2017 and 2018 was just as promising before he dominated in 2019.
Rodney Michael would have been a first rounder last season if he got a Generation Adidas offer since he was a top 25 player in College Soccer during his junior year. Rodney Michael is an ideal player to groom behind Chris Wondolowski. Rodney Michael played in the 2020 MLS College Invitational Combine.
The New York Red Bulls grab the top left back in the 2021 MLS Super Draft. The 5-10 160 lb Matt Di Rosa played left back at Maryland for the past three seasons. Matt Di Rosa became a full-time starter on Maryland in 2018 playing both left back and left wing when Maryland recorded 13 shutouts and won the 2018 College Cup. Matt Di Rosa helped Maryland record 11 shutouts in 2019 even without Dayne St. Clair at goalie. Matt Di Rosa is versatile enough to play left back and left wing which is why he's my top ranked left back in this class.
I considered giving LAFC Ben Di Rosa, the twin brother of Matt Di Rosa at 14. Ben Di Rosa plays right back on Maryland, and Tristan Blackmon from Pacific, the third pick in the 2018 MLS Super Draft is still the starting right back on LAFC.
Getting a left back to fill the void that Joao Moutinho left after he got traded to Orlando City S.C. may be something for LAFC to consider. The 5-7 150 lb Josh Drack scored 5 goals, 3 assists, and 13 points in 2019 during his only season with the Denver Pioneers. Drack also helped Denver record 6 shutouts and win the Summit League despite posting a losing record in 2019.