2016 MLS Draft Forward Rankings
Posted By: Chris Ransom
These will be our initial rankings for the forwards in the 2016 MLS Draft. These rankings will be adjusted as the season progresses.
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Last Updated: January 8, 2015 Following Our monthly 2016 MLS Draft
Ben Polk, F, Syracuse Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-9 175 lb Ben Polk is now the top forward prospect in 2016 thanks to both Fabian Herbers and Abu Danladi turning down Generation Adidas deals to play pro overseas. Polk had 12 goals, 4 assists, and 28 points in 2015. With only one year of College experience, there are going to be teams that have questions about Ben Polk. Despite this, he's the top forward in the 2016 MLS Super Draft.
- Ben Polk grew up in Saudi Arabia. He played at Community College for two seasons. In 2015, he enrolled in Syracuse for the Spring semester. Polk will play with Syracuse's soccer team in the Fall of 2015. Polk needs a big season to garner MLS exposure.
Michael Gamble, F, Wake Forest Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-7 150 lb Michael Gamble is slightly undersized. Wake Forest forward Michael Gamble is considered a secondary striker, but he does have the versatility to play wide midfielder on the wing at either left wing or right wing. Gamble is classified as a forward/midfielder so he could probably play attacking midfielder as well with his versatility.
- Gamble started 13 games this season with no injuries or setbacks. Gamble had posted 6 goals, 1 assist, and 13 points as a senior in those first 13 games. Gamble had an assist in his fourteenth game, but suffered a season ending injury in that game. If teams can look past Gamble's durability concerns then he will be off the board very early because some MLS teams do think he could be a top 5 talent.
- Durability is a huge concern with Michael Gamble. Gamble may be the fourth striker drafted if teams look past the fact he had season ending injuries in back-to-back seasons.
- Gamble started a career high 19 games and he posted 8 goals, 4 assists, and 20 points as a true freshman in 2012. Its hard to believe that he was in the conversation with Indiana forward Eriq Zavaleta, North Carolina midfielder Rob Lovejoy, and Louisville defender Andrew Ferrell to be a top 5 pick for the 2013 MLS Super Draft heading into the preseason because his freshman season was so promising.
- There was some speculation about Gamble possibly being a Generation Adidas player as a sophomore in the preseason leading up to the 2013 MLS Super Draft, but he only posted 4 goals, 4 assists, and 12 points as a sophomore with only seven starts in 2013 because he got injured twice in 2013.
- In 2014, Gamble started 14 games and he went back to having another strong season with 6 goals, 10 assists, and 22 points before missing the final 3 games of the season. Gamble had an awesome junior season and was 3 spots shy of receiving a Generation Adidas. If Gamble plays those 3 games he may have gone pro for the 2015 MLS Super Draft.
- Kyle Parker, F, Charlotte Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-10 155 lb Kyle Parker was one of the best strikers in the nation this season with the Charlotte 49ers. In 2015, Parker has 12 goals, 3 assists, and 27 points in 2015. Parker struggled against Wake Forest's freshman defenders in the 2015 College Cup in the Round of 32, but did well in every other game.
- Kyle Parker had 11 goals as a sophomore in 2013. Parker had 9 goals, 7 assists, and 25 points in 2014.
- Michael Salazar, F, U.C. Riverside Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-11 165 lb Michael Salazar had 6 goals, 3 assists, and 15 points in 2015 after losing 2015 first round pick Otis Earle. Some have Salazar as a first round prospect, but he has the production of a second round pick.
- Michael Salazar had 25 goals as a senior in high school in 2010 before committing to Cal Baptist in 2011. Salazar made an immediate impression at Cal Baptist with 15 goals in 2011 as a true freshman.
- Salazar's best season came in 2012 when he had 14 goals, 8 assists, and 36 points at Cal Baptist as a true sophomore. He got redshirted in 2013 after transferring to U.C. Riverside to play for the California Riverside Highlanders.
- Salazar had to adjust at California Riverside. Salazar only had 6 goals, 1 assist, and 13 points at U.C. Riverside in 2014. He needs a strong 2015 season this upcoming season to redeem his draft stock as an early second round pick.
- Cadowuona Nortey, F, Marquette Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-8 145 lb Cadowuona Nortey is now a second round pick because he only has 4 goals, 3 assists, and 11 points in 2015. Having a poor senior season cost Nortey a spot in the first round.
- Cadowuona Nortey started in 15 of Marquette's 19 games as a true freshman. He made the transition from midfielder to forward 7 games into his freshman season. Nortey finished with 9 goals as a true freshman.
- Nortey got redshirted in 2012 due to a season ending injury. Cadowuona Nortey can play left forward, center forward, right forward, left wing, central midfielder, attacking midfielder, or right wing. Nortey is a complete forward/midfielder with two 10 goal seasons in 2013 and 2014 as Marquette's striker can line up at forward or midfield with his versatility.
- T.J. Casner, F, Clemson Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-11 175 lb T.J. Casner had 10 goals, 4 assists, and 24 points in 2015. Casner led the Tigers in goals, points, shots, and game-winning goals. Six of Casner's 10 goals in 2015 were game-winning goals that put Clemson over the top.
- T.J. Casner had 3 goals, 2 assists, and 8 points in 2013. Canser had 3 goals, 6 assists, and 12 points in 2014. Casner looks like a third to fourth round pick heading into 2015. A strong senior season could boost his stock as Casner has the versatility to play striker, secondary striker, and
- Femi Hollinger-Janzen, F, Indiana Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 6-0 174 lb Femi Hollinger-Janzen had 8 goals, 5 assists, and 21 points in 2015. There's a chance Femi Hollinger-Janzen cracks the late second round with a strong MLS Combine.
- Femi Hollinger-Janzen only started 4 games as a freshman, but appeared as a sub in the teams other 20 games as a freshman playing in all 24 games as a true freshman in 2012. A year later Femi Hollinger-Janzen was tied for the team lead in goals with 5 goals as a sophomore in 2013.
- Femi Hollinger-Janzen was limited to 5 goals, 2 assists, and 12 points in 2014. Femi Hollinger-Janzen lined up at left wing and picked apart Nick Besler and Joshua Yaro on tape.
- Hadji Barry, F, Central Florida Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-11 160 lb Hadji Barry had 11 goals, 3 assists, and 25 points in his only season as Central Florida's primary striker in 2015. Barry played well enough to receive an invite to the 2016 MLS Combine.
- Hadji Barry was born in Conakry, Guinea. His family moved to Olympia where he played for the Greece Cobras in High School.
- Barry played at Monroe Community College for two seasons after moving from Olympia to North America in the United States. After winning Championship MVP and Region II Player of the year at Monroe Community College, in 2012, he transferred to Central Florida in 2013, where he had to take a redshirt his first season.
- Barry finally got a chance to play for Central Florida in 2014. He lined up as a left winger, right winger, and secondary striker to 2015 Generation Adidas player Romario Williams. Barry only had 1 goal in 2014, but will become the teams primary striker and #1 forward on the roster with Williams heading to the Montreal Impact in the 2015 MLS Super Draft with the third overall pick. Barry needs a huge season in 2015 if he wants to get drafted.
- Nico Brett, F, Robert Morris Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-8 165 lb Nico Brett is considered undersized by some scouts in the MLS community.
- Brett had 12 goals, 5 assists, and 29 points in 2015. Outside of a 4 goal game against Cleveland State, Brett really didn't do much. Brett was once considered a top 5 prospect back in the preseason, but now Brett looks like he will slip to the late second round because he's played poorly down the stretch.
- I think Nico Brett has first round talent. No MLS Scouts have him in their top 50, so there is a chance Brett could slip to the third round. I think someone will end up drafting Nico Brett in the first two rounds because he is too consistent and has too much upside. Brett has accepted an invite to the 2016 MLS Combine so he will have a chance to boost his draft stock there as well.
- Robert Morris forward Nico Brett had 10 shots on goal as a freshman, but did not do much in 2012. In 2013, he had 14 goals, 8 assists, 36 points in his sophomore season. Last season Brett led the nation with 15 goals and also posted 3 assists along with 33 points.
- Jamie Luchini, F, Lehigh Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 6-2 170 lb Jamie Luchini has excellent size for a forward. Luchini had 10 goals, 9 assists, and 29 points in 2015.
- Luchini may be a small school player, but his potential is through the roof. You can make a case for him being the fourth best forward after Ben Polk, Michael Gamble, and Kyle Parker. Polk only has one year of experience, Gamble cannot stay healthy, and Charlotte's schedule isn't too difficult.
- Luchini has a chance to show his skills at the 2016 MLS Combine. It would not surprise me if Luchini skyrocketed into the first round like Matt Polster did. We're gonna see a lot of strange things happen at forward in 2016.
- Jamie Luchini grew up in Wexford, PA. He attended North Allegheny Senior High School where he was named team captain during his senior season where he led the Tigers in goals and assists. Luchini played striker, secondary striker, left wing, and right wing at Lehigh from 2012-2014. Luchini enters his senior season needing a big year to get recognition from MLS scouts.
- Larry Ndjock, F, UCLA Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-11 175 lb Larry Ndjock has added 2 inches and 3 lbs of muscle since arriving at UCLA in 2014 after being 5-9 172 lbs at Loyola Maryland. Ndjock has the versatility to play secondary striker, left wing, or right wing in the MLS. Ndjock's versatility is what makes him a draftable prospect.
- Larry Ndjock played with Reading United in the PDL and also played for Hertha Berlin Academy in Germany before coming to America to play for Loyola Maryland in the United States.
- Ndjock had an instant impact for Loyola Maryland with 13 goals as a true freshman in 2012 before having 12 goals in 2013.
- Ndjock tranferred to UCLA after 2 seasons with a lot of strengths on tape. At Loyola Maryland he was a quality finisher who had 2 game-winning goals as a freshman and 5 game-winning goals as a sophomore.
- Ndjock also has excellent ball control and is good with the ball at feed when dribbling. Ndjock has excellent shooting power and shooting accuracy. His awareness with passing the ball and ability to react quickly is terrible and that's the biggest reason he's a second round pick instead of a first round prospect.
- Ndjock only had 7 goals in 2014. Sure he was second on the team in goals in his first season at UCLA, but Ndjock failed to generate an assist. Ndjock needs a big senior season to redeem him MLS Draft Stock.
- Ivan Militar, F, Old Dominion Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 6-2 170 lb Ivan Militar came back from an injury in 2014 after being redshirted the previous season hoping to end his College Career with a bang. Militar only had 3 goals, 7 assists, and 13 points in 2015.
- Ivan Militar has the versatility to play primary striker, secondary striker, left wing, right wing, attacking midfielder, or central midfielder where he can take kickoffs at the beginning of a half makes him an asset. Militar had 4 goals, 9 assists, and 17 points in 2013 before being redshirted in 2014 after winning Conference USA Player of the Year at Old Dominion as a junior. Militar needs a strong 2015 season if he wants to get drafted since he hardly did anything in 2011 and 2012 prior to his breakout 2013 junior season at Old Dominion.
- Thomas Sanner, F, Princeton Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 6-4 195 lb Thomas Sanner is the top Ivy League player in the 2016 MLS Super Draft. Sanner improved his point total in each season with the Princeton Tigers.
- Sanner finally showed scouts he can be an elite striker in 2015. Sanner had 13 goals, 5 assists, and 31 points in 2015. Sanner led the Ivy League in goals and assists as a senior.
- Sanner finished his Princeton career with 32 goals, 13 of which were game-winning goals, and 15 assists, for 79 points in 64 games. Sanner ranks third in scoring all-time at Princeton, ahead of former assistant coach and 1996 MLS Head Coach of the Year Jesse Marsch and current Montreal Impact player Cameron Porter who finished with 75 points apiece. Sanner is fourth all-time in goals and tied for fifth in assists.
- Sanner improved his point total and GPA in each season at Princeton after posting a 3.9 GPA as a senior. As a result, he got invited to the 2016 MLS Combine.
- Before 2015 Thomas Sanner had 45 goals in 38 games during his final 2 years of high school at North Central High School. Sanner carried a 4.0 GPA in high school and was a 3 time All Academic athlete in the state of Indiana. That's what led to him being accepted into Princeton after getting a perfect score of 2,400 on his SAT's.
- Sanner made an immediate impact at Princeton with 4 goals, 6 assists, and 14 points in 2012. Sanner won Ivy League freshman of the year in his first season on campus while carrying a 3.6 GPA at Princeton.
- Sanner had 7 goals, 1 assist, and 15 points along with a 3.7 GPA in 2013. His junior season involved him getting 8 goals, 3 assists, and 19 points along with a 3.8 GPA in 2014. Sanner needs to prove he can get 10 goals or more during his senior season if he wants to get drafted.
- Faik Hajderovic, F, Saint Louis Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 5-8 145 lb Faik Hajderovic had 1 goal, 1 assist, and 3 points in 2015. Hajderovic has the versatility to play secondary striker, left wing, or right wing. He is also an excellent defender as he does well stopping opposing outside backs from making plays on offense. Hajderovic intercepted 7 passes that defenders tried to pass when using his feet to negate a pass.
- Faik Hajderovic spent 3 seasons at Evansville before transferring to Saint Louis. It will be interesting to see what Hajderovic can do with the Billikens in 2015.
- Colin Phillips, F, Duquesne Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team
- 2015 Season Recap The 6-1 175 lb Colin Phillips had 13 goals, 5 assists, and 31 points in 2015. Phillips could be a late third round option ready to play right away with 5 years of College experience.
- Colin Phillips got injured as a senior in 2014 and got redshirted last season. He has one more year to convince MLS scouts to draft him.
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