So I was checking in on how the late round (3 & 4) MLS SuperDraft picks fared getting contracts with MLS (or anyone, for that matter) sides. It’s…not good. A total of 2/48 (4.1%) managed to get picked up by MLS teams.
Thirteen others (27%) managed to sign deals with USL (independent or MLS-owned/hybrids) sides, which I suppose isn’t overtly terrible, even though the odds of many of them making to the MLS level aren’t good at all.
One thing to also note: A ludicrous amount of MLS teams/slots passed (21/48, or 44%) on selecting a player at all. I was asked on Twitter whether you should take into account those that passed, and discount that from the calculations. To which I said: No way. If you consider the draft a test of a teams ability to scout and evaluate players who could be valuable to a MLS team, then I’m not giving a break to MLS teams too lazy/cheap to pick players. If you leave an answer blank on a test, you don’t get to discount the question when the teacher runs the score.
And if your response is, “well, there aren’t *any* players worth taking at that point who could make a MLS side,” then the conclusion you should be drawing is that the draft is TOO DAMN LONG! Cut it to two rounds (the NBA learned this lesson 20 years ago), or partner with USL and let them draft the third/fourth rounds*. Either way, the last two rounds of the MLS Super Draft are entirely pointless at this time, and with the increase in academy/homegrown talent, it’s only going to get worse.
*A good point raised to me was that allowing USL sides to draft could further restrict player rights for those who are already on the fringes, and not working under favorable conditions. Fortunately, the USLPA is working on a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the USL, so things like minimum contracts and working conditions will be greatly improved. That said, if you want to argue that the draft should just be cut to two rounds and let USL (or MLS for that matter) sign who they want, you won’t get much of an argument from me.