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PREVIEW: Inter Miami to Participate in its First Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Thursday

Inter Miami holds first, third overall and 79th overall picks;
Fans can watch live on ESPN App and social channels

Inter Miami will continue fortifying its roster ahead of its historic inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season on Thursday, January 9, by participating in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas. The MLS SuperDraft, set for 12:30 p.m. ET, will be Inter Miami’s first-ever participation in the event that includes the nation’s best collegiate players. 

In anticipation of the event, we take a look at what Inter Miami fans should expect from their first SuperDraft.

Witness History 

First round coverage of the draft will be streamed live on the ESPN app, as well as through ESPN social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The broadcast will feature real-time look-ins on club draft rooms and draftee reactions, as well as analysis from Taylor Twellman, Adrian Healey, Matt Doyle and special guests.

How it Works

The SuperDraft is an annual event in which MLS clubs select from a pool of eligible collegiate players and receive the rights to the drafted players. Once a club selects a player, they may negotiate with that player to sign them to the team’s MLS roster. Teams maintain the College Protected List rights to unsigned draftees until December 31 of the following year. The list of eligible players can be found here.

The draft consists of four rounds of 26 picks each, with the first two rounds taking place on January 9 and the last two rounds taking place via conference call on January 13. Each club initially receives one natural selection in each round, though these selections may be included in trades. 

Through the 2020 Expansion Priority Draft Inter Miami received the first pick in each round of the SuperDraft, ahead of fellow expansion club Nashville SC. The remaining draft order is determined by the previous season’s end-of-season point totals.

Teams are given three minutes to make a selection during their draft slot; they are also permitted one timeout of three minutes following which a selection must be made. 

Our Picks

The Club controls the first- and third-overall picks in the draft (the first being a natural selection while the third came in a transaction with FC Cincinnati) and its natural fourth-round selection (No. 79 overall).

The team also traded its second-round pick to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for the rights to goalkeeper Drake Callender, who later signed for the team, and its third-round pick to FC Cincinnati in a larger transaction that netted Inter Miami midfielder Victor Ulloa. 

Success Stories 

Many successful MLS careers have been born through the SuperDraft since its inception in 2000. Legendary league players such as Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Nick Rimando began their careers as SuperDraft picks. These players alone combined for over 800 MLS appearances, three MLS Cup titles, three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles and 10 All-Star appearances.

SuperDraft success stories aren’t exclusive to the past, either, as talented players continue to come through the system. One notable example is former New York City FC draftee Jack Harrison, who was selected in the 2016 edition of the draft. He went on to make 55 appearances in two seasons for the club before being transferred to Manchester City of the English Premier League.

Inter Miami Sporting Director Paul McDonough has also had MLS SuperDraft success with previous MLS expansion sides, landing several contributing players for Orlando City SC and Atlanta United. With Orlando, McDonough selected Cyle Larin first overall in the 2015 SuperDraft. Larin went on to win the MLS Rookie of the Year award and break the record for most goals in a season by a rookie. In Atlanta, McDonough selected Julian Gressel and Miles Robinson in the 2017 SuperDraft, both of whom helped the team win the 2018 MLS Cup in only the franchise’s second year of existence. Gressel also won 2017 Rookie of the Year honors.