The flip of a coin and sending FC Cincinnati $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) has led to Inter Miami choosing first and third in the MLS SuperDraft.
Set to start at 12:30 PM today, the SuperDraft has left Inter fans with a lot of questions as to who the club will be taking first overall. The roster thus far has taken great shape, and Paul McDonough has had great success when it comes to roster building through the draft. There are three big names to be discussed that are all worthy of going first overall. Inter will look to get two of the three biggest prospects in college soccer.
The Three Top Prospects:
1. Forward, Daryl Dike – Virginia
Just two days ago, a major mix up in all mock drafts were announced as Daryl Dike signed the Generational adidas contract and then declared for the draft. He shot up all the boards and will leave Paul McDonough with a couple of big decisions this afternoon. As a sophomore, Dike played in 23 games at striker and finished with 10 goals and 8 assists, leading his team in both categories. He burst onto the scene and made himself a top prospect as he displayed great physical and technical ability in ACC play. Dike was also named NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament Most Outstanding Player on the offensive side after leading Virginia to the final, in which he scored but still finished runner-up after penalties. He is extremely dominant on the ball and his hold up play seemed second to none. Dike also excelled in link up play as he showed great strength and even immense speed on the ball at times. He also proved to be a more polished finisher than the previous season.
2. Forward, Robbie Robinson – Clemson
Then there’s the South Carolina native who opened everyone’s eyes and had the best season of any Division I player this year. Robbie Robinson finished his Junior year with 18 goals and 9 assists in just 18 games played. The goal number is tied for first in the country, and the assist number is tied for 10th. Robinson was by far the best striker in the NCAA and took home many awards including the equivalent to a Heisman trophy, the 2019 Hermann Award. Robinson also has experience with Charleston Battery, a USL Championship side. Following his first season with Clemson in 2017, Robinson suffered an injury which left him to sit his entire sophomore year. It proved to be the most minor of setbacks as we can all see what he did the following season. He stands just as tall as Dike at 6’2, but is listed at 170 lbs. Dike on the other hand weighs in at 220 lbs, a huge difference. The style of play differs greatly, as Robinson takes the pacey, prolific approach while Dike excels in hold up play and uses his strength and speed to gain the advantage on any defender.
3. Defender, Jack Maher – Indiana
Enough about goalscoring, should Paul McDonough secure Inter Miami’s back line with the most promising defender in all of college soccer? Jack Maher was the recipient of many awards, just like the two previous names, including All Big Ten First team. The Indiana defense, led by Maher only gave up 16 goals in 22 games. Maher even contributed to points this year as he ended the season with 4 goals and 2 assists, and 3 of those goals were game winners. Maher has also been looked at greatly as a national team talent, as he’s been called up to he U-18’s and U-23’s this early in his young career. The proven 20 year old looks to be a top 3 pick and will push to be a starter early in his MLS career.
And with the number one pick…
Paul McDonough should take Jack Maher. Their defensive signings so far have been solid, but when MLS defenses run thin, it’s hard to compete. Maher, under the guidance of Roman Torres or even talent alone could develop into a premier center back. Defenders from the SuperDraft are known to pan out much better than attackers do.
And unless Inter are extremely in love with either Robinson or Dike, Maher at number one makes the most sense. Let Nashville choose their striker at number two, that’s okay. The fact that both players are comparable enough to argue shows why taking Maher at number one seems most logical. There are plenty of center backs but none come close to Maher. Of all defenders even, Maher is the clear cut first choice and it’d be a shock to see any defender go before him. If Inter weren’t to have the 3rd pick, maybe taking one of these high profile strikers would be the logical choice. But they do have it, and this 3rd pick gives them an automatic bid at one of the two.
Now with the third pick, who do Inter want more, Robinson or Dike? In an ideal scenario, Inter ends up with Maher at number one and Dike at number three. Dike’s style of play is extremely appealing, and his physical presence exceeds any of the three forwards’ on the roster right now. When it comes to overall prospects, Dike is first on the board, Robinson is second, and Maher is third.
If Inter take Maher first, they could secure the top defender along with a top forward instead of risking losing Maher to Nashville with the second pick.
Walking out of this draft with Maher and Dike or Robinson would boost this roster in terms of depth and young talent with many more moves still up Paul McDonough’s sleeve.