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Explaining the MLS SuperDraft system

27 Aug 2019, 21:10 IST

2013 MLS SuperDraft Presented By Adidas
2013 MLS SuperDraft Presented By Adidas

In Major League Soccer, a draft system is adopted for player recruitment ahead of every season. The SuperDraft, as it's referred to, was introduced in 1996 and has been in effect ever since.

The concept of a draft, although alien to European leagues, is a major feature of American sports such as Basketball and NFL and the laws that bind the MLS SuperDraft are similar to that of the aforementioned sports.

The MLS SuperDraft is held every year before the commencement of the league season and players who have graduated from college or university are eligible to be part of the same.

The SuperDraft has been adopted to ensure quality between the team and although the format is unknown to European football in particular, it has been instrumental in allowing the relatively weaker teams a better chance to improve their squads.

The annual event is held in January every year and there are a set of rules that constitute the SuperDraft. For the sake of parity, expansion teams automatically get the first pick and should there be two expansion teams, a coin-toss determines which team picks first.

An expansion team is a new team in a sports league from a city that has not hosted a team in that league before, formed with the intention of satisfying the demand for a local team from a population in a new area.

Teams that did not reach the playoff stage from the previous seasons receive the next pick, in reverse order of their season finish. The playoff teams are then awarded their picks, ordered by the round in which they were eliminated last season and the MLS Cup winners get the last pick.

The format comprises of four rounds and 24 teams participated in the 2019 edition of the MLS SuperDraft, as Frankie Amaya was the first-pick by expansion team FC Cincinnati.

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