On Friday, January 18th, 2018, Jason Kreis will enter an elaborately decorated hotel ballroom in Philadelphia at 11:00am. He'll sit down at a linen-draped table alongside his coaching staff, general manager Niki Budalić, and CEO Alex Leitão. They'll patiently wait as five names are called before making their own pick. There's not much stock placed in the sixth pick of the MLS SuperDraft. The SuperDraft itself is generally regarded as having few ramifications on a team's future. Reviewing MLS history, however, may change that opinion.
In 2006, the sixth pick in the MLS SuperDraft was a 19-year-old redheaded kid from Winter Park, Florida, named Dax McCarty. He would go on to have one of the most successful careers in MLS history. It's worth mentioning the name called just one spot before McCarty's that year, as it was a familiar one that also led to an illustrious career: Sacha Kljestan.
Other notable sixth picks include Rodney Wallace in 2009 and Alex Bono in 2015, who both led their teams to MLS Cup championship wins. Wallace scored the game-winning goal for Portland in the 2015 MLS Cup while Bono kept a clean sheet for Toronto in their 2017 MLS Cup victory over Seattle.
"With the sixth pick you're going to find a talented player," said Orlando City Assistant Coach CJ Brown, "Now it's just to determine where we think that pick fits in our line up." What will be made of our sixth pick? Only time will tell. But history shows, the sixth pick in the MLS SuperDraft is nothing to make light of.