Ahead of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas on Tuesday, January 11th, the Colorado Rapids have their sights set on expanding an already impressive and deep squad, especially when looking at the two first-round picks they hold.
In all, the Rapids hold five picks, including two first-round selections, one thanks to Colorado’s trade with LAFC last summer for midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye. The No. 10 and No. 23 picks in the first round will help in expounding on the talent already on the Rapids’ roster ahead of the 2022 season and because of Colorado’s existing depth, this year’s SuperDraft selections will allow the Rapids to be intentional when they look at potential picks.
The club’s ability to develop and play young talent provides a number of possibilities for this year’s SuperDraft picks and it should provide an entertaining day. As exemplified by the front office’s picks in recent years, the club isn’t afraid to trade up and select a player with potential at any position. Philip Makaya and Andre Shinyashiki are two examples of finding talent that can pay off in dividends down the road.
Mayaka, a Clemson graduate and Generation adidas player, was selected 3rd overall in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft and went on to find success with Colorado Switchbacks, the Rapids’ USL Championship affiliate team. The Rapids traded up to select the highly-touted prospect who enters his second season in 2022 as an asset in the Rapids’ current and future midfield plans.
A University of Denver product, Shinyashiki hit the ground running at Colorado traded up to grab him 5th overall in the 2019 rendition of the SuperDraft. The versatile forward collected seven goals and three assists across 31 appearances in his first year with the club. His performance that season earned him the 2019 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year honor.
Other notable SuperDraft picks currently on Colorado’s roster include Jonathan Lewis (No. 3 by NYCFC in 2017), Lalas Abubakar (No. 5 by Columbus in 2017), Keegan Rosenberry (No. 3 by Philadelphia in 2016) and Collen Warner (No. 15 by Real Salt Lake in 2010). Even with the exponential growth of club Academies and Homegrown contracts, quality is still available in the MLS SuperDraft, especially in the first round.
Where will the Rapids look to add some additional depth on Draft Day? Tune in at 1 PM MT on Tuesday to find out. Fans can stream the first round on MLSoccer.com and the MLS app, youtube.com/MLS, twitter.com/MLS, facebook.com/MLS and follow the second and third round picks on the official Draft Tracker by MLS. A full list of eligible players to be drafted can be found here.