How to Be Part of the MLS Draft

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The MLS Draft is the process used by Major League Soccer to draft the best graduating college players, or those who are eligible and capable of playing professional soccer. The event is known as the MLS SuperDraft and includes the MLS College Draft and the MLS Supplemental Draft, which consists of players in the minor leagues or lower professional leagues. The two separate events were combined in 2000. Players looking to enter the MLS SuperDraft must display a high level of ability and physical fitness, worthy of playing elite professional soccer.

Getting Noticed

  • Pursue an active playing career. Players must draw the attention of scouting staff from professional soccer teams. While being proactive in terms of networking can help, performing at a high level will make you successful in the end. College players should ask for their head coaches' assistance. It is important to remember that the draft is a selection process for an elite professional league. You must become known and recommended by a number of sources to gain a draft invitation.

  • Gain entry to the MLS Combine, which is known by those inside the game as the "gateway to the draft" for college players. It is an event held annually, usually in Florida, where the best prospects gather to undergo a battery of physical tests, as well as playing in competitive games in an attempt to catch the eye of scouts and coaches from the MLS. In 2007, the event was sponsored by Adidas and 58 players from NCAA Division I were listed among the initial participants, with a select group added from NCAA Division II as well as NAIA players. Invitations are extended by a voting process conducted by NCAA and MLS coaches.

  • Persevere through the process. Persistence is a significant part of becoming a professional soccer player and gaining entry to the MLS Draft. In an exclusive invitation-only event based on ability. It is possible that talented players will be overlooked. Continue playing at a high level and actively network your name. Professional teams often have open tryouts where you can attract attention. Lower league professional teams in the USL and PDL divisions will grant you access to the supplemental draft if you perform well and become noticed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be persistent and proactive.
  • Do not make excuses. Persevere until you have achieved your goal.

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References

  • Photo Credit Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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