The PDL had a historic showing at the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, with 66 alums selected, comprising over 81 percent of all selections. After three of the top five selected were PDL alums, the run continued with another three being taken from picks six through ten as well.
Joining Tristan Blackmon, Francis Atuahene and Jon Bakero, two of the following three picks played together as college and PDL teammates, but now travel to differing pro homes. Taken with the No. 6 and No. 9 picks respectively, Chris Mueller and Mark Segbers both featured for Wisconsin and Chicago FC United during their pre-professional careers. Joining them as the No. 10 pick was Syracuse and Reading United midfielder, and Generation Adidas talent, Mo Adams.
All three travel to relatively spread out destinations. Former teammates Mueller and Segbers travel to different ends of the eastern seaboard, with the former going to Orlando City SC and the latter to the New England Revolution. Adams travels further west, joining Bakero at the Chicago Fire.
Here’s a look back at the three PDL selections in picks six through ten, and how each team acquired their target.
The first PDL alum not selected in a pick involving a trade, the NCAA DI assists leader fell into the laps of Orlando City SC, and the Purple Lions pounced on the opportunity. Mueller makes sense for a team seeking their first playoff appearance in their fourth season in MLS, as his ability to link up with fellow attackers has proven effective at the highest collegiate level. Mueller also continues the run of forward selections started by Atuahene and Bakero, becoming the third straight attacker coming off the board among PDL alums.
This run of selections was clearly very kind to Wisconsin soccer and Chicago FC United, as Segbers became the second straight PDL selection from each team, joining Mueller before him. He was also the fourth straight forward off the board for PDL alums. Similar to Blackmon, Segbers became the second first-round pick for his new club, as the Revolution picked defender Brandon Bye one pick prior.
Joining MAC Hermann Trophy winner Jon Bakero with the Chicago Fire, Mo Adams became the tenth player off the board in the draft and the sixth PDL alum taken. The Reading United and Syracuse alum opted to join the professional ranks early, signing a Generation Adidas deal and declaring for the draft. The Fire clearly knew they wanted his playmaking abilities, making their second trade-up of the first round, sending $85,000 in general allocation money to Real Salt Lake for the right to select Adams.