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MLS mock draft 2018: Tomas Hilliard-Arce goes as top pick

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Our group opted to continue recent MLS draft trends.

MLS: Combine Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 MLS SuperDraft is on Friday, and with that comes SB Nation’s annual tradition of bringing bloggers together from all of our MLS blogs and holding a mock draft to get ready for the real thing.

In terms of trends this year among our team experts, the prevailing ideas in recent years of taking Generation Adidas (underclassmen) players high and mostly going for defenders otherwise continued.

Round 1

  1. LAFC — Tomas Hilliard-Arce, D (Stanford): By combining the most MLS-ready talent with roster considerations like preferring American players because they won’t take up international slots, the big center back from Stanford was the obvious choice. He would be depth for the expansion team but would likely still see some playing time in 2018. ~ Alicia Rodriguez, Angels on Parade

2. LA Galaxy — Mason Toye, F (Indiana): The talented 6’3 Generation Adidas signing gives the Galaxy a different look up top and doesn’t take up an international slot. ~ Mike Gray, LAG Confidential

3. D.C. United — Chris Mueller, F/M (Wisconsin): Mueller’s actual best position for United is a bit unclear (on the wing, or maybe even as a Luciano Acosta stand-in?), but the shifty, agile Wisconsin assist machine has the chops to immediately contend for a regular role in the game day 18. ~ Jason Anderson, Black and Red United

4. Montreal Impact — Francis Atuahene, F/W (Michigan): A player that surpassed expectations in the combine, the winger has impressive speed and scoring ability; he is capable of playing in the MLS this season. ~ Emily Santella, Mount Royal Soccer

5. Minnesota United — Jon Bakero, F (Wake Forest): Bakero is originally from Spain, where his father spent almost a decade with FC Barcelona. The MAC Hermann Trophy winner this year can play as a forward but also a little further back as a No. 10. Adrian Heath also has a positive track record of developing young forwards, including Cyle Larin and Abu Danladi. ~ Eli Hoff, E Pluribus Loonum

6. Orlando City — Wyatt Omsberg, D (Dartmouth): Omsberg is a defender with good size and is probably as safe a pick as any of the other top defenders given the unpredictability of the MLS SuperDraft at forecasting player careers. He would fill a position of need for the Lions, with an opportunity to learn from a veteran like Jonathan Spector and grow into a starting role over time. ~ Michael Citro, The Mane Land

7. Montreal Impact — Tristan Blackmon, D (Pacific): The Impact is currently lacking depth at the right back position and Blackmon could be a great option to fill this gap; his knack for scoring and creating offensive opportunities could become an interesting asset. ~ Mount Royal Soccer

8. New England Revolution — Joao Moutinho, D/M (Akron): There are questions on which position suits Moutinho best at the MLS level, but this is a Revs team that needs depth across the back line and at holding midfielder, and a player of Moutinho’s caliber who can create from defense or midfield means he could see decent minutes as a rookie. ~ Jake Catanese, The Bent Musket

9. New England Revolution – Ema Twumasi, W (Wake Forest): The Revs have had success with guys like Kelyn Rowe, Teal Bunbury, and even Juan Agudelo playing out wide, but Twumasi is an true winger. And while he doesn’t fit a need, it’s hard to pass up a top five prospect like this and Twumasi would be another creative piece in an already solid attacking group. ~ The Bent Musket

10. Real Salt Lake — Mohamed Thiaw, F (Louisville): Mohamed Thiaw brings depth to RSL’s forward line after a college career at Louisville, where he successfully paired with RSL academy graduate Tate Schmitt. ~ Matt Montgomery, RSL Soapbox

11. FC Dallas — Eddie Opoku, M (Virginia): With a Generation Adidas pick like Opoku still on the board, FCD takes the best available player to help boost their roster. ~ Drew Epperley, Big D Soccer

12. San Jose Earthquakes — Drew Skundrich, M (Stanford): Back in the day, the Quakes collected this kind of central midfielder by the bushel, but the ranks have thinned out a bit, and the national champion who went to school just up the road could help in the center of the park.

13. Sporting KC — Rafael Andrade Santos, M (VCU): Sporting Kansas City need some new attacking blood with Latif Blessing and Benny Feilhaber headed to LAFC, so a flexible midfielder who can play the attacking midfielder or as a winger is a welcome addition. ~ Ben Gartland, The Blue Testament

14. Atlanta United — Tim Kubel, D (Louisville): The German will help fill a gap on the right side of Atlanta United’s new USL team’s back line. ~ Rob Usry, Dirty South Soccer

15. Chicago Fire — Ken Krolicki, M (Michigan State): A box-to-box midfielder with high energy and high upside, Krolicki could learn a lot under Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty. ~ Ruben Tisch, Hot Time in Old Town

16. New York Red Bulls — Brian White, F (Duke): White was the free-scoring standout of RBNY’s 2017 PDL side, and that surely makes him ideally qualified to turn pro with the Red Bulls. ~ Austin Fido, Once a Metro

MLS: Combine Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

17. Vancouver Whitecaps — Mo Adams, M (Syracuse): I admittedly made this pick forgetting that Mo Adams was an international player, but despite that fact, he would still represent a tremendous value for the ‘Caps. Carl Robinson has never met a defensive midfielder he doesn’t like and Adams is the most talented one in this draft. ~ Andrew Bahl, Eighty Six Forever

18. Sporting KC — Christopher Lema, M (Georgetown): Sporting KC is starting to become thin in the midfielder department. Lema, who can slot into a box-to-box or defensive midfielder role, would bolster the depth in that area. ~ The Blue Testament

19. New York City FC — Alan Winn, F/W (UNC): With NYCFC adding a few defenders in the offseason already, we went into the mock draft with a focus on the offensive side. Winn should be able to provide some much-needed depth and versatility as a forward or winger for Patrick Vieira, potentially opening up an offense that fell flat toward the end of last season. ~ Ben Schleider, Hudson River Blue

20. Houston Dynamo — Ben Lundgaard, GK (VA Tech): The Dynamo currently only have one goalkeeper on their roster and while a rookie goalkeeper would likely spend a lot of time down with the Dynamo’s USL team, it would help fill up a pretty empty position for the team. ~ Alicia Tolar, Dynamo Theory

21. Columbus Crew SC — Jon Gallagher, F (Notre Dame): Gallagher was the best player available at pick 21 and could be a future replacement for Justin Meram if/when he departs as a forward/winger who likes to create on the dribble. ~ Pat Murphy, Massive Report

22. Seattle Sounders — Alex Roldan, M (Seattle): With the Seattle Sounders drafting low and pushing for a third straight appearance in MLS Cup, their draft will be focused on the distant future. In this case they get someone who has already practiced with them and who is comfortable in the area. He probably plays for the Sounders’ USL team down in Tacoma. ~ Dave Clark, Sounder at Heart

23. Toronto FC — Oliver Shannon, M (Clemson): This Clemson midfielder is a defensive stalwart with a penchant for toughness. He could have a future as an apprentice to Michael Bradley. ~ Charlie Clarke, Waking the Red

Round 2

24. LAFC — Justin Fiddes, D (Washington)

25. Colorado Rapids — Daniel Musovski, F (UNLV)

26. Vancouver Whitecaps — Gordon Wild, F (Maryland)

27. Colorado Rapids — Manuel Cordeiro, M (Akron)

28. Minnesota United — Brandon Bye, F/D (Western Michigan)

29. FC Dallas — Mauro Cichero, M (SMU)

30. San Jose Earthquakes — Ricky Lopez-Espin, F/M (Creighton)

31. New York Red Bulls — Markus Fjortoft, D (Duke)

32. Columbus Crew SC — Frantzdy Pierrot, F (Coastal Carolina)

33. Real Salt Lake — Jeff Caldwell, GK (Virginia)

34. FC Dallas — Cory Brown, D (Xavier)

35. San Jose Earthquakes — Jose Carrera-Garcia, M (Cal)

36. Atlanta United — Diego Campos, F (Clemson)

37. Atlanta United — Carter Manley, D (Duke)

38. Chicago Fire — Marcelo Acuna, F (VA Tech)

39. New York Red Bulls — Afonso Pinheiro, F (Albany)

40. LA Galaxy — Eric Dick, GK (Butler)

41. Minnesota United — Mark Segbers, D/F (Wisconsin)

42. NYCFC — Arthur Bosua, F (Columbia)

43. Houston Dynamo — Ben White, D (Gonzaga)

44. Columbus Crew SC — Stuart Holthusen, F (Akron)

45. Seattle Sounders — Paul Christensen, GK (Portland)

46. Toronto FC — Albert Ruiz, F (FGCU)