Clemson midfielder Philip Mayaka was speculated to be the consensus No. 1 selection on the 2021 MLS SuperDraft offered by adidas. It wasn’t even speculated to be a lot of a dialogue.
All of the mock drafts had him going with the top spot. All of the evaluation steered there wasn’t a lot of a dialogue. Matt Doyle referred to as Mayaka the “clearest No. 1 alternative since Cyle Larin” in 2015. However it did not flip out so simple. There could be a giant shock on the top of the draft.
In the meantime, the Colorado Rapids had already traded as much as purchase the No. 6 selection and have been trying to move into the top three. They finally landed on a commerce to accumulate the No. 3 total selection from Houston Dynamo FC (in change for $200,000 Normal Allocation Cash). Like the remainder of us, they did not expect Mayaka to be accessible. He was atop their draft board, however they seen the player pool with a transparent top three then a drop-off.
By the time Rapids have been on the clock, Mayaka was nonetheless accessible for selection. It wasn’t a hard alternative.
He was projected because the top decide in nearly each mock draft out there…
We received him at 3 😉 pic.twitter.com/2myxFISKWU
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) January 22, 2021
“The best way we appeared on the draft this year, there have been three excellent candidates,” Rapids EVP & GM Padraig Smith informed MLSsoccer. “Three top players who separated themselves from the remainder of the pack. While you take a look at the talent accessible on the top end of this draft, it was actually vital for us to get in there and purchase a kind of players. To get Philip within the end is absolutely fantastic.”
Mayaka, 21, was born in Kenya and got here to the United States on the Montverde Academy in Florida, the identical college Rapids forward and 2019 Rookie of the Yr winner Andre Shinyashiki starred at. He’s best as a defensive midfielder or in a box-to-box position, and the indefatigable but technical midfielder has drawn comparisons to “Dax McCarty with pace” in addition to Latif Blessing and Darlington Nagbe.
“He’s a very tenacious player,” Smith mentioned. He used the phrase tenacious quite a lot of occasions to explain Mayaka in the course of the dialog. “Technically gifted, a great passer of the ball, with good consciousness. You then add that tenacity and need, he’s a very well-rounded player. We really feel with our dedication to bringing by means of young players, he has the power to thrive by means of this league within the long-term.”
Watch: Philip Mayaka reacts to being drafted by the Colorado Rapids
Mayaka signed a Era adidas contract, which comes with various roster-related advantages. He hits the roster as a supplemental player and his price range cost would not rely against the wage cap. The GA contracts are sometimes longer than different rookie offers whereas his standing as GA means he is exempt from enlargement drafts, a bonus worth with three new teams coming into the league between 2022-23.
“The flexibility to lock down one of many top young skills within the country on a four-year deal the place he can’t be chosen in enlargement drafts and doesn’t hit your cap is very large,” Smith mentioned.
Mayaka is proof optimistic to Smith that there is nonetheless loads of worth to be discovered within the SuperDraft, regardless of it is smaller affect as enormous investments are made in burgeoning academies throughout the league, together with in Colorado, who’ve produced players within the US nationwide team like Cole Bassett and Sam Vines in latest years.
“Academies don’t cowl each inch of the United States. Particularly for a few of these international children making the most of the collegiate system within the US, and understanding it’s nonetheless a platform to develop as a professional,” Smith mentioned. “We nonetheless see the draft as a high quality mechanism so as to add good talent. I’d like to have a team full of homegrowns, our academy guys are doing a fantastic job of offering a conveyer belt of talent, but it surely’s hard to supply a Cole Bassett or Sam Vines each single year.”