MLS SuperDraft: Strikers in demand as Cyle Larin goes #1

Published Friday, January 16, 2015 3:49 AM by Shane Barrow

For the first time in MLS history strikers went with the top three picks in the MLS Superdraft on Thursday.  UConn forward Cyle Larin went first overall to expansion Orlando City.  The Canadian international is currently in Jamaica with the Canada U20s attempting to qualify for the U20 World Cup.

Orlando City had offers from the Canadian based MLS squads for Larin, but opted to take the pick.  "We were quite keen on keeping him,” OCSC head coach Adrian Heath said. “Goalscorers, if he can translate what he's been doing in college into the pros, they generally go for a lot of money and become very, very valuable. We liked him, we've got him and I'm just looking forward to working with him ... He was certainly at the top of our list from the beginning.”

New York FC took Khiry Shelton of Oregon State with the #2 pick.  The 6'3 Texan had a monster year posting 10 goals and 12 assists.  Shelton is considered the most "MLS ready" striker available in this year's draft.  “We actually got offered quite a bit of allocation money to sell that pick, so we had to consider it,” NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis told reporters. “The guy on the board for us was our top guy, but at some point you have to consider allocation money, too, when you’re trying to build a team from scratch.”

With the #3 pick the Montreal Impact grabbed Central Florida's Romario Williams.  “He’s got all the capabilities and the tools and the talent to really be an impactful player in this league for years to come,” head coach Frank Klopas said in a conference call after the SuperDraft.

Both Larin and Williams are members of the Generation adidas class, meaning neither player’s salary will affect their respective team’s budget until they graduate from the program.