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How to Watch: 2021 MLS SuperDraft

What you need to know to follow along as the next batch of MLS rookies enters the league.

SOCCER: JAN 11 MLS SuperDraft Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2021 MLS SuperDraft is set to take place Thursday as the league’s franchises select from more than 100 college soccer players in the three-round draft. The MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew has three draft picks, the final selection in Round One, a late second-round pick and an early selection in the third round.

Columbus owns the 27th overall pick after winning MLS Cup last December against the Seattle Sounders 3-0 in Columbus. This marks the latest first-round pick in franchise history after the club didn’t have its first round pick after winning MLS Cup in 2008. That 2009 draft pick was traded to the New England Revolution in exchange for Pat Noonan.

The Crew acquired the 52nd overall pick, the 25th pick of the second round from Minnesota United in February of 2020 in exchange for forward Aaron Schoenfeld. The last pick of Round Two was traded to FC Cincinnati this past season for midfielder Fatai Alashe.

Lastly, the Black & Gold will select fourth in Round Three, 58th overall. This is the most recently acquired draft pick for the Black & Gold, who grabbed this spot from D.C. United on Jan. 8 in a trade for goalkeeper Jon Kempin. Eighty-six picks will be made in total across the MLS SuperDraft, beginning with expansion side Austin FC.

How to watch:

Date: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET

Venue: Virtual

Streaming: MLSsoccer.com, MLS YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter

Social media: Follow Massive Report on Twitter for updates throughout the SuperDraft

Potential first-round pick:

The consensus is Columbus should draft a backup right back with its first-round selection. The team has added attacking depth this offseason with the signings of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Kevin Molino. Center back depth is strong as well as left back depth. With the departure of Chris Cadden to Hibernian FC, the Crew is left with Harrison Afful as its lone right back option.

Afful will be the starter at 34 years old in 2021 but with games to be played across multiple competitions, it’s likely the club will look to sign a right back or draft one to rotate with Afful when necessary. MLSsoccer.com’s mock draft has Columbus taking Stanford defender/midfielder Logan Panchot in the first round.

The Crew’s first-round pick history:

2020: Miguel Berry (7th overall)

2019: J.J. Williams (18th overall)

2018: Ben Lundgaard (21st overall)

2017: Lalas Abubakar (5th overall)

2017: Niko Hansen (9th overall)

2016: Rodrigo Saravia (19th overall)

2015: Sergio Campbell (19th overall)

2014: Ben Sweat (14th overall)

2013: Ryan Finley (9th overall)

2012: Ethan Finlay (10th overall)

2011: Rich Balchan (12th overall)

2011: Justin Meram (15th overall)

2010: Dilly Duka (8th overall)

2010: Bright Dike (12th overall)

2008: Andy Iro (6th overall)

2006: Jason Garey (3rd overall)

2006: Kei Kamara (9th overall)

2004: Chad Marshall (2nd overall)

2003: Diego Walsh (7th overall)

2002: Kyle Martino (8th overall)

2001: Duncan Oughton (10th overall)

1999: Matt Chulis (9th overall)

1998: Jeff Cunningham (9th overall)

1997: Rob Jachym (3rd overall)

1996: Brian McBride (1st overall)