D.C. United had the 78th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, but opted to pass during today’s third and fourth rounds. The back half of the draft is completed via conference call, and as in 2016, the Black-and-Red were on the clock in the middle of the final round. The outcome was more or less the same, as United chose not to add a player (in 2016, they picked up defender Liam Doyle before passing on their second 4th round pick, which then disqualified them from using their third pick of said round).
It can be frustrating for fans to see one more shot at finding a young player tossed aside. However, by not drafting United is also opting not to lock down the rights of a player who, in all likelihood, won’t make the team. The Black-and-Red have long established a pattern of inviting college players to camp as trialists, and it seems safe to expect that to continue this year. Most likely, the players they were interested in extending those invites to are still out there.
Passing in the latter stages of the SuperDraft is not just a United habit. Real Salt Lake passed at #57 overall, while the Montreal Impact passed six picks after that. The LA Galaxy, who did not have a single pick in the first three rounds, opted to pass at #81, their only record of participation in this year’s draft.
A few players with local connections did end up getting picked up. The Seattle Sounders took Georgetown midfielder Bakie Goodman with the 56th pick, while FC Dallas snagged VCU midfielder Dakota Barnathan three picks later. One pick after that, NYCFC selected Baltimore native Michael DeGraffenreidt.
In the 4th round, the Portland Timbers picked up another Marylander, selecting Romilio Hernandez (Louisville) with the 80th pick. Finally, Toronto FC added Michigan defender and United academy product Lars Eckenrode with the 83rd pick.