The 2021 MLS SuperDraft is coming up this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. PT, and with LAFC owning three selections including the 14th overall pick, we wanted to take a look back in time to find some of the best players in MLS history taken with the #14 selection. Who will LAFC take with their pick at #14?
2015: Axel Sjöberg, Colorado Rapids
Sjöberg joined the Rapids as their 14th overall pick in 2015 after four successful years at Marquette University. The defender would go on to start 15 matches for Colorado in his first season and since then has appeared in 90 MLS matches (86 starts), including a breakout year in 2016 where he started 31 matches in the Rapids’ most successful season ever. The 29 year – old is currently a member of D.C. United and is battling to get back into form after suffering a number of injuries since the 2019 season.
2014: Ben Sweat, Columbus Crew
Although Sweat was waived after failing to appear for Columbus in his rookie year, the former University of South Florida Bull broke in with New York City FC in 2017 and logged two straight 2,000 minute seasons. Thus far the defender has appeared in 94 MLS matches (82 starts) and was recently traded to Austin FC to anchor the expansion side’s backline. He also earned his first U.S. National Team call-up last October and appeared in matches against Colombia and Peru.
2009: George John, FC Dallas
The four-year University of Washington product made an immediate impact in his rookie season with FC Dallas, making 16 appearances (15 starts) and scoring a goal. The defender would go on to play another five seasons and ultimately logged 119 MLS appearances (114 starts) and added six goals in his MLS career.
2008: David Horst, Real Salt Lake
It took the former Old Dominion defender a couple of years to break into the League as a regular starter, but after being traded to the Portland Timbers in the 2011 season and starting 11 games, he didn’t look back. The strong centerback went on to appear in 148 MLS matches (129 starts) and score five goals for Portland, the Houston Dynamo and a second stint in 2017 -18 with Real Salt Lake.
2004: Ned Grabavoy, LA Galaxy
The three-year starter at Indiana University is arguably the second most successful 14th overall draft pick in MLS history. Grabavoy enjoyed the longest tenured career of any player on the list, enjoying a 14-year MLS career that included winning two MLS Cups, in 2005 with the Galaxy and in 2009 with Real Salt Lake. The shifty midfielder is one of only 50 MLS players in history to make 300 or more league appearances. In all, Grabavoy appeared in 301 career matches (225 starts) while scoring 17 goals and adding 31 assists.
2002: Shalrie Joseph, New England Revolution
Last, but surely not the least of the top #14 draft picks in MLS history is MLS legend Shalrie Joseph. The Grenadian international spent two years at Bryant & Stratton College in Buffalo, NY before transferring to St. John's University en route to getting selected with the 14th pick by New England. Joseph trained in Italy and Germany before joining the Revs for the 2003 season where he was a force in the midfield as a rookie, appearing in an eye-opening 28 matches (27 starts) and adding two goals and two assists. He would go on to play 12 seasons for the Revolution, Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders, earning four MLS Best XI selections, seven All – Star Game appearances and was a finalist for the 2009 MLS MVP.