PHILADELPHIA – The 2018 MLS Combine is complete and after the six-day combine, we decided to take a look back at my five players to watch ahead of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
To review the draft, I’ve spoken to Top Drawer Soccer’s college soccer expert Travis Clark to provide his evaluation of each of the five players ahead of Friday’s MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia.
Mason Toye (Forward, Indiana)
Mason Toye spent only one season at the University of Indiana, but he impressed enough to earn a Generation Adidas contract after just one season in Bloomington.
During his lone season for the Hoosiers, Toye tallied 10 goals and two assists, while being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. A technical striker with a keen soccer mind, Toye is thought by draft experts to possess one of the highest attacking upsides in the draft.
The 19-year-old also brings with some professional experience having trained with USL club Orlando City B.
CLARK’S REVIEW: "He looked raw a little bit, and had some really nice moves in the final third. He had a really nice goal for his team on one of the days. At the same time, he was obviously a raw attacker that has some work to do when it comes to catching up to another level."
Tomas Hilliard-Arce (Defender, Stanford)
There may not be another player up for the grabs in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft with the accomplishments of Tomas Hillard-Arce.
The burly 6-foot-1 central defender helped the Cardinal to three consecutive College Cups during his time in Palo Alto, while also winning a host of individual honors including the 2017 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award.
A ball-winning central defender with speed, Hillard-Arce is a player that could be ready to contribute to an MLS roster in year one.
CLARK’S REVIEW: "I would say he probably did a little worse than the other two. He had high expectations and didn't quite follow through. He looked a little bit hesitant at times. Although, his quality was obviously evident. "
Chris Mueller (Midfielder/Forward, Wisconsin)
One of college soccer’s most dynamic playmakers, Chris Mueller wowed scouts during his impressive senior season with Wisconsin.
Mueller led college soccer in assists in 2017 with a whopping 20 helpers while helping the Badgers reach the Sweet 16.
Considered one most MLS-ready prospects in the 2018 draft pool, Mueller tallied 22 goals and 35 assists in four seasons in Madison
CLARK’S REVIEW: "I think he did pretty well. I don’t think he scored or created a goal, but he connected play well and did what he does best. Especially for an attacking player that can struggle in those kinds of situations."
Joao Moutinho (Defender/Midfielder, Akron)
Drafts are all about intrigue and upside and Joao Moutinho might lead the way on each of those categories.
A versatile player who can play at left back, central defense, and in defensive midfield, Moutinho brings a diverse set of skills with him to the next level. Moutinho's silky left foot confounded the opposition during his time with the Zips, helping him tally three goals and five assists as he led Akron to the College Cup Semifinal.
One of the more interesting international prospects in recent years, the Sporting CP product promises to be a high draft choice next week.
CLARK'S REVIEW: "He did ok. He played center back and left back. He had some good moments and some bad moments."
Ema Twumasi (Forward, Wake Forest)
A member of Generation Adidas, Ema Twumasi is one of the more intriguing prospects in the SuperDraft pool.
The talented 20-year-old forward is a promising attacking weapon and considered by Top Drawer Soccer to be the top prospect in the Draft. A native of Accra, Ghana, Twumasi spent two seasons at Wake Forest, notching 16 goals and 11 assists for the Demon Deacons.
Twumasi is also an alum of the Right to Dream program which helped produce Galaxy midfielder Ema Boateng.
CLARK’S REVIEW: "He started off rough on the first couple of days. I think he finished strong, had some shaky moments, and looked a little bit unfit, which isn't too out of the ordinary. I think teams would be foolish to pass on him."