The first round of the 2017 MLS Draft has wrapped up with 10 ASN-affiliated athletes getting the call, led by Jonathan Lewis going with the third pick overall to New York City FC.
Lewis, a midfielder from Akron, has been compared to Landon Donovan and is expected to have an immediate impact with NYCFC. He is a quick winger and while at Akron he had 12 assists and scored two goals.
Dayton's Lalas Abubakar was taken No. 5 by the Columbus Crew. Lalas game has improved over his four years at Dayton and is also expected to make a splash with the Crew.
Jakob Nerwinski is a defender from UConn who was selected 7th overall by the Vancouver Whitecaps. Nerwinski was named American Athletic Conference First Team for the second consecutive season. He started 19 games and served as a co-captain for the Huskies.
Atlanta United took midfielder Julian Gressel from Providence College with the eighth pick. In 2016 Gressel played 21 games, scored 15 goals and had 46 shots on goal. It is believed with Gressel’s talent he can play midfielder or forward. Atlanta is one of two expansion teams this season along with Minnesota.
Joseph Holland is a midfielder from Hofstra and he was selected 10th overall by the Houston Dynamo. While at Hofstra, Holland played in 76 games, scored 19 goals and had 80 shots on goal.
Reagan Dunk is staying regional. Dunk, from Denver, was taken 13th by Real Salt Lake. Dunk was an important defender for Denver who scored two goals. His 18 career assists are good for third in Denver’s records books. Dunk's 74 starts are tied for the second most in Denver’s history.
Dunk's teammate Sam Hamilton is staying at home after being taken 15th overall by the Colorado Rapids. Hamilton won't be looked up on as an immediate impact player, but some believe he will make some noise in a year or two. In 2016 Hamilton played in 24 matches, spent 2,187 minutes on the pitch, and tallied nine assists on the year for Denver.
Midfielder Kwame Awuah, a midfielder from UConn, was selected 16th by NYCFC. In 2016 Awuah played in 19 games and was selected to the American Athletic Conference First Team.
Zeiko Lewis is a midfielder/forward from Boston College. He was selected 17th overall by NY Red Bull. In 2016 the Bermudian Blur played in 20 games while scoring 7 goals for the eagles.
Brian Wright is a forward from Vermont. He was selected 20th overall by the New England Revolution. Wright is ranked fifth in points with 63, fifth in goals with 25, and 12th in assists with 13. During his senior season Wright scored 14 goals, 12 assist with 41 shots on goal.
Derrick Riviere is a production assistant for American Sports Network