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Should the MLS Draft just go away?

With today’s SuperDraft to prelude another MLS season, what is the future of the MLS Draft?

MLS: SuperDraft Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off this afternoon, Major League Soccer will once again hold its SuperDraft, complete with live show, commentary, and predictable subdued impact on the upcoming season.

Dare I say, the SuperDraft is hardly “super” anymore. Maybe a better name would be the MehDraft.

The SuperDraft is a bit of the living legacy of Major League Soccer’s attempt to build a sense of intrigue and excitement for teams and for its league. In the past, of course, incredible talent was available throughout the draft. Look at FC Dallas’ history of selections. Sure, there are duds just like in any draft, but FC Dallas can also point to even recent studs like Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead, John Nelson, and Walker Zimmerman as a testament to the value available.

But times have changed. Now the homegrown player pipeline through academies and the growing opportunities in USL mean players have ways to get visibility and continue their careers without needing to deal with the draft. Take this piece from Jeff Reuters in the Athletic (highlighted by Wes Burdine):

This season is even more unusual since draftees will have an opportunity to return to the spring semester to complete their college career.

Still, the MLS SuperDraft has likely peaked.

So, should the MLS SuperDraft go away? Probably not, but you can expect it to be de-emphasized over time as players go directly to their destinations. And I imagine there will still be some interesting talent that rises to the top each year.

But I want to keep the SuperDraft.... Super.

Here are a few ideas to add some spice to the SuperDraft.

Take a Cue from the Bachelor/Bachelorette

In this scenario, available draftees are all transported to a large luxurious mansion, and MLS teams send their representatives to flirt, interact, and scout. The SuperDraft turns into an incredible reality TV show series where teams announce their picks by giving soccer balls to the potential draftees, get into fisticuffs over their preferred picks, and revel in manufactured drama. This would be perfect for that long winter of discontent between seasons. Make it happen, Don Garber.

The Players Draft the Teams

In this scenario, the SuperDraft is reversed. The players are ranked, and they select the team they want to try to win a contract with. Obviously, a team can only be selected once per round, but how cool would it be to see the players sitting behind desks, conferring on their cellphones with family members and advisors while making their selection with nervous team owners and coaches looking on from the green room.

SuperDraft/Talent Show

In addition to the normal SuperDraft festivities, why not allow the players to showcase their talents of singing, writing, art, dance, and other creative gifts? That way, we’ll find out FC Dallas isn’t just drafting a potential defensive stud but also a guy who can bake one hell of a croissant.

Until then, I’ll look forward to the MehDraft as much as the rest of you.