The 2020 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft took place yesterday afternoon. Inter Miami selected first and third overall, so there are two new names you should get used to hearing: Robbie Robinson and Dylan Nealis. Both players come from the collegiate ranks and were highly sought-after. In addition, the two are members of the Generation Adidas program, a joint deal between MLS and Adidas for a handful of top collegiate underclassmen and youth national team players.
David Beckham and Inter Miami had a day, people. The roster is coming along just swimmingly, it seems, after Miami plucked two of the best players out of the draft pool and put them in the team's pink-and-black kits.
Robinson, a 21-year-old forward, is expected to win the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy for college soccer's best player after a season at Clemson that included 18 goals and nine assists in just 19 games. Robinson was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year. So, yeah, Inter Miami used the first overall selection on about as sure a thing as there is in college soccer.
After Inter Miami selected Robinson, he had a surprise video call with owner David Beckham:
Imagina se a primeira escolha de um draft e ainda receber uma mensagem do David Beckham? Surreal!— MLS Brasil (@MLSInBrasil) January 9, 2020
Inter Miami's second pick, midfielder Dylan Nealis, played at Georgetown University. Nealis was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist and won the national championship at Georgetown in 2019. He played in all 24 of the team's games, in which he scored four goals and dished out five assists. Nealis, like most midfielders, is thought to be more of a quarterback on the pitch and a master at controlling his area.
With Robinson upfront and Nealis manning the middle, Inter Miami yesterday afternoon secured a nice foundation for the future of its offense. Not a bad couple of minutes for the Magic City's much-anticipated soccer squad.
After the draft, CBS 4's Mike Cugno caught up with Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough, who told Cugno he believes Nealis is the most MLS-ready player coming out of the draft. McDonough also raved about Robinson and remarked that the team watched him all season and was drawn to his creativity.
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McDonough also said it could be a bit of time before Robinson makes an impact with the club. Because Inter doesn't exactly have a lot of depth as a new squad, Robinson can easily change that fact by turning heads in training camp and early in the year.
More from McDonough on today's MLS Super Draft.— Mike Cugno (@MikeCugnoCBS4) January 9, 2020
On #1 Pick Robbie Robinson: "We thought Robbie was the best talent in the college game this year."
On #3 Pick Dylan Nealis: "We thought he was the most pro-ready guy." #InterMiamiCF @CBSMiami pic.twitter.com/3uBEKhRuNk
Following the draft, McDonough also dropped a few interesting tidbits about the status of Inter Miami filling its international slots: He said one slot might be filled with a big name even the most casual soccer fan would recognize. There are still a lot of moving parts, but day by day, Inter Miami is transforming from a pie-in-the-sky idea to an actual football club with a roster of players and everything.
Ready or not, here comes soccer, Miami.