Everything you need to know about the 2021 MLS SuperDraft Thursday afternoon, in quickie form:
Revs pick up Kizza from Pitt at No. 24: New England waited shortly over two hours to make its first-round selection, and they picked up some striking help in Edward Kizza from the University of Pittsburgh. Kizza is an international player and will take up an international slot should the Revs sign him. Kizza made 53 appearances and 52 starts in three seasons with the Panthers, scoring 31 goals and adding seven helpers in his time with Pitt. Kizza left the Pitt program last September; Panthers coach Jay Vidovich is quoted as saying, “(Kizza)’s in good standing here. He didn’t desert the program or anything like that. He’s just dealing with other responsibilities.”
“He’s a very good player,” Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said. “We feel very fortunate that we got him as late as we did in the first round, so I think maybe we got a little bit of luck with this draft pick. He has a history of scoring goals, and we think that’s an area where we could use some help, for sure.”
Dulysse falls to Revs at No. 51: Francois Dulysse, a defender from Manhattan that Revolution II had signed in December, found himself tied to the MLS club via SuperDraft, and went late in the second round at No. 51. The Revs passed on their third-round selection at No. 78.
Bauer slips out of first round: Josh Bauer, the lone New England-based player slated to go in the first round — SoccerByIves.com had the Bedford, N.H. native and UNH product to go eighth overall — completely slipped out of the first round. He didn’t have to wait long, however, as Atlanta United selected him at No. 31 overall, the fourth pick of the second round. According to SBI, Bauer is good in the air and is a well-rounded center back. Should the Five Stripes sign Bauer, that would put two players with New England ties in their back line, with Arlington’s Miles Robinson the other. In other players with New England ties selected, A.J. Marcucci, a goalkeeper with Connecticut College, went in the third round to New York Red Bulls.
Austin FC picks Pereira at No. 1: After picking up Leominster’s Diego Fagundez as a free agent earlier this month, MLS newcomers Austin FC selected Daniel Pereira, a midfielder from Virginia Tech with the No. 1 overall selection, as the first Hokies player taken first overall in SuperDraft history. Charlie Davies called him “a stud” during MLSSoccer.com’s coverage. As a Generation Adidas signing, he is automatically added to Austin FC’s roster. FC Cincinnati picked Calvin Harris, a winger from Wake Forest at No. 2, before Colorado — which had traded up to No. 3 and moving Houston down to No. 6 in the hours before the draft — selected Philip Mayaka of Clemson. Austin had three first round choices, taking Freddy Kleeman from Washington at No. 11, and then trading into the No. 21 slot to grab Aedan Stanley from Duke.
DC gets two in top five: After picking Clemson’s Kimarni Smith, a talented striker, at No. 4 overall, DC United turned around and made a trade with Atlanta United to make the No. 5 selection. With that pick, the Black and Red picked up — along with pick No. 32 in exchange for No. 31, the fourth pick in the second round — Michael DeShields, a defender from Wake Forest… and who was signed several months ago by Revolution II.