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"Today was a good day" - Behind the scenes of the Rapids in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft

10:00 AM MT

The Draft Room at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park begins to fill up with scouts and technical staff, including Executive Vice President and General Manager Pádraig Smith and head coach Robin Fraser. This is the first time that Major League Soccer has hosted a remote SuperDraft, which allows for the Rapids to have everyone in the room, in comparison to only a table on site. It also means that all the clubs are in different locations, so trades must be done over the phone without the face-to-face interactions of years past.

 

10:30 AM MT

The Rapids SuperDraft team hops on the phone and connects with MLS, who tells each team the rules of engagement. The teams will have three minutes once it's their turn to make a selection, and, during the SuperDraft, they have the option to request one three-minute extension. In order to make a trade, clubs and the league have to connect to a different phone line to confirm the deal before it’s officially announced on the ESPN livestream.

 

10:35 AM MT

The SuperDraft begins.

At this point, the Rapids knows who their top pick is. The question is, will he be there when it’s time for the 11th selection?

 

10:48 AM MT

Two of the top three picks are defenders. The Rapids SuperDraft team is talking over its options. The team is targeting Jeremy Kelly, a right back from the University of North Carolina. With defenders quickly coming off the board, the group is discussing trading up in order to secure him. The room is worried about Montreal and their interest in Kelly, so there is talk about potentially moving up to the eighth spot in the draft.

 

11:10 AM MT

More time passes, and a deal with Houston for the eighth pick falls through. Montreal is up next.

 

11:15 AM MT

With the ninth pick, the Montreal Impact select Kelly. The conversation in the room instantly pivots to trading back in the draft.

 

11:25 AM MT

After relatively little debate, the Rapids trade their pick (11th) to Nashville SC for $75,000 in General Allocation Money.

 

11:26 AM MT

Smith is immediately on the phone with Montreal trying to make a deal for the rights to Kelly. The goal is to only deal the recently acquired money instead of any additional funds. Smith makes the offer to Montreal, hangs up and waits for their response.

 

11:35 AM MT

Montreal bites and the Rapids jump on a call with the Impact and the league. After a little bit of time in limbo as logistics get sorted, the deal is done. The Impact will get the $75,000 in GAM that Colorado just received from Nashville minutes prior. Just like that, the Rapids have their guy. The room is elated.

 

12:15 PM MT

The First Round of 2020 MLS SuperDraft has come to an end. The Second Round is about to begin and the Rapids once again have the 11th selection (37th overall). The team has a few names it's targeting, one of which is Robin Afamefuna. The team has him listed high on their board of targets, but whether or not he will be around at that point in the draft is the question.

 

12:33 PM MT

To the team’s surprise, Afamefuna is available at the 11th pick. The Rapids make their selection immediately once they are on the clock to acquire the rights of the left back from the University of Virginia.

 

1:10 PM MT

“This is a great day," Smith said.

The Second Round is over and day one of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft has come to an end. The Rapids leave the first day with after maneuvering a pair of unexpected trades to get the rights to both of the players they were targeting without spending any additional money.

Rounds three and four of the SuperDraft take place on Monday, January 13.

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