Matt Polster

Draft week has arrived.


Following an offseason that was no doubt far too long for anyone’s liking, the Chicago Fire this week enter a much anticipated stage of player acquisition. Chicago owns the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, set to take place at noon CT Thursday (Jan. 14) in Baltimore and stream live on MLSsoccer.com.
Veljko Paunovic’s seven weeks of scouting and preparation for the SuperDraft culminated in his attendance at the MLS Combine, which concluded with a final day of matches Tuesday in Ft. Lauderdale. In addition to its plethora of options for use of the top pick, the Fire can also utilize the 33rd (second round), 57th (third round) and 62nd (fourth round) overall selections to add skill and depth to the 2016 roster.
Time will tell which prospects stood out the most in the eyes of GM Nelson Rodríguez and Paunovic, but there is no shortage of forecasts and projections emerging from Combine observers in south Florida as to how Thursday’s SuperDraft may shake out. Check out the video above for a sample of highlights from Sunday's MLS Combine action and click below for a round-up of recent reviews via MLSsoccer.com:

Doyle: Final Mock Draft
Doyle: Needs for all 20 Teams
Best In Class: Combine Performance Tests
Doyle: Stock Up, Stock Down After Day 2
Doyle: Top Prospects by Position


In the meantime, as the Fire prepare to make the club’s highest-ever SuperDraft selection, check out the charts below to brush up on Chicago’s history of first-round picks:

<strong>Year</strong>
<strong>Name</strong>
<b>Overall Pick</b>
<strong>Games Played<br> for Chicago (MLS Regular Season)</strong>
2015
<a href="//www.chicago-fire.com/playerregistry/matt-polster">Matt Polster</a> (M)
No. 7
30 (active)
2014
Marco Franco (D)
No. 13
0
2013
No first-round pick
2012
<a href="/playerregistry/austin-berry">Austin Berry</a> (D)
No. 9
62
2011
<a href="/playerregistry/jalil-anibaba">Jalil Anibaba</a> (D)
No. 9
96
2010
<a href="/playerregistry/corben-bone">Corben Bone</a> (M)
No. 13
18
2009
No first-round pick
2008
<a href="/playerregistry/patrick-nyarko">Patrick Nyarko</a> (M)
No. 7
196
2008
Dominic Cervi (GK)
No. 12
0
2007
<a href="/playerregistry/bakary-soumare">Bakary Soumare</a> (D)
No. 2
111 (two stints)
2007
<a href="/playerregistry/jerson-monteiro">Jerson Monteiro</a> (F)
No. 8
5
2006
<a href="/playerregistry/calen-carr">Calen Carr</a> (F)
No. 10
82
2005
<a href="/playerregistry/chad-barrett">Chad Barrett</a> (F)
No. 3
82
2005
<a href="/playerregistry/jack-stewart">Jack Stewart</a> (D)
No. 10
14
2004
<a href="/playerregistry/scott-buete">Scott Buete</a> (D)
No. 9
21
2003
<a href="/playerregistry/nate-jaqua">Nate Jaqua</a> (F)
No. 3
92
2002
<a href="/playerregistry/kelly-gray">Kelly Gray</a> (D/M)
No. 5
84
2002
<a href="/playerregistry/billy-sleeth">Billy Sleeth</a> (D)
No. 10
13
2001
No first-round pick
2000
<a href="/playerregistry/carlos-bocanegra">Carlos Bocanegra</a> (D)
No. 4
87
1999
<a href="/playerregistry/evan-whitfield">Evan Whitfield</a> (D/M) *
No. 11
103
1998
<a href="/playerregistry/ritchie-kotschau">Ritchie Kotschau</a> (D) *
No. 2
28

* MLS College Draft