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2021 MLS SuperDraft Primer | Who, What, and How to Watch on Thursday

The 2021 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas is set to kickoff at 1 pm C.T. this Thursday afternoon, Jan. 21.

Fans are invited to follow all the action virtually, with the first round available to watch via live stream at MLSsoccer.com, the MLS AppFacebookTwitter and YouTube.

Rounds two and three will not be streamed live, but will be tracked live via the MLSsoccer.com's SuperDraft tracker.

In addition, follow the Fire on Twitter for Club-specific updates on news and selections in the moment.

The Format

The 2021 SuperDraft will have three rounds and a total of 81 selections overall. Expansion side Austin FC will pick first in each round, before the remaining clubs make picks in reverse order of the 2020 regular season standings and taking into account performance in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Teams are permitted three minutes to make a selection, and there will be a ten minute break between rounds.

After acquiring $125,000 in 2021 General Allocation Money from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for the sixth overall pick on Dec. 13, the Fire currently hold the sixth and 20th picks in the second round (33rd and 47th overall) and the sixth pick in the third round (60th overall).

Click here for the MLS SuperDraft selection order

Eligible Players

Players eligible for selection include college seniors, Generation adidas signings and those who have waived their college eligibility by competing in a domestic professional league.

After the SuperDraft, pre-signed seniors, Generation adidas players and select additional draftees will join their MLS clubs for the 2021 preseason. Others may continue to compete for their college team before reporting to their MLS club in late May. The Fall 2020 college soccer season was largely upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now some Division I programs are eying games during the Spring 2021 semester.

Click here for the full list of players eligible for selection

Building for the Future

In recent seasons, the Fire have shifted their primary means of roster building away from the MLS SuperDraft, choosing to focus on elevating Fire Academy players to the first team and signing up-and-coming international prospects from overseas.

The Club’s roster currently boasts nine Homegrown products -- with an average age of 17.8 years -- six of whom were signed after January of 2020. That includes the team’s 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, Mauricio Pineda, who capped off an impressive rookie campaign with his first call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team in late November.

In addition to plucking talent from the Club’s academy, Sporting Director Georg Heitz has made it a point to add youth to the Club’s roster via the international game as well. Since he joined the Fire in December of 2019, six of Heitz’s ten signings from outside the United States have been aged 21 years or younger, with a seventh -- Colombian forward Jhon Jader Durán -- set to join the Club in 2022 upon turning 18. Durán is the youngest international player signing in MLS history.

The Fire made selections in both the 2019 and 2020 SuperDrafts, but have not signed a SuperDraft pick since 2018. Of that draft class, only former third-round pick Elliot Collier remains with the Fire. Collier had his 2021 option renewed in November after appearing 21 times for head coach Raphael Wicky last season.

Further Reading

For more on Thursday’s 2021 MLS SuperDraft, check out the following resources via MLSsoccer.com:

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