Photo by Michigan Athletics
Major League Soccer has announced the six player 2018 Generation Adidas class ahead of the 2018 SuperDraft in Philadelphia, PA on January 19.
Two PDL alums made the cut and signed with MLS, confirming their departure from the collegiate ranks into the professional game. Leading the way is University of Michigan junior and Michigan Bucks forward Francis Atuahene, who racked up six goals and four assists in an injury-shortened season that saw him appear in 11 matches. Atuahene earned Second-Team All-Big Ten honors in 2017 after earning First Team recognition in the two seasons prior.
Joining Atuahene in the GA class is Syracuse sophomore and Reading United AC midfielder Mo Adams, as the 2017 captain for the Orange takes his talents to the next level. Adams earned All-ACC Second Team honors in 2017 after a freshman campaign in 2016 that earned him Third Team and All-Freshman Team honors.
Additionally, MLS announced the signing of three seniors in ahead of the draft, including two additional PDL alums. Carolina Dynamo and Wake Forest forward Jon Bakero and Wisconsin and Chicago FC United forward Chris Mueller have both signed with the league, joined by Stanford defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce.
A part of the United Soccer Leagues, which also operates the Division II USL, the newly-announced USL Division III and Super Y League, the PDL has served as the proven stepping-stone for aspiring professionals.
Nearly 70 percent of all MLS SuperDraft selections since 2010 have PDL experience, including a total of 59 alums chosen in 2017. Among the many players to have played in the PDL before making their professional debuts include Newcastle United FC defender DeAndre Yedlin, 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Tim Melia, 2017 MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara and U.S. Men’s National Team members such as Darlington Nagbe, Brad Guzan, Geoff Cameron and Tim Ream.