MLS SuperDraft

Charlotte FC & the 2024 MLS SuperDraft: Everything You Need to Know Ahead of Tuesday’s Draft


As Charlotte FC shifts focus to the Club’s third season, the 2024 SuperDraft provides a chance to acquire young, promising college players for the roster build.

The SuperDraft will be held on Tuesday, December 19. Coverage starts at 3 p.m. ET. Tune in on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

This year, Charlotte FC has just three selections: 38th overall (Round 2), 41st overall (Round 2), and 70th overall (Round 3). The Club has no first round selection after making a trade during last year’s draft.

While the idea of a draft is very fundamental to the American sports ecosystem, the MLS SuperDraft has its own unique history, peculiarities, and processes. So, here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s SuperDraft, changes made to the system this year, and Charlotte FC’s historical trends in the draft.

The Basics

  • WHEN: Tuesday, December 19 @ 3 p.m. ET.
  • PICKS: 38th overall (Round 2), 41st overall (Round 2), and 70th overall (Round 3). 

The SuperDraft has three rounds, and each team is allowed one pick per round. 29 teams in the league works out to 87 total selections.

Draft order is set in descending order based on 2023 points total. Toronto FC will lead off with the first overall pick as the team with the fewest regular season points, followed by the rest of the teams that did not qualify for the playoffs.

Then, the order of the remaining teams is set by the fewest regular season points among teams that exited playoffs in the same round. For example, both San Jose and Charlotte were eliminated in the Wild Card Round, but San Jose finished 2023 with 44 points while CLTFC had 43. This means Charlotte FC selects prior to San Jose.

From there, the rules follow the usual conventions. Teams have four minutes to make each selection in Round 1 and only three minutes in Rounds 2 and 3. Trading draft slots is allowed and fairly common, while some clubs will choose to pass on their selections, especially in the later rounds.

Changes to Eligible Players

In late October, Major League Soccer announced a significant change to the player eligibility rules for the SuperDraft.

In previous years, only players who were collegiate seniors and above were eligible for selection. The only exceptions were the select few Generation adidas players – a designation we’ll get into later in the article – that could be underclassmen.

Now, however, any player that is a collegiate sophomore, junior, and above qualifies for the SuperDraft, greatly expanding the pool.

Eligible Player Qualifications

  1. Players who are collegiate sophomores and above
  1. Generation adidas players
  1. Any former college player who departed college with remaining eligibility since the conclusion of the college season approximately one (1) year prior to the SuperDraft (i.e., since the conclusion of the 2022 college season) in order to compete as a professional in a league domestically (e.g., USL, NISA, CPL)
  1. Any other players specifically made available by the league (such as pre-signed College seniors or pre-signed internationals).

This does create a conundrum, though. Previously, any player a club drafted was virtually guaranteed to be in preseason, as the only players available were graduating seniors or Generation adidas players who signed professional contracts already. Now, clubs could be drafting an underclassman who elects to return to college.

Basically, any player who is drafted and has remaining college eligibility can take the option to return to school rather than turning professional. However, they will not be eligible for the SuperDraft in the future, and whichever club drafted them holds their SuperDraft priority for the next two years.

Theoretically, a club could draft a sophomore this year that ultimately decides to return to college for one more season, before joining the club that drafted him one year later.

Ultimately, this change in the system places the onus on scouting and technical departments to do their homework and have conversations with players about their career ambitions to make the best possible decision for all parties involved.

Generation adidas Program

Generation adidas (GA) is a joint program between MLS and adidas that signs a handful of top collegiate underclassmen to Generation adidas contracts, making them available in the SuperDraft.

This program guarantees a select number of players (typically 5-10) a more lucrative first professional contract. Most importantly, though, Generation adidas salaries are not charged against an MLS team’s annual salary budget, providing an extra incentive for clubs to keep these players and continue to develop them.

Eventually, these GA players graduate to senior player contracts and are then charged against a team’s budget.

This program places added value on the top selections in the first round, as a “free” salary from a contributing player is a very valuable roster building mechanism. Charlotte FC’s Ben Bender and Hamady Diop are both GA players, meaning neither of them are affecting the CLTFC cap except by taking up a roster slot.

Charlotte FC SuperDraft History


Leading into Charlotte FC’s inaugural season in 2022, CLTFC had three selections in the SuperDraft. As an expansion club, the team held the top overall pick, using it to select Maryland’s Ben Bender.

Bender was a sophomore at Maryland and had signed a Generation adidas contract. Since being drafted, Bender has become a significant contributor, playing in 45 games with 30 starts over his first two professional seasons. The versatile midfielder has scored six goals and added nine assists.

That year also saw the Club draft goalkeeper George Marks, who had just won a national championship with Clemson, and forward Kyle Holcomb of Wake Forest, who is now with the Charleston Battery.

Marks, selected 57th overall in Round 3, quickly rose to the backup goalkeeper role behind Kristijan Kahlina during his first preseason. He made one MLS appearance in his first year. Then, with Kahlina out injured early in 2023, Marks made 7 starts.


In their second SuperDraft, the Club made some aggressive moves to get the players they wanted.

Prior to the draft, Charlotte FC traded up to $450k in General Allocation Money (GAM) and their #20 pick to St. Louis City SC in exchange for the #1 overall pick. The Club used this pick to select defender Hamady Diop, who played on the same national championship team at Clemson with George Marks.

Unfortunately, various injuries reduced Diop to only three first team appearances and nine appearances for Crown Legacy over the course of his first professional season.

With the buzz from the #1 overall pick just beginning to fade, CLTFC again executed an aggressive trade up, this time sending $50k in GAM plus $50k in conditional GAM and Charlotte FC’s 2024 first round selection in exchange for Colorado’s #12 pick. The Club used this pick to select Patrick Agyemang from the University of Rhode Island.

Agyemang justified the trade outlay and became a revelation in 2023. For Crown Legacy, he scored 10 goals and added two assists in just 12 games. He parlayed that into 12 first team appearances, scoring a late equalizer against the Seattle Sounders in the regular season.

With their remaining two picks in the second and third rounds, CLTFC took Nick Scardina and Andrew Privett.

Scardina was loaned out to Crown Legacy FC and was pivotal to their dominance, starting 26 matches with three goals and four assists.

Privett had a quieter start to his career before blowing up late in the season, converting from a midfielder to a center back and forming a solid partnership with Adilson Malanda down the stretch. He started 11 games in the league as CLTFC qualified for playoffs.


Now, the Club looks forward to their third SuperDraft. While some clubs pass on some or all of their picks, Charlotte FC’s scouting and technical staff have always placed a great emphasis on the draft. They have proved that by selecting two contributors in 2022 and trading up aggressively in 2023.

While there is no first round pick for the Club in 2024, there are still good players available late in the draft. Just ask George Marks, or Andrew Privett, or Brandt Bronico, for that matter. Bronico is a former fourth round selection… a round that doesn’t even exist anymore.

There is, without a doubt, plenty of value to be found. Tune in at 3 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass to find out what direction Charlotte FC sets in year three.



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