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(Clemson Men's Soccer/Twitter)

With the first overall pick, Austin FC is likely to choose Clemson midfielder Philip Mayaka, a promising Generation adidas signee.

As Major League Soccer's only expansion team this season, Austin FC will receive first pick in all three rounds of the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday.

Who will be the #1 Pick? | 2021 MLS SuperDraft presented by Adidas youtu.be



The draft, which features 171 college seniors, Generation Adidas players and select eligible players, will be a chance for Austin FC to round out its roster with some younger players before their inaugural season. Generation Adidas players are younger college players who signed with Adidas so they can go pro earlier.

Because of a deal made with the Montreal Impact in the Expansion Draft, the team will also have the 11th pick in the first round.

With the first choice, Austin FC will have a chance to nab Philip Mayaka, a Clemson midfielder and Generation Adidas signee who is widely regarded as the No. 1 choice. Other top contenders include Wake Forest forward Calvin Harris, Washington defender Ethan Bartlow and New Hampshire defender Josh Bauer.

While MLS teams' own development academies provide direct access to young players and the Expansion Draft often packs more star power, the SuperDraft has produced several league legends since its creation in 2000. Some past SuperDraft picks include 2012 MLS Most Valuable Player Chris Wondolowski and Andre Shinyashiki, who earned 2019 Rookie of the Year honors after signing with the Colorado Rapids.

With big names Diego Fagundez and Matt Besler already in the mix, the SuperDraft will provide an opportunity for Austin FC to add in rookies with both immediate starting power and the potential to grow with the new program.

The club has already reached 17 players in its roster, with six defenders, four midfielders, four forwards and three goalkeepers. An MLS club can have up to 30 active players on their roster.

The first round of the draft will broadcast live on mlssoccer.com at 1 p.m., giving the chance for fans to watch the team make both the first and 11th pick. The final two rounds will be tracked live on mlssoccer.com's SuperDraft tracker and will be updated on all Austin FC social media.

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