TAMPA, Fla. – Premier Development League standouts took center stage at the 2018 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Friday at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia, with 18 of the league’s alumni being selected in the First Round and 36 of the 46 selections overall – accounting for 78 percent of the day’s selections – as they learned where they will start their professional careers this spring.Leading the league’s selections were the two top prospects from the senior and junior class, with the Michigan Bucks’ Francis Atuahene, a 2017 PDL All-Central Conference selection and Generation adidas signee, being selected No. 4 overall by FC Dallas, and former Carolina Dynamo and FC Tucson standout Jon Bakero going with the No. 5 selection to the Chicago Fire after having claimed the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy earlier this month for Wake Forest.Two of the PDL’s 2017 Award Winners were also selected in the First Round, with Most Valuable Player Brian Wright being selected with the No. 16 selection by the New York Red Bulls after shining for the Red Bulls U23 this past summer. Goalkeeper of the Year Ben Lundgard – also of the Red Bulls U23 – was then selected with the No. 21 selection by Columbus Crew SC.
In addition to the players selected in the SuperDraft on Friday, numerous PDL Top Prospects have also joined the professional ranks as MLS Homegrown signings this offseason. No. 5 Senior Prospect Foster Langsdorf (San Francisco FC / Portland Timbers U-23s) was the latest addition as he joined Portland Timbers FC on Friday morning.Other PDL alumni signed as Homegrown Players included No. 1 sophomore prospect Cam Lindley of Wilmington Hammerheads FC heading to Orlando City SC, No. 12 senior prospect Kevin Politz of the New York Red Bulls U23 signing with the organization’s MLS club, No. 15 junior prospect Aaron Herrera of FC Tucson and No. 15 senior prospect Corey Baird of the Burlingame Dragons both joining Real Salt Lake, and No. 19 junior prospect J.T. Marcinkowski of Burlingame Dragons FC signing with the San Jose Earthquakes.