ND Men’s Soccer
Three Notre Dame players taken in first round of MLS SuperDraft
J.J. Post | Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Yesterday the 2022 MLS SuperDraft saw three Notre Dame players selected, all in round one. This is the highest number of Fighting Irish ever taken in the first round.
First off the board was forward Jack Lynn, who was selected by Orlando City with the 18th pick. Lynn saw the field all four years and led Notre Dame in goals and points over the last three years. Leading the line in South Bend, the St. Louis native was the principal offensive threat at Head Coach Chad Riley’s disposal during the team’s 2021 College Cup run. He finished second on the team in assists and first in goals. Lynn was incredibly reliable from the spot as well in 2021. He stepped up for penalty kicks on four different occasions and scored all four.
The next Irish player taken was Mohamed Omar, who the Colorado Rapids used the 23rd overall pick on. Omar served as a centerpiece for Coach Riley, principally deployed as a defensive midfielder throughout his time in South Bend. With his passing range, one-on-one defensive abilities, and size, the Rapids may try Omar out as both a center back and conventional number six in his first days in Denver.
The final Notre Dame player taken in the first round, and in the overall draft, was center-back Phillip Quinton. A powerful presence in the Irish backline, Quinton (who stands six foot six) proved often unstoppable for opposing teams. He seemed especially unstoppable on corner kicks and free kicks into the box. Quinton’s consistency and dominating nature in individual defensive battles stood out to the Columbus Crew. The team traded up to the 25th pick to take him.
Realistically speaking, knowing the history of the MLS SuperDraft it’s unlikely that any of Lynn, Omar, or Quinton immediately find themselves in starting roles for their respective clubs. They might be loaned out to USL clubs where they can find more minutes and gain experience. But it is possible by year two or three any of the aforementioned three could break into starting lineups. The timeline for an MLS draft pick finding success at the professional level is inconsistent.
Daryl Dike proved a consistent goalscorer in his first season. He was taken out of Virginia by Jack Lynn’s new club Orlando City. Brian White, drafted by the New York Red Bulls in 2018, spent a year playing USL ball before he eventually became a trusted MLS starter. Aaron Long was drafted by Portland in 2014 and became a full-time starter in 2017.
Notre Dame’s draftees could find themselves on any of these paths once they join their teams for preseason. Or, they may forge new ones. Regardless, they have done the program proud for helping the Irish make their second-ever College Cup appearance. They’ve also put themselves immediately into a very select group in Irish men’s soccer history. Lynn, Omar and Quinton now make up a quarter of all Notre Dame first-round selections since the start of the MLS College Draft in 1996.