2023 MLS Draft Grades: Real Salt Lake
Round 2: Pick 45=MF Amferny Sinclair (Syracuse)
Sinclair, one of the best defensive midfielders in the draft, was a key piece in Syracuse winning the National Championship this year. The #6 started 21 matches this season for the Orange (and he also knocked home the match-winning PK in the penalty shootout in the national title match). I believe the middle of the second round is really good value for him as well (some had him as a fringe first rounder).
Sinclair started 61 matches across four seasons at Syracuse (including 17 in his freshman season). Being a four-year stalwart in the middle for an ACC program is not easy. He also is a key reason that the Cuse took the big step forward this season that they did.
One thing working against Sinclair is that he will require an International Roster Spot (he's from Costa Rica). Much like Eneli, I believe that he will compete for a roster spot/minutes, but might spend some of this season with Real Monarchs. I like his future prospects at the #6 however.
MLSSoccer's Travis Clark had Sinclair ranked as the #4 ranked central midfielder in the class.
- Pick Grade: A-
Round 3: Pick 74=D Moses Mensah (Campbell)
I liked Mensah as a late second round defender in the draft heading into Wednesday, so I think nabbing him in the middle of the third round is good value. Campbell was one of the top left-backs in the class, but comes with some positional versatility along the backline.
This season at Campbell, he picked up three assists across 20 matches (1,599 minutes). He also picked up All-South Region honors for the fourth straight season. Mensah would also require an International Roster Spot.
I believe that he will likely spend this season with Real Monarchs, but has a chance to turn into an option at LB in the future.
- Pick Grade: B+
FULL DRAFT GRADE: B+
At the end of the day, the SuperDraft is about talent acquisition, and that is what RSL did on Wednesday. They added a lot of talent, and were aggressive in doing it. They made three first round picks, drafted two of the eleven Generation Adidas players, and picked five quality players in general.
Obviously we'll have to wait a couple of years to get a true snapshot of this draft, but I believe that RSL got better on Wednesday. The one thing working against RSL in the draft is that three of their picks are international players (and thus will require international roster spots).
Also, for better or for worse (and whether it's fair or not), this draft will be tied to the Herrera trade. I also would've liked a bit more defense in the draft, but it's hard to complain with accumulating attacking talent.