List of D.C. United first-round draft picks

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Chris Ponitus, first-round draft pick in 2009, plays as a winger for D.C. United. He was selected from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

This is a list of first-round draft picks made by D.C. United of Major League Soccer. D.C. United were an original MLS franchise, joining the league in its inaugural 1996 season.

Every year during January, each MLS franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through a collegiate draft known as the "Major League Soccer SuperDraft" which is more commonly known as the MLS Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The exception is teams that qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, as teams that reach further levels in the playoffs receive a later selection in the draft, with the tiebreaker being regular season record. The MLS Cup champion picks last in the draft, while the MLS Cup runner-up picks second-to-last. Clubs have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, allocation money, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.

United have selected number one overall three times: Freddy Adu, Alecko Eskandarian and Jason Moore. D.C. United's first selection as an MLS team was Raúl Díaz Arce, a Salvadorian international striker who previously played for Firpo of the Primera División de Fútbol de El Salvador. The team's most-recent first-round selection was Michael DeShields, a defender from Wake Forest.

Player selections[edit]

GK Goalkeeper DF Defender
MF Midfielder FW Forward
Selected number one overall Enshrined in the National Soccer Hall of Fame
Draft Player name Position College Notes
Year Pick
Original Allocations
1996 IP 10 Raúl Díaz Arce FW [Note A]
1996 IA 4 Jeff Agoos DF Virginia [Note A]
14 Jaime Moreno FW [Note A]
24 John Harkes MF Virginia [Note A]
34 Juan Berthy Suárez MF
College Draft Era
1996 2 Eddie Pope DF North Carolina [1] [Note A]
1997 10 Danny Care DF Clemson
1998 No first-round draft pick
1999 1 Jason Moore MF Virginia
SuperDraft Era
2000 12 Bobby Convey MF Project-40
2001 3 Mark Lisi MF Clemson
4 Ryan Nelsen MF Stanford
8 Santino Quaranta MF Project-40
2002 8 Justin Mapp MF Project-40
11 Daouda Kanté DF FIU
2003 1 Alecko Eskandarian FW Virginia
5 David Stokes DF North Carolina
2004 1 Freddy Adu MF IMG Soccer Academy
2005 No first-round draft pick
2006 7 Justin Moose MF Wake Forest
2007 11 Bryan Arguez MF IMG Soccer Academy
2008 No first-round draft pick
2009 6 Rodney Wallace DF Maryland [2]
7 Chris Pontius FW UC Santa Barbara [2]
2010 No first-round draft pick
2011 3 Perry Kitchen MF Akron [3]
2012 6 Nick DeLeon MF Louisville [4]
2013 17 Taylor Kemp DF Maryland [5]
2014 2 Steve Birnbaum DF California [6]
2015 17 Miguel Aguilar FW San Francisco [7]
2016 11 Julian Büscher MF Syracuse
2017 12 Chris Odoi-Atsem DF Maryland [8]
2018 No first-round draft pick
2019 14 Akeem Ward DF Creighton [9]
2020 21 Simon Lefebvre GK Temple
2021 4 Kimarni Smith FW Clemson
5 Michael DeShields DF Wake Forest
2022 No first-round draft pick


General References
  • "MLS SuperDraft History". Major League Soccer. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  • "Collection of US Soccer Players History". US Soccer Players.
  • ^
  • Citations
    1. ^ "Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, and Earnie Stewart Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011". United States Soccer Federation. March 23, 2011.
    2. ^ a b D.C. United Communications (January 15, 2009). "D.C. United selects five in 2009 MLS SuperDraft". D.C. United. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
    3. ^ Goff, Steven (January 14, 2011). "MLS draft 2011: D.C. United stresses defense, selecting Akron's Perry Kitchen with No. 3 pick". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
    4. ^ Tenorio, Paul (January 12, 2012). "MLS draft: D.C. United takes Louisville midfielder Nick DeLeon". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
    5. ^ Goff, Steven (January 17, 2013). "D.C. United stays local, drafts Maryland's Taylor Kemp in MLS draft". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
    6. ^ "D.C. United selects Steven Birnbaum with 2nd overall pick in 2014 MLS SuperDraft". D.C. United. January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
    7. ^ Rockwell, Jason (January 15, 2015). "MLS Draft 2015: D.C. United selects University of San Francisco forward Miguel Aguilar in the first round". SB Nation. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
    8. ^ Goff, Steven (January 13, 2017). "D.C. United drafts Maryland defender, waits on Ian Harkes resolution". The Washington Post — Soccer Insider. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
    9. ^ Anderson, Jason (January 11, 2019). "MLS Draft 2019: D.C. United select Creighton defender Akeem Ward". SB Nation. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
    10. ^ "Hall of Tradition". D.C. United. Retrieved August 10, 2015.