It was sort of inevitable, wasn’t it? Real Salt Lake has passed their third round draft picks, of which they had two, and subsequently will be passing in round four, too.
It’s not a huge surprise. In 2017, RSL passed with their second pick of the third round after drafting Andrew Putna with their first third-round pick.
This does something interesting, though, in the club’s negotiations with others. For example, the club traded their final third-round pick (remarkably, they originally had three) for the MLS rights to Taylor Peay, whose rights were previously held by Portland Timbers.
Perhaps in the future, RSL will either more proactively trade their third-round picks — or, perhaps, they’re already doing it. RSL’s lack of valuation of those picks doesn’t change the valuation other teams place, and while it does undercut RSL’s negotiation abilities somewhat with those picks, it does free us up somewhat, too.
Will MLS continue with a four-round format? Probably. Only three clubs passed in the third round: RSL, Montreal Impact, and New York City FC. Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy and D.C. United all passed in the fourth round, meaning six of 23 clubs passed overall.