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MLS Draft: RSL picks three attacking players in 1st round

RSL picks two forwards and a winger.

SOCCER: DEC 12 NCAA Men’s College Cup Final - Washington v Clemson Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Real Salt Lake traded $175,000 GAM to get the 7th draft pick from Atlanta United, and with it picked Ilijah Paul, a very promising forward from Washington and MLS Generation Adidas player. Paul is familiar with RSL having scored 10 goals in 16 appearances for U16/U17 Real Salt Lake Development Academy team in his youth. It is presumed that he will qualify as a homegrown player in addition to being Generation Adidas.

NCAA Soccer: Men’s College Cup Championship Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

He was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the year leading the conference with 11 goals, and is also a semi-finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the top individual honor in college soccer that has been presented annually since 1967.

With the 16th pick RSL picked a promising winger, Bertin Jacquesson. A 6-foot Junior from Pittsburgh, he will likely hold an international spot as his home is France. Some pundits that follow college soccer have referred to him as the mini-Mbappe’.

NCAA SOCCER: DEC 09 Div 1 Men’s College Cup - Pittsburgh vs Indiana Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

He scored 8 goals, and notched 5 assists in 1,632 minutes for Pitt, and was named Men’s Soccer Player of the Week for Nov. 27, 2022. Jacquesson also is a Generation Adidas player, and will not count against the RSL salary cap.

RSL received the 25th pick in the first round after trading Aaron Hererra to Montreal, a move that many fans viewed as controversial. However what RSL got for the trade could be positive as it includes not only the draft pick, but an international slot and $500,000.

With the 25th pick RSL picked yet another forward, Emeka Eneli from Cornell.

Eneli scored 4 goals, and registered 7 assists in 17 games in 2022. He was named to the All-Ivy League First Team, Player of the Week for Sept. 27, as well as Northwest Regional Honors.