El Tree picked defenders with his top two picks, taking Kipp Keller of the University of St. Louis with the No.5 pick overall, then Clemson’s Charlie Asensio in the second round.
Keller was the Atlantic 10’s defensive player of the year and an all-American second-team pick by the United Soccer Coaches as he helped lead the Billikens to an unbeaten regular season and appearance in the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament.
Keller will be classified as an Adidas generation selection, meaning his salary will not be charged to Austin FC’s salary budget, which is capped at $ 4.9 million for the 2022 season. It will also be added. to the additional list because he is under 24 years old.
These metrics suggest the club don’t expect Keller to have an immediate impact in the 2022 season – not a huge surprise as MLS draft picks typically don’t have an impact. drama on their clubs right away – and further open the door for the addition of a veteran free will defender.
It was generally thought that El Tree would look to beef up their free agency defense going into the offseason, but so far that has yet to happen. The club currently only have four defenders on their senior roster, and with training camps opening across the league over the next few days, it would raise eyebrows if another move was not made before the end of the month. .
Asensio – the 35th overall pick – was a four-year starter for Clemson who helped the Tigers win the national title last fall.
Prior to college, he was part of the Atlanta United Youth Academy and played with the US Men’s Under-17 and Under-19 National Teams.
Asensio will likely fight for an extra or reserve seat, or possibly be loaned out.
With their final draft pick, Austin FC selected New York Red Bulls II midfielder Michael Knapp in the third round with the 61st overall pick.
Knapp played at Montclair State University before joining the Red Bulls Youth Academy, then spent the last year with Red Bulls II, which is the reserve team of the New York Red Bulls that play in the Championship. USL – the second level of American football.
Like Asensio, Knapp would be considered extra or reserve roster, or would be on loan.
Austin FC loan designated player Tomás Pochettino
Ahead of the draft, El Tree announced that he loaned midfielder Tomás Pochettino to Argentina’s Club Atlético River Plate.
The move was expected after the club made Alex Ring a Designated Player last week, as MLS rules dictate that clubs can only have three DPs on their rosters.
With midfielder Cecilio Domínguez and striker Sebastián Driussi as other nominated players, it was evident that Pochettino would either be released or loaned out as he was disappointing on the pitch for the club in 2021.
Pochettino is originally from Argentina and the move also opens up a place on the international roster for Austin FC.