The opening two rounds of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft were held Tuesday, allowing the 26 clubs to choose from some of the best available collegiate talent to add to their rosters.
For the Revolution, now with a USL League 1 affiliate in the Revolution II, it was an opportunity to build out both rosters. Starting the day with four selections, the Revolution picked three defensive players and traded their 13th overall selection to expansion team Nashville SC for a conditional $100,000 in allocation money.
After an attack-heavy draft last season, the Revolution took center back Henry Kessler from Virginia, right back Simon Lekressner from California, and goalkeeper Keegan Meyer from High Point. Here’s a little more about them:
The Revolution considered trading up to draft Kessler but were unable to pull off a deal — yet the prized defender was still available when they went on the clock with the sixth pick.
Coach Bruce Arena, a Virginia alumnus, jumped on the 6-foot-4-inch center back from his alma mater.
“He was absolutely our first choice,” Arena said. “He has good size, he’s a good communicator, he’s smart and can step into midfield and win tackles.”
More about Kessler . . .
■ Native of New York City and former member of the New York Red Bulls academy program but eventually switched to Beachside SC (Conn.) under the US Soccer Development Academy.
■ His father, Fred, was a two-sport athlete at Harvard, playing lacrosse and football, and his sister Zoe was on the sailing team at Harvard from 2015-17.
■ Graduated high school in two years and completed an associate’s degree at Bard College prior to attending Virginia.
■ Scored his first and only collegiate goal in a 3-1 win over Duke this past fall.
■ Set career highs in games played (24), starts (24), minutes (2,215), and shots (11) in 2019.
■ Earned All-ACC honors in 2019 following an All-ACC third-team selection in 2018.
The Revolution needed to add depth to a few positions, including right back. Behind draft products Brandon Bye and Andrew Farrell, Lekressner fills that void. The Cal-Berkley product, chosen 30th overall, played a major role for the Golden Bears during his four-year career, including as a starter for the last two.
More about Lekressner . . .
■ Hails from Bellevue, Wash., and was a member of the US Soccer Development Academy during his high school years.
■ A former member of the US U-19 player pool, he was invited to a camp in the Canary Islands.
■ Was elected team captain for the U-15/16 USSDA team, scoring 31 goals in 29 games.
■ Started all 18 games in 2019 for California, ranking second on the team in goals (5), including two game-winners, and second in total minutes (1,675), both career highs.
■ Selected to the Pac-12 first team for the 2019 season.
The 43rd overall selection, Meyer backstopped the High Point team for the past four seasons. Though he isn’t expected to vie for minutes immediately and will likely be the fourth-string keeper, the Revolution may opt to develop him with Revolution II.
More about Meyer . . .
■ A resident of Silver Springs, Md., he played club soccer with the Baltimore Celtics program that produced a pair of 2020 SuperDraft selections, including 42nd pick Josh Fawole.
■ Set High Point program record with 27 career shutouts, including seven last season in 20 games.
■ Finished his career playing in 74 games, including starts in every game over his final two seasons.
■ Selected to the Big South first team in each of his final three seasons.
Dan Shulman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielRShulman.