FC Dallas came into the 2022 MLS SuperDraft with two first-round picks and came away with Isiah Parker from Saint Louis and Lucas Bartlett from St John’s. Update: FCD traded up to grab Tsiki Ntsabeleng from Oregon State with the final pick in the first round.
In the 3rd Round, FC Dallas selected Alec Smir from North Carolina, Chase Niece from Saint Louis, and Holland Rula from Wake Forest who recently transferred to High Point for a season of graduate student soccer.
Parker is a Generation adidas signing who played as a left wing at Saint Louis but is a potential left back conversion. I suggested he should be who FC Dallas pick at 6 in my SuperDraft preview article. Picking Parker is combo of best available and a need fit, given FCD’s loss of Johnny Nelson.
Name: Isaiah Parker
Drafted: 1st Round, No. 3 Overall
Connect with Isaiah:Instagram
Date of Birth: September 1, 2002 (19)
College: Saint Louis University
Hometown: Gurnee, Illinois
Bartlett is arguably a reach at the 6th pick though. While center back was someone I talked about the team picking, Bartlett is a grad student (Born 1997, he’ll be 25 in July) and was 4th at center back on the Top Drawer Soccer pool rankings. According to reports, he tested well at the combine and may have moved up. Certainly, FC Dallas had a hit on the last center back they were accused of reaching on, Nkosi Tafari.
Name: Lucas Bartlett
Drafted: 1st Round, No. 6 Overall
Connect with Lucas:Twitter
Date of Birth: July 26, 1997 (24)
College: St. John’s University
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
Ntsabeleng is a South African winger (international spot) from Oregon State. A former South African U20, he was 2018 Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year while at Coastal Carolina (his first two seasons in college). FCD must have really through Ntsabeleng has something important since they traded up to get him ($50k GAM + 34th overall pick).
Name: Tsiki Ntsabeleng
Pronunciation: SEE-KEE SA-beh-leng
Connect with Tsiki:Instagram
Drafted: 1st Round, No. 28 Overall
Date of Birth: September 2, 1998 (23)
College: Oregon State University
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality: South Africa
Smir is 6’2″ and a redshirt senior. FCD, or more likely North Texas SC, has a hole for a keeper so this selection is fine even if it’s not a need. This is the 3rd Round we’re talking about. He’ll be 23, no big deal in a keeper.
Name: Alec Smir
Drafted: 3rd Round, No. 62 Overall
Connect with Alec: Twitter
Date of Birth: April 13, 1999 (22)
College: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina
Niece is a 6’2″ center back that was overshadowed by his partner Kipp Keller. Niece seems to have a reputation for toughness and a flyer on another center back is a good idea.
Name: Chase Niece
Drafted: 3rd Round, No. 66 Overall
Connect with Chase:Twitter
Date of Birth: October 28, 1998 (23)
College: Saint Louis University
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Rula is a left back out of the FCD Academy. A starter 3 of his 4 years are Wake Forest, he’s recently transferred to High Point for a graduate season. He’ll be 23 this season too.
Name: Holland Rula
Drafted: 3rd Round, No. 87 Overall
Connect with Holland:Twitter
Date of Birth: May 15, 1999 (23)
College: Wake Forest University
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
3rd Degree’s Take
Parker is the fantastic pick but Bartlett we’re going to take a wait-and-see approach on. Thankfully Macro Ferruzzi’s college scouting has been pretty good over the years and that gives us confidence.
Also, I’m not really sure they needed to trade up to get Ntsabeleng. Maybe they had some intel he was being sought by someone before they picked 6 picks later.
In the 3rd Round, FCD took a keeper for the 2nd year in a row, flyer on another center back, and their own former Academy player.
Here’s another Bartlett scouting take from College Soccer News’ mock draft:
20. Seattle Sounders – Lucas Bartlett – St. John’s – Center Back – Senior
Seattle need center back depth and select Bartlett, a big center back with ball playing capabilities. The biggest question with Barlett is his mobility in tight areas, but he’s showed well enough to be a late first round pick here.