Mike Jacobs SuperDraft, 1.21.21

Mike’d Up: Nashville SC GM Mike Jacobs on MLS SuperDraft picks, next steps in offseason

NASHVILLE – With the MLS SuperDraft pres. by adidas in the rearview mirror, Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs now looks towards the rest of the offseason and the eventual start of the 2021 Major League Soccer season.  
 
Nashville SC made five picks in the 2021 SuperDraft, and according to Jacobs, the club hit every mark it wanted to hit during the draft. 
 
Here’s what Jacobs had to say about this year’s draft class in this edition of Mike’d Up.  
 
On his staff’s approach to the SuperDraft... 
 
“The task we gave to our scouting department and our coaching staff was to make sure that out of our top 20 players that we rated, that we were happy with number 20. We knew if we could find 20 players that we’d rated then we would be happy when it was all done. And I have to tell you, if you saw the board in my office, the five names that we ended up with in our selections were all players we kind of said were best case-scenario picks.” 
 
On how he used all five picks... 
 
“Each player we selected was with a specific role in mind. They were guys that we thought that had potential to make the roster right now. It’s the future of our club. When we look at the idea of a fledgling academy that maybe still isn’t feeding our first team yet, the SuperDraft is really important for our club, in some cases more than most, because of us needing these young players help populate our roster.” 
 
On how satisfied he is with his draft class... 
 
“I would tell you now that the draft is over that if you saw the board in my office, we had three names written down: Koze [Donasiyano], [Tom] Judge and Sondre [Norheim]. The hope was if one of those guys was available at 20, we would be able to take them. Even Gary [Smith] was joking before, we just can’t believe that we were able to land all three of those guys.”  
 
On how the draft fits in with other offseason moves... 
 
“In our league, the most coveted asset is GAM, which we’ve obviously been spending a lot of time collecting this offseason. We tried to be very active to get ourselves into this draft with more picks and really kind of bank on the fact that we know where to find value.” 
 
On when these draft picks might join the team... 
 
“We want to make sure that we respect not only those college programs and their pursuit of conference and national championships during the season, but also what’s the best interest for each of those players. With each of these guys, being so close to graduating in most cases, I think it would be negligent to try them out before they finish that. I can’t stress the importance of the experience I had coaching college soccer for over 20 years and the significance of college in helping develop these 18-22 year-olds academically, socially, mentally and psychologically.”