New England Soccer Today

The SuperDraft Experience

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Every winter, MLS welcomes another crop of college players at the annual SuperDraft, an event that casts an immediate spotlight on a number of fresh faces.

So what is it like to be at the epicenter at of such a high-profile event? We caught up with 2014 Revolution first round pick Patrick Mullins – who was subsequently selected by New York City FC in the expansion draft last month –  to get his take.

NEST: We see plenty of ink devoted to the Combine and SuperDraft, but tell me: what are the days like in between the Combine and the SuperDraft?

Patrick Mullins: “For me, they were definitely busy. That whole time was a very chaotic. I went to the draft in person, so pretty much straight from the Combine, I flew into Philadelphia, and was there for a couple of days beforehand, doing a few appearances for the league, and doing some community service events. It was busy, but I liked it – it kept your mind off of the big event, and just doing some good things like that is always good. It keeps your mind focused before going into something as big as the draft.”

You were one of the most heralded prospects going into last year’s draft. What was draft day like for you?

“It was a pretty magical day. I really enjoyed the entire draft experience, even though some people may have thought I waited a little long on the draft board. But that was just something the analysts were talking and speculating about. In my mind, I was sitting with the 4-5 most important people in my life, and that have helped me get to that point, my family and my girlfriend, and I was just excited to be there on that day. I knew I was going to end up somewhere, I was just hoping that it was a good fit. To be honest, at the time, I thought coming to the Revs was a great fit, and I don’t think it could’ve gone any better for me.”

What kind of emotions did you experience while you were waiting for your name to be called?

“It’s tough to put a finger on one emotion, because you have a million things going in your head. You don’t know which team is going to take you, you just want to be with any one, but once I heard the Revs call my name, I knew it was the right team for me, so it was just excitement – that was the main emotion.”

You hear your name get called, and you walk up on stage and meet with the coaching staff. What happens after that?

“For the next hour, hour-and-a-half, it’s pretty busy, you have a lot of interview requests, whether it’s on the phone or in person, and you have to do all those type of duties that comes with being a player. Then after that, MLS had a nice little area for the family where you could just kind of relax, have some food, and let the day sink in. At that point, the day’s kind of slowed down at a regular pace, and all the stress of the day is gone. You can just sit back and enjoy it with your family.”

What memory from the draft still sticks out today?

“I would say there are two things that still stick out. The first would be when you’re called up to the stage and you’ve been picked, it’s almost like that instant transition from amateur college player to professional player has begun right now, and that was pretty clear with the immediate wave of things that you’re with hit with, and that’s when the real excitement begins. It’s like the old saying, ‘It’s not where you’re drafted; it’s what you do after you’re drafted.’ That’s kind of how it begins. The other thing I remember is having a good joke with trying to figure out who was going to be picked next, and the cameraman running around trying to get up close and get the best view of whoever’s the next pick. It was kind of funny watching that.”

After going through the whole draft process last year, what piece of advice would you give to this year’s crop of prospects?

“I know it just wrapped up, but I think a big thing is to be at your best in the Combine. I know there’s been talk about whether having a player combine is worth it or not. But regardless, it’s still a big thing for college players. I think it’s important to go there and stand out – that should be your mentality going into the Combine. You want to stand out for the right things – that would be the advice I’d give. That doesn’t mean going out and showboating or anything, it just means going out and making the right plays at the right time to help your team win.”


Leave a Reply