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2017 MLS SuperDraft Preview: Format, players to watch, mock drafts and more

At Friday’s 2017 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas in Los Angeles, (12pm PT, Webstream at Timbers.com), the Portland Timbers will have four picks beginning with the 10th overall pick of the first round followed by the 32nd, 76th, and 80th overall picks.

But this year's SuperDraft will differ from previous iterations in the total number of MLS teams involved.

This year, two new teams will enter Major League Soccer, Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC, bringing the total number of teams to 22. This means that there will be two more selections per round in this year's draft. Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft will take place on Friday at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Fans can attend the SuperDraft free of charge. Rounds 3 and 4 of the SuperDraft will take place via conference call on Tuesday, January 17 at a time to be determined.

Have a look at MLSsoccer.com’s handy SuperDraft 101:

While a consensus appears to be building around some of the top talents available in the draft (more on that below), a lot may change between the MLS Combine – which started this past weekend – and draft day.

Let's start with the Combine. A host of college players – including the league's latest Generation adidas signings – were allocated to four teams that are playing in a round-robin format at the Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif. Fans can follow along and watch each of the matches via MLSsoccer.com webstreams.

While it's still unclear how deep this year's draft class actually is and how other MLS teams will approach the selection process, what is increasingly clear is that a consensus has begun building around the top talents available.

The draft boards of Soccer By Ives and TopDrawerSoccer share very little in common among their top 20 ranked players. Only seven players appear among the top 20 of both draft boards. But of those seven, four are ranked in the top five of each site's board.

These four players include forwards Abu Danladi (UC Santa Barbara) and Jeremy Ebobisse (Duke University) and defenders Miles Robinson (Syracuse University) and Brandon Aubrey (Notre Dame University). MLSsoccer.com's Will Parchman adds to this list with a quick look at the top 10 draft prospects and their current MLS potential equivalents.

Where will they all land? MLSsoccer.com's Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle has a crack at listing out the players in a pre-Combine Mock Draft and we've also included a few more to round out the info.

So with the 10th, 32nd, 76th, and 80th selections in this year's draft, the Timbers will have a number of options. Do they package those picks to move up and grab a consensus talent? Do they sit back and wait?

Tune in live on Timbers.com at high noon on Friday to find out.

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