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Colorado Rapids 2023 MLS SuperDraft Review

Rapids select GA centerback Moise Bombito and National Champion goalkeeper Oliver Semmle

John Babiak

The 2023 MLS SuperDraft is over. The Colorado Rapids started off the day with 3rd, 12th, 41st and 70th overall picks. In the end, the drafted defender Moise Bombito out of UNH and goalkeeper Oliver Semmle. The 12th overall pick was traded to Charlotte FC. The club passed on their third round pick.

“We were pleased with the way it went today. Essentially we added two GA players today to the group. Got an extra first round pick next year. And a goalkeeper who’s going to provide competition in preseason,” Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager Pádraig Smith told Burgundy Wave at the conclusion of the draft.

3rd Overall: Defender Moise Bombito

Moise Bombito is a Generation Adidas player out of the University of New Hampshire. At 6’3”, he played centerback for the Wildcats but has also played central midfielder and even forward in his younger years. The Montreal native just finished his junior season where he was a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, the college soccer equivalent of the Heisman.

“Without a doubt the best domestic player in the draft. Raw attributes and then his character. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a better interview with a draft prospect,” said Smith.

He has become a good passer of the ball and scored four goals, tied for third on the team this past ECAC season. He has also shown to be effective on set pieces. Prior to UNH, he spent two years at Iowa Western Community College.

“He’s got the size, the athleticism, the quality on the ball at center back. He’s got that kind of body and ability to dominate physically. What is critical is play with the ball. He’s got all of those.”

Bombito joins a competitive young centerback group. Gustavo Vallecilla will be looking to take a step up. Aboubacar Keita could be fully recovered from his ACL injury by preseason. Daniel Chacón is back with Rapids 2 from his loan to C.S. Cartaginés. Micheal Edwards could still re-sign with Colorado.

Bombito fits the central defender mold Colorado wants. If he doesn’t measure up, he’ll get a good year of growth in MLS Next Pro. He’s a Generation Adidas player. The club should be patient with him and could handle his development with the wisdom learned from Philip Mayaka’s time at the club. Somewhere in this group of five players, all age 23 or younger, there has to be a long term solution at center back for the Burgundy and Blue.

“There’s certainly no doubt in my mind now that we got over $2 million in value for Mark-Anthony Kaye. I’m pleased with the return.”

This draft pick was the final unresolved asset acquired from the Kaye trade back in the summer. Bombito will be a domestic player via his time at a Canadian Approved Youth Club.

41st Overall: Goalkeeper Oliver Semmle

Oliver Semmle was the starting keeper for the Marshall Thundering Herd in 2021 and 2022. The Au am Rhein, Germany native recorded a shutout in the National Championship win over No. 3 Indiana.

“This kid’s a winner. He’s got a National Championship to his name. Conference Golden Glove, First Team All Conference, led the NCAA in shutouts and Goals Against Average. We saw him live. We like the competition he can bring.”

In terms of accolated and statistical records, Semmle is the most decorated Conference USA goalkeeper in years. Prior to his three years at Marshall, he played college soccer at Monroe College (Bronx, NY) and Barton Community College (Great Bend, KS).

Semmle will be an international player in 2023 should the Rapids sign him. This and how he competes with Abe Rodriguez could affect whether he signs a first team contract or an MLS Next Pro contract.

12th Overall Traded and Third Round Pick Passed

The first round was hyperactive with trades in this SuperDraft. Colorado traded the 12th pick to Charlotte for Charlotte’s natural 2024 first round pick, $50K in 2023 GAM, and $50K in conditional GAM.

Given how much money top five picks were going for, this a fair haul for the 12th pick. The first round pick is the biggest of the three assets. If Charlotte as a sophomore slump, that pick will easily be top ten. Colorado might not have seen a top player they loved and were willing to take offers.

The Rapids were one of four teams to pass on picks in the third round. The club has a very good understanding of their academy players and roster needs and likely did not see a viable first team player left in the draft. This is becoming more and more common as the fourth round of the SuperDraft was eliminated as of 2021.