Last Wednesday was the 2023 (in 2022) edition of the MLS SuperDraft, and Miami bolstered their club. It was a fairly quiet evening on draft day last week, but Miami did make two picks (the two picks they came into the draft with). Here, I decided to break down the picks and to hand out some grades.
Note that we will only be breaking down what happened on draft day, so we will not be discussing the trade from last offseason that saw Miami send their third rounder to Chicago. Now let's get to the grades.
Round 1: Pick 18=GK Cole Jensen (Xavier)
With their selection in the first round, Miami made Jensen the first keeper off the board. Heading into the draft, almost everyone viewed the 6'5, 195 pound Jensen as one of the top three GKs in the draft.
This past season at Xavier, Jensen made 59 saves (at a 78.7% clip), had a 0.89 goals against average, and kept eight clean sheets (including two different streaks of three straight throughout the season). Jensen was a United Soccer Coaches third team All-American and was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year. One thing working against Jensen is that he was just a one-year starter at Xavier. However as you can tell, it was a very strong season.
What makes this an interesting pick is that Miami has Drake Callender entrenched as their starting keeper. While it's likely that Jensen won't see a lot of MLS action this season, it's hard to really hold that against Miami when judging their draft because it's rare to see keepers getting drafted to start Day 1.
I think Jensen will likely spend this season with Inter Miami II in MLS Next Pro with Nick Marsman once again serving as the team's backup. Then, I think Jensen will emerge as the #2 in 2024, and potentially push for a starting job after that.
In general, I tend to think Miami had a few more needs they could've addressed, but they honestly didn't have a ton of egregious needs heading into the draft. The one thing that this does is give them long-term protection in case Callender gets moved at some point in the next year or two after his breakout 2022 season.
MLSSoccer.com's Travis Clark had Jensen ranked as the #2 goalkeeper in the class.
- Pick Grade: B
Next Page: Bachir Ndiaye and the overall draft grade.