2023 MLS SuperDraft: Clemson’s Hamady Diop becomes Charlotte FC’s No. 1 pick

Clemson guard Hammadi Diop was selected No. 1 overall by Charlotte FC in Wednesday’s MLS Super Draft.

Los Angeles FC’s Cristian Arango (9) lifts the MLS Supporters’ Shield following the match against Nashville SC at Banc of California Stadium. LAFC won the Supporters’ Shield after finishing the 2022 season with the most points.

MLS expansion St. Louis City SC lost its No. 1 spot in exchange for a first-round pick (plus a $400,000 general allocation) with last season’s expansion Charlotte FC.

Charlotte FC selected Ben Bend out of Maryland State in the 2022 draft, the first pick in back-to-back drafts. This is the first time a team has back-to-back No. 1 picks since DC United took Alecko Eskandarian and Freddy Adu first overall in the 2003 and 2004 drafts.

MLS announced a new sponsorship deal with Adidas.

The 6-foot, 186-pound Diop is a second-team selection for both the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

The 2023 MLS SuperDraft will feature three rounds.

2023 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick

1. Charlotte FC (from St. Louis SC) — Hamady Diop, defender, Clemson

2. Orlando City SC (from DC United) — Shakur Mohammed, forward, Duke

3. Colorado Rapids (from Toronto FC) — Moise Bombito, defender, New Hampshire

4. New England Revolution (from San Jose Earthquakes) — Joshua Bolma, midfielder, Maryland

5. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (from Houston Dynamo FC) — J.C. Ngando, midfielder, UNC Greensboro

6. Orlando City SC (from Chicago Fire FC) — Duncan McGuire, forward, Creighton

7. Real Salt Lake (from Atlanta United FC) — Ilijah Paul, forward, Washington

8. Sporting Kansas City — Stephen Afrifa, forward, Florida International

9. St. Louis City SC (from Seattle Sounders FC) — Owen O’Malley, midfielder, Creighton

10. San Jose Earthquakes (from New England Revolution) — Daniel Munie, defender, Indiana

11. Nashville SC (from Charlotte FC) — Joey Skinner, defender, Clemson

12. Charlotte FC (from Colorado Rapids) — Patrick Agyemang, forward, Rhode Island

13. Austin FC (from Vancouver Whitecaps FC through Houston Dynamo FC) — CJ Fodrey, midfielder, San Diego State

14. Columbus Crew — Maximilian Arfsten, forward, San Jose Earthquakes II

15. Portland Timbers — Noel Caliskan, midfielder, Loyola Marymount

16. Real Salt Lake — Bertin Jacquesson, forward, Pittsburgh

17. Orlando City SC — Abdi Salim, defender, Syracuse

18. Inter Miami CF — Cole Jensen, goalkeeper, Xavier

19. Minnesota United FC — Ryen Jiba, defender, Union Omaha

20. Austin FC (from Nashville SC through Charlotte FC and St. Louis SC) — Valentin Noel, midfielder, Pittsburgh

21. New York Red Bulls — Elian Haddock, goalkeeper, Yale

22. FC Cincinnati — Joey Akpunonu, defender, Bowling Green

23. Los Angeles Galaxy — Gino Vivi, forward, Central Florida

24. FC Dallas — Herbert Endeley, forward, Indiana

25. Real Salt Lake (from CF Montréal) — Emeka Eneli, forward, Cornell

26. New York City FC — Malcolm Johnston, midfielder, Maryland

27. Columbus Crew (from Austin FC through Houston Dynamo FC) — Xavier Zengue, defender, Dayton

28. Philadelphia Union—Holden Trent, goalkeeper, High Point

29. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (from Los Angeles FC) — Levonte Johnson, forward, Syracuse


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Salt Bae: FIFA’s Response to Final World Cup Action

FIFA is investigating how celebrity chef “Salt Bae” got onto the pitch after last weekend’s 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France.

‘Salt Bae’ gatecrashed Argentina’s World Cup celebrations

The restaurateur is known for his bizarre salt-sprinkling techniques and outrageously expensive food – even steaks in gold leaf, which appeared on the pitch after the Argentine player’s win.

He, whose real name is Nusret Gokche, is pictured with the newly crowned World Cup winner and has come under heavy criticism for his behavior in recent days.

Videos posted on social media appeared to show some Argentine players uncomfortable with his presence. In one exchange, Gokche appeared to be trying to speak to Lionel Messi, who appeared to want to move away from him.

In video clips posted online, Gokche was also seen holding and kissing the World Cup trophy, even taking it away from some Argentine players.

FIFA rules effectively state that only World Cup winners and heads of state are allowed to touch the World Cup trophy during the closing ceremony celebrations.

The world governing body also confirmed to Sky Sports News that “Salt Bae” was not allowed to play despite wearing some kind of identification on a lanyard around his neck.

A statement issued by FIFA read: “Following a review, FIFA has been determining how individuals gained improper access to the pitch following the closing ceremony at the Lusail Stadium on December 18. Appropriate internal action will be taken .”

A historic video has since surfaced showing FIFA president Gianni Infantino receiving the “Salt Bae” treatment at one of his restaurants. But it is thought there are no commercial or official ties that would allow Gokce to appear in his region after Sunday’s final.

It’s even believed that Infantino unfollowed “Salt Bae” on Instagram.


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Kylian Mbappe’s brother Ethan makes PSG debut

Ethan Mbappe, the 15-year-old brother of French superstar Kylian, has made his debut for Paris Saint-Germain.

Can Ethan match his brother’s legacy at PSG?

The young midfielder came on as a half-time substitute in a mid-season friendly against Paris FC, replacing Fabian Ruiz in the 2-1 win.

This is a relatively inexperienced Paris Saint-Germain side, with stars such as Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe Sr. still at the World Cup.

Head coach Christophe Galtier added Hugo Ekitike, Renato Sanches and Sergio Rico, among others Incorporated into his side as he took the opportunity to provide valuable minutes to his young stars.

Ethan Mbappe joined Paris Saint-Germain at the same time as his older brother in 2017, signing a three-year contract in 2021 and making his debut for France’s Under-16s later that year team play.

After making his senior debut, Mbappe said in an Instagram post that he was “very happy to make his professional debut.”

How successful the 15-year-old ends up being remains to be seen, but the PSG hierarchy will indeed be delighted if he can achieve a fraction of his brother’s success.

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Szymon Marciniak confirmed as referee for 2022 World Cup final

Polish referee Szymon Marciniak blew the whistle for the 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France.

Szymon Marciniak has been given the honour

Marciniak becomes the first Pole to receive the honour, and will be joined on the sidelines by fellow Poles Pawel Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz.

He was instrumental in the 2021/22 Champions League, officing four group games and two last-16 games before coaching Chelsea to a 3-2 quarter-final win over Real Madrid and Liverpool in the semi-finals Beat Villarreal. Final – Polish officials are in charge of a major European semi-final for the first time.

Marchignak has managed two games this winter and, coincidentally, has already officiated France and Argentina.

He blew the whistle in the group stage as France beat Denmark 2-1 and led three goals as Kylian Mbappe’s last-minute goal secured the Blues’ victory. Yellow card.

Afterwards, Marciniak coached Argentina to beat Australia in the round of 16, which also ended 2-1.

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Messi equals Matthaeus’ World Cup appearance record

Lionel Messi equaled his record for most World Cup appearances on Tuesday as he represented Argentina for the 25th time in football’s biggest competition.

Germany’s Lothar Matthäus had previously held the record.

Messi, who will be playing in his fifth and possibly final World Cup, will have a chance to break the record as Argentina take part in either Sunday’s final or Saturday’s playoffs.

Messi has already reached a number of other World Cup milestones in Qatar.

He overtook Diego Maradona in the group stages to become the most capped Argentine player at the World Cup and scored a penalty in the quarter-final against the Netherlands, joining Gabriel, who had 10 goals. Batistuta fought side by side.


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