superdraftpicks

In the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas on Wednesday, Austin FC selected Generation adidas winger CJ Fodrey in the first round with the 13th overall pick, midfielder Valentin Noel in the first round with the 20th overall pick, midfielder Jackson Walti in the second round with the 56th overall pick, and defender Salvatore Mazzaferro in the third round with the 72nd overall pick. 

Austin FC acquired the 13th overall pick in a trade with Houston Dynamo FC, in which Houston received the 27th overall pick, $50,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM), and $50,000 in 2024 GAM. Austin FC acquired the 20th overall pick in a trade with St. Louis CITY SC, in which St. Louis received $50,000 in 2023 GAM and up to $50,000 in conditional GAM.

At 18 years old, Fodrey was the youngest player available for selection and the only freshman in this year’s Generation adidas class. He spent the fall of 2022 at San Diego State University, where he led the Aztecs in goals (7) and assists (4). Those numbers led to All Pac-12 First Team and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors.

Fodrey has experience competing at the professional level with San Diego Loyal SC of the USL Championship, where he was coached by MLS and U.S. Men’s National Team legend Landon Donovan. He scored against LA Galaxy in a 2021 preseason match and recorded his first official professional goal against Las Vegas Lights FC on August 18, 2021 to become the youngest goal-scorer in Loyal SC history.

As a Generation adidas selection, Fodrey will be added to the Club’s Supplemental roster. Generation adidas is a joint program between MLS and adidas, which makes select top collegiate underclassmen and youth national team players available in the SuperDraft. Generation adidas player salaries are not charged against an MLS team's annual salary budget. Previous Austin FC MLS SuperDraft selections Dani Pereira (2021) and Kipp Keller (2022) are also Generation adidas players.

Noel played four (4) seasons of collegiate soccer at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned All-ACC First Team honors as a sophomore and as a senior, and All-ACC Second Team honors as a junior. He was named 2020 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and a 2020-2021 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist. The native of Niort, France recorded 11 goals and three (3) assists during his senior season with the Panthers in 2022. Over the course of his collegiate career, Noel played 77 matches, scoring 35 goals and tallying 13 assists. Prior to playing for Pittsburgh, Noel played in the academy system of Chamois Niortais FC for 10 years.

A teammate of Noel’s at Pittsburgh, Walti was voted to the All-ACC Second Team in 2020, 2021, and 2022. He started 22 matches for the Panthers, leading the team alongside Noel to an appearance in the national semifinals at the 2022 NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cup. Walti played 9,069 minutes in 101 matches (98 starts) throughout his collegiate career. Born in St. Augustine, Florida, Walti spent much of his childhood in Switzerland.

Mazzaferro played center back and right back for the University of South Florida, earning selections to the AAC All-Rookie Team in 2019 and the All-AAC Second Team in 2020, 2021, and 2022. He led the team in minutes played in 2021 with 1,380. Prior to his collegiate career, Mazzaferro played in the Toronto FC Academy.

Transaction: In the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, Austin FC selected CJ Fodrey with the 13th overall pick (pick acquired via a trade with Houston Dynamo FC), Valentin Noel with the 20th overall pick (pick acquired via a trade with St. Louis CITY SC), midfielder Jackson Walti with the 56th overall pick, and defender Salvatore Mazzaferro with the 72nd overall pick.

Player Details: CJ Fodrey
Position: Winger
Height: 6’2”
Date of birth: February 10, 2004
Age: 18
Hometown: San Diego, California
Nationality: United States
College: San Diego State University

Player Details: Valentin Noel
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’10”
Date of birth: April 27, 1999
Age: 23
Hometown: Niort, France
Nationality: France
College: University of Pittsburgh

Player Details: Jackson Walti
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’10”
Date of birth: December 7, 1999
Age: 23
Hometown: St. Augustine, Florida
Nationality: United States
College: University of Pittsburgh

Player Details: Salvatore Mazzaferro
Position: Defender
Height: 6’1”
Date of birth: October 11, 2001
Age: 21
Hometown: Toronto, Canada 
Nationality: Canada
College: University of South Florida