Today, New York City Football Club (NYCFC) drafted two players during the 2024 MLS SuperDraft.
Forward Malachi Jones was selected with the eighth overall pick in the First Round from Lipscomb University. The 20-year-old made 35 appearances, scoring 12 goals and providing 15 assists over two seasons for the Bisons. This past season, Jones led the NCAA ASUN Conference in total assists and assists per game and ranked third overall in those categories on the national stage, earning him United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team Honors, as well as being named First Team All-ASUN for the second consecutive season.
A four-time First Team All-State selection, Jones finished his high school career with 119 goals and 43 assists. Ahead of his freshman year at Lipscomb, the 5’10” Forward was named the 2022 Gatorade Tennessee Boys Soccer Player of the Year, awarded to the best high school boys soccer player for excellence on-and-off the field.
Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Jones was adopted alongside his seven siblings from an orphanage at a young age and moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 2013 where he grew up.
Jones marks the fourth player to be picked in the top-10 by the Club and the first since the 2017 SuperDraft. The ‘Boys in Blue’ have selected Forwards Jack Harrison, Khiry Shelton and Jonathan Lewis with the first, second and third overall picks respectively in previous drafts, with all of them making appearances for the First Team throughout their time in New York.
With the 66th overall pick in the Third Round the ‘Boys in Blue’ acquired Forward Taylor Calheira from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Scoring 32 goals and tallying 16 assists in 61 appearances, the Forward finished his Retrievers career eighth on the all-time scoring list.
Calheira won back-to-back American East Striker of the Year honors becoming only one of four players to bring home the accolade in successive seasons. To finish his collegiate career, the 21-year-old Forward became the first player since 2013 to be awarded American East First Team honors three years in a row.
Jones and Calheira became the 23rd and 24th players selected in the SuperDraft in Club history. NYCFC’s recent SuperDraft standouts include Goalkeeper Luis Barraza (Class of 2019) and Defender Kevin O’Toole (Class of 2022), who both played 90 minutes in the 2022 Campeones Cup victory over Mexican side Atlas FC. Last year’s second round pick, Forward MD Myers, went on to be named in the MLS NEXT Pro Best XI for the season and finished as the co-winner of the Golden Boot in his inaugural season with MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, NYCFC II.