Lyam MacKinnon Drafted in Third Round by Nashville SC


Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

Lyam Mackinnon was a four-year starter for the Wildcats.

Owen Hewitt, Co-Sports Editor

Villanova men’s soccer standout Lyam MacKinnon was selected Wednesday in the third round of the Major League Soccer 2023 SuperDraft. Nashville SC selected the four-year starter with the 84th overall pick, the team’s sixth selection of the day. 

MacKinnon is coming off a senior season in which he scored five goals, which tied with senior defender Viktor Benediktsson for the team lead. He scored a total of 17 goals over his four years as a Wildcat, including a career-high eight in 2021. His 2021 campaign was a 22-point season, as MacKinnon added six assists to his eight goal total. 

“Lyam has worked incredibly hard toward this moment,” Villanova head coach Tom Carlin said to Villanova Athletics. “There is no doubt that he has developed the necessary skills on both sides of the ball to make an immediate impact at Nashville.”

The senior with a nose for goal was the third-to-last player taken in the league’s annual college entry draft. He joins a small club of Wildcats to be drafted into MLS, with just four other Wildcats being selected since the SuperDraft’s inception in 2000. 

The most recent Wildcat to be drafted before MacKinnon was Chris Bared, who was picked up by the Seattle Sounders in 2018. The Wildcat who had the most success at the MLS level is current Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin. Curtin made 151 appearances in defense for the Chicago Fire between 2001 and 2008, and was named an all-star in the 2004 season.

According to analysis from’s Travis Clark, MacKinnon faces an uphill battle to claim a roster spot. Being one of six in Nashville’s 2023 draft class, MacKinnon will have to prove himself on the training ground to earn a spot in the final 30.