Matt Di Rosa Highlights Toronto FC’s MLS SuperDraft 2021 Overview

Matt Di Rosa

EDITORIAL – Matt Di Rosa was one of a few names highlighted in the MLS SuperDraft 2021. There were also other Toronto FC MLS SuperDraft picks including Nathaniel Crofts, Paul Rothrock, and Jon-Talen Maples.

Toronto FC and their MLS SuperDraft Overview, Highlighting Matt Di Rosa

  1. Matt Di Rosa (picked 25th)

It is important to note that TFC had the 18th pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. However, TFC traded that 18th pick to get the 25th pick from Minnesota United FC and $50,000 in General Allocation Money. With the 25th pick, they picked Matt Di Rosa, who is a midfielder/left-back.

Matt Di Rosa of the Maryland Terps was the first of two brothers drafted in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. Ben Di Rosa, who also played for Maryland, was drafted 44th by New York City FC.

The midfielder/left-back is the third Maryland player TFC has drafted in the SuperDraft. This includes Tsubasa Endoh, who currently plays for Toronto. They might have gotten a steal with Di Rosa, as he was projected to be drafted between eighth to 20th in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft according to Steve Buffery of Toronto Sun. This is what Toronto general manager Ali Curtis said about Di Rosa:

“Matt Di Rosa is a left back who was an important player on an NCAA championship team at Maryland.”

In 2019, he started all 21 games for Maryland, including getting two assists. In his sophomore season in 2019, he played a big role in Maryland’s championship run, including scoring the opening goal against Indiana in the College Cup semifinals. He would then draw a penalty for Maryland in the College Cup final in a 1-0 win over Akron.

His career highlights include being selected for the 2018 and 2019 Academic All-Big Ten Selection. Matt Di Rosa also made the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and the 2019 CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American. Lastly, he won the 2018 NCAA Elite 90 Award and made the Academic All-Big Ten three times.

  1. Nathaniel Crofts (picked 45th)

Crofts is a forward, who was drafted in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft. He played for the Virginia Cavaliers. This what Curtis said about Crofts:

“Nathaniel Crofts Jr. is a versatile attacking player who was a four-year starter on a very good team at Virginia.”

Crofts had a college career-high with six assists, along with four goals in the 2018-19 season for Virginia. He led the team with 14 points and six assists in the 2018-19 season. Crofts would then have a college career-high with six goals in the 2019-20 season. Crofts would also have three assists and a career-high of 15 points, which placed him with the third-most points in the 2019-20 season.

He was also named to the ACC All-Tournament Team and had five-game winning goals in 2019. Two of these goals came against second-ranked team Duke and first-ranked team Maryland. His game-winning goal against Virginia Tech was number nine SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. Also, he was named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week in November. 19, 2018.

This goal for the Virginia Cavaliers was Croft’s first-ever goal for the Cavaliers. It was also the quickest goal (scored at 1:31) the Cavaliers scored in the entire 2018-19 for the Cavaliers.

  1. Paul Rothrock (picked 64th) and 4. Jon-Talen Maples (picked 72th)

Rothrock, a midfielder from Georgetown was drafted 64th by Toronto. He played one season for the Georgetown Hoyas and was named to the Dallas Cup Best XI. In the 2019 season, he had four goals and seven assists, which resulted in him getting 15 points. This is what Curtis said about Rothrock:

“Paul Rothrock is another versatile player who won a national championship at Georgetown.”

Maples is a defender from Southern Methodist University Mustangs (also known as the SMU Mustangs). He was named the AAC Defender Player of the Week two times, and the AAC First Team All-Conference and Third Team All Region in 2018. He also made the American Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team in 2017, which shows how good Rothrock is on defence. Furthermore, Curtis talked about how strong of a defender and leader he was for Southern Methodist University.

Overview of Matt Di Rosa and Toronto FC’s MLS SuperDraft

New TFC head coach Chris Armas completed his first major job with the MLS SuperDraft. Matt Di Rosa in particular was a huge pick up for TFC, who could have a similar impact to Ifunanyachi Achara had last year when healthy. This is especially true when it was expected that he would be drafted higher in the draft.

First though, comes the 2020 Canadian Championship Final against two-time defending North Star Shield champions, Forge FC (based in Hamilton). The winner of that final will face against defending Liga MX champions Club León in the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16.

Toronto has won the Voyageurs Cup seven times and made six appearances in the Concacaf Champions League. This includes 2018, where TFC made the Concacaf Champions League Final. This is while Hamilton will look to qualify for their first-ever Concacaf Champions League appearance by getting a win in the Canadian Championship Final. Hamilton has also never won the Canadian Championship Final.

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