EDITORIAL – The 2022 MLS SuperDraft picks for Toronto FC were not in the first round. A reason for that is a trade they made with the Chicago Fire SC. They traded away their third draft pick to the Fire and also traded Dom Dwyer.
The 2022 MLS SuperDraft Picks Overview
— Raheem (@bashirra) January 11, 2022
Luka Gavran was the 31st draft pick by Toronto FC. This was an interesting choice as goalkeeping did not seem to be an immediate concern for Toronto. This is especially true with how well Quentin Westberg played against CF Montréal.
However, looking further into it, this decision makes more than enough sense. The Hamilton native played fantastic for St. John’s University. Also, Sporting Director and Head Coach, Bob Bradley were impressed with Gavran according to Paul Taylor of FanSided:
Gavran played for three years with St. John’s University according to Red Storm Sports. In fact, in his rookie year, he shared time with BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Jan Hoffelner. Gavran had a successful rookie season, not allowing a goal to be scored in 10 of his 18 games played and won his first five games of the year.
His save percentage went from 0.773 to 0.846 percent in his sophomore year. One of his most notable games was saving three shots on February 15 against Saint Joseph’s. He also made three saves including a penalty save against UConn on March 3.
However, his last year with St. John’s University was by far his best year. He won BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year, First Team All-BIG EAST, United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team, United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-American, and College Soccer News Second Team All-American.
Luka. Gavran. Says. NO!
The @StJohnsMSoccer goalkeeper, and multi-BIG EAST GK of the Week, came up clutch in extra time as the Red Storm earned a road tie at @UConnMSOC in a tremendous match. #BEfutbol pic.twitter.com/DeJi0ZMJ3c
— BIG EAST Olympic Sports (@BIGEASTchamps) October 3, 2021
He led the nation in shutouts, save percentage while finishing the season third in goals-against average. Lastly, he finished third in the program’s single-season shutout list. He was also instrumental for his team, seen in the video above with a big save in extra time.
— Raheem (@bashirra) January 12, 2022
Reshaun Walkes was drafted 59th overall by TFC. Walkes was a forward for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The Brampton native, in his rookie 2020-21 season, scored five goals according to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley website. His first career goal was against the Utah Valley on March 5. He also scored a game-winning goal against Incarnate Ward for his fifth goal of the season.
His play noticeably improved in his second season in 2021. He improved his goal count to nine goals. Most notably though, his assist total went from zero to seven assists.
This is what coach Bradley said about him according to the Toronto FC Communications.
The fact is that he added assists to his game, as mentioned earlier bodes well for TFC going forward. He was also named to the All-WAC Second Team in his rookie season.
Toronto FC Draft Overview
These two draft picks for TFC are likely not going to be with the team regularly this year. However, both players are likely to get playing time with Toronto FC II in the new MLS Next Pro. There will be competition though as unlike some other MLS farm teams, Toronto FC II has been in existence since 2014. Players like Ayo Akinola and Jacob Shaffelburg have emerged from TFC II as major contributors in MLS.
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) January 11, 2022
This was not a high-profile draft for Toronto like in 2020 and 2021. The reason was that TFC did not have a first-round pick was because they traded it to FC Dallas along with forward Dwyer. According to Toronto FC Communications, TFC in exchange received $50,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money (GAM). As a result, Dallas used Toronto’s natural draft pick and drafted forward Isaiah Parker from Saint Louis University.
These players drafted from TFC will most likely play in the new MLS Next Pro this year and/or play via a loan in the Canadian Premier League, which was talked about on CPL Soccer. In that video, then CPL Commissioner David Clanachan revealed their relationship with the Canadian MLS teams on CPL Soccer:
“So, yeah, there’s no doubt I mean the MLS teams are you know, we’ve had good conversations with them, not necessarily about this is only one topic. Our relationship with them I think is better than it’s ever been.”
Competition though is always good to bring the best out of the players. It will force these players to improve as they make the big jump from college (called universities in Canada) to the professional environment. Also, the reason why they got such a high grade was that both players drafted are Canadians.