The Supplemental Draft is generally a place of 'who's that then?' and 'never heard of him' for the vast majority of us who don't pay all that much attention to the NCAA, and 2013 was again no exception. To those who do pay attention (like Dave, see his preview here and note the first two players profiled), there were a few players who could be classified as a surprise to have slipped out of the top 38 picked at the SuperDraft and still be available, there were still some interesting options still out there.
Surely not for Toronto FC though. With New York Red Bulls taking their sweet first pick reward for all that losing last year as payment for Quincy Amarikwa and TFC not picking until the second round, 20th on the day and to all intents and purposes 58th overall, surely those players would be long gone. So how did we do? Surprisingly well actually, MLSsoccer.com were once again impressed . Here's who we ended up with.
2nd round, 20th overall: Ashton Bennett. Very much a surprise here as he'd been projected by many to go in the SuperDraft, it seemed unlikely he'd go all the way through the first round as well. He got a couple of goals at the combine, Top Drawer Soccer had him as one of their players to look out for as did Sounder at Heart, Soccer By Ives had him going 3rd in their mock draft. Described universally as speedy, and in various places as with an eye for goal, a natural goalscorer and sneaky instincts, it seems like a bit of a steal, though it really begs the question of why exactly so many teams passed on him. His Jamaican-Canadian resident status, making him an international player to all but the Canadian teams may well have helped with that, as might his size, only 5-9, but he should stand a very good chance of making the squad, small and speedy sounds like an excellent compliment to Hassli or Koevermans. Here's some video, showcasing that speed and scoring instinct to some truly terrible music.
At the end of the second round, 38th overall, TFC finally realised they could draft non-Canadians, and came away with another steal, Jose Gomez. A MAC Hermann award finalist, he seems to be recognised by most experts as very smart and technically impressive, but lacking the physicality to be a solid prospect in MLS and looked to be ineffective when pressed too much. In the right team and the right system he could look very good, and he's another player who everyone had as someone who'd be going early today, it's another surprise that he was available. The fact that even Chivas USA passed on him this many times suggests it's a serious gamble, but hey, that's what the supplemental draft's all about and there's some serious potential here if it comes off. Here's his video, his pass to set up the goal in the second clip is a thing of beauty.
TFC had the very next pick, 39th overall, and here's where things start to get as sketchy as you'd expect they would be. Nik Robson. A midfielder from the university of New Mexico, he was nowhere to be found in any experts mock drafts or lists of sleeeper picks. He didn't even make Top Drawer Scocer's top 100, and there's no video of him from MLSSoccer.com, which probably give you a good indication of his chances, though this youtube video from his time at UCF includes an impressive goal or two. The biggest downside? He's from New Zealand, thus requiring an international spot that means he'll have to do something special in the next few weeks to have any chance of even going to Disneyland never mind make the official squad. He does have a charming portfolio online though, which includes the fact that he has "now read over 50 non-fiction books from science to self help in an attempt to be a better person and understand the world around me."
Last but not least, after a few clubs had lazily given up trying and passed up their picks, there's Taylor Morgan, a 6'5" Englishman so again taking up the international spot that makes a long stay unlikely. He's a forward who's been at George Mason University, here's a video of him scoring a lot of goals, part of a profile that includes the description 'good, but not great enough for MLS'. Prove them wrong Taylor, Prove them wrong.
All in all, another seemingly impressive day's drafting by Kevin Payne and TFC. It's best to not get too excited though, of the 5 players picked last year by TFC, none made it into the team and only one of them even got as far as an actual exhibition game. If even one of these guys ends up sticking with the team, you can consider it a success, but I'd say there's more chance of that happening that I was expecting.