Lost in all the excitement of this week around Toronto FC is the fact that the MLS SuperDraft is once again nearly upon us. TFC are not a major player with just the 15th, 24th, and 60th selections. It is quite different from last year when TFC headed to the draft holding the 1st and 3rd selection.
With the draft fast approaching it is worth looking back at the club's less than successful history on draft day. The current team roster includes only two players who were drafted by the club and both of them, Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman, were taken just last year.
We take a look back over Toronto FC's 14 selections in the first two rounds of previous drafts to see just what they have to show for their efforts. There is some good in there with all the bad but the club is certainly batting a very low percentage at the SuperDraft.
It is also worth nothing that Toronto FC have traded away a number of early picks in the draft. Their first round pick in 2011 was traded to Vancouver for Nathan Sturgis, in 2010 it was traded to FC Dallas for Adrian Serioux, they traded their top pick in 2008 to Dallas again this time for Richard Mulrooney, and their top pick this year was handed to the Whitecaps in that Eric Hassli deal.
1st overall - Maurice Edu: There is nothing to knock about this selection by TFC. Edu was a key player for the club in the early days as he logged an impressive rookie season. TFC netted a nice chunk of change for Edu midway through his second season when they sold him to Rangers. Edu could be on his way back to MLS in the coming days having failed to really make it in Europe but the USMNT player was certainly one of the better selections TFC have made.
10th overall - Andrew Boyens: The big defender had a decent season with TFC as rookie but it was not enough to keep him around as he was released before his second year. After leaving TFC he bounced around to a few other MLS teams but never really developed into a quality CB. TFC never got anything to show for this selection.
9th overall - Julius James: The defender played a half season for Toronto FC after being drafted but he was shipped out of town quite quickly as James was included in the package that brought Dwayne De Rosario over from the Houston Dynamo. Since then he has shuffled around MLS a bit and is now playing in NASL with the Carolina Railhawks.
10th overall - Pat Phelan: The midfielder never played a game for TFC as he was traded to the New England Revolution in June. The return in the deal was just an international slot. Phelan did make 80 MLS appearances before moving to Sweden. He is now back in the States playing for the San Antonio Scorpions of NASL.
28th overall - Brian Edwards: Edwards managed to make 9 league appearances for TFC but was primarily used as a backup option before being released early in 2010. After breif stops with the Charlotte Eagles and the San Jose Earthquakes he found some success playing over in Sweden. He is now retired and working as a coach.
2nd overall - Sam Cronin: A good rookie season and a strong start to his second campaign meant nothing for Cronin as he was dumped off for some allocation money. Since the trade he has become a vital part of the midfield for the San Jose Earthquakes having logged over 100 league appearances and even garnering some all star talk in recent seasons.
4th overall - O'Brian White: Never really got going in MLS after being taken by TFC. His scoring was a bit lacking in his two seasons with the club which led to him being left unprotected in the expansion draft. The Whitecaps selected the forward before trading him to the Seattle Sounders. White has since been forced out of the game due to injuries.
13th overall - Stefan Frei: Along with Edu this is the other pick that has worked out quite well for TFC. They got three good seasons out of Frei before injuries messed things up. Frei was traded to the Sounders this winter for a 1st round pick in 2015 which seems a good deal for a player who was considered surplus to needs in Toronto.
24th overall - Zachary Herold: This is a selection that you cannot really knock TFC for the way that it failed to work out. Herold had to retire before he ever played a single MLS game as he was diagnosed with a heart condition that made it dangerous for him to keep playing.
26th overall - Demitrius Omphroy: Toronto tried to convert the defender into a forward and he managed to make one MLS appearance as a rookie. After the season he was cut loose by the club and is no longer in MLS. Since leaving Toronto he has represented the Philippines and continued to promote awareness of Multiple sclerosis, a disease he has.
4th overall - Luis Silva: Had a solid rookie season and seemed to be a player on the rise before taking a bit of a step back in his second year. Somehow instead of being a success at TFC he was shipped off to D.C. United for some of that MLS funny money. This could prove to be a deal that TFC live to regret.
12th overall - Aaron Maund: A CB by trade but some short wearing coach (Paul Mariner) insisted on trying to turn him into an unathletic DM. It never really worked out for him in Toronto in either position and he was eventually traded to Real Salt Lake for Justin Braun.
3rd overall - Kyle Bekker: Yet to really make his mark despite getting a few appearances for the club as a rookie. Should get a chance to contribute off the bench in 2014.
16th overall - Emery Welshman: Looks to be well down the depth chart again in 2014 having barely seen the field as a rookie. Could very well go out on loan this summer to actually get some playing time.
On the whole it is a fairly unimpressive list. There are a few players who have proven to be successful in MLS but they are few and far between. Outside of Frei and Edu though TFC have never really managed to get much value for their draft picks as most of the others have been dumped off for very little after a short time with the club.
The draft may not be the most important way to build a team in this league anymore but it still has a role to play. The best teams in MLS are constantly adding quality depth through the draft but that is something TFC have failed to do. If the club wants to be consistently competitive improving their draft fortunes would be a good place to start.