Daniel Lovitz has been selected by New York City FC in the fourth round of the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft. This move comes as a slight surprise considering Mark Bloom was available for selection. The Toronto fullback is now protected, however, and will return to Toronto for the 2015 season. Lovitz, on the other hand, will be headed to New York just a year after joining Toronto FC.
No other Toronto FC players were selected in the draft as Steven Caldwell, Jackson, Dominic Oduro, Mark Bloom and Bright Dike were all available. There were rumours that Orlando were interested in Bloom, but they missed their chance after Toronto were afforded an extra protected player as a result of Lovitz being picked.
Lovitz was select 24th overall by Toronto FC in the Superdraft and began the season with Toronto's USL Pro affiliate the Wilmington Hammerheads. He quickly impressed and was called back into the Toronto FC camp. For periods of the season he earned himself a starting spot on the left side of midfield.
Overall, Lovitz started in 18 games, starting in 5, in that time he had two assists. Lovitz quickly distinguished himself as a player with speed and skill down the wing. He also showed the ability to be lethal from dead ball situations. His left foot was particularly deadly, and while he didn't score during the season he came very close on many occasions.
What often let Lovitz down, and why he was left protected while other young Toronto FC players were retained, was the fact that he never really fit what Toronto needed on the wing. He had plenty of skill, but wasn't very lethal in the final third. Even a player like Dominic Oduro, who certainly doesn't fit the aforementioned description, was more effective based simply on his speed.
He certainly still has potential, however, and will likely do very well in New York alongside quality midfielders like Frank Lampard and Ned Grabavoy. Considering what he has already demonstrated he is very likely to have a good career in MLS, or even potentially beyond some day.
For now, however, Toronto can be thankful that Lovitz was all they lose today. They didn't leave themselves nearly as exposed as, say, New England. But they still left several key members of their team available for expansion and can now be thankful that nobody called their bluff.
On top of Lovitz, the following players were selected by New York City FC and Orlando City SC;
Orlando: Donovan Ricketts (Portland), Tony Cascio (Colorado), Jalil Anibaba (Seattle), Pedro Ribeiro (Philadelphia), Lewis Neal (DC United), Jairo Arrieta (Columbus), Heath Pearce (Montreal), Danny Mwanga (Colorado), Mark Sherrod (Houston), Eric Gehrig (Columbus)
New York: Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake), Patrick Mullins (New England), Jason Hernandez (San Jose), Daniel Lovitz (Toronto FC), Tony Taylor (New England), Mehdi Ballouchy (Vancouver), George John (FC Dallas), Tommy McNamara (DC United), Sal Zizzo (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake)