Toronto FC have gotten their SuperDraft day off to a super start with the announcement that the team has completed a deal to sign Michigan State midfielder Jay Chapman to a home grown player contract. The deal took some time to complete with the team and the league having to go back and forth over Chapman's eligibility for a homegrown player contract but that is now all settled and the Canadian midfielder is in Philadelphia at the draft.
While Chapman signing a home grown player deal means that the Michigan State junior does not go through the draft it is worth noting that when his future was unclear many draft experts were pegging him to be a key member of the Generation adidas class and a top five selection.
With that in mind TFC have gotten their draft day off to a very good start by grabbing one of the top talents in college from last season. Having Chapman under contract should also allow the club to take a bit more of a risk on the players they select today as they have a bit less pressure to land a contributor with all three of their picks.
Chapman gives the team a player who is capable of filling that hole in the midfield in front of Michael Bradley. He may not be the impact #10 that fans have been calling for but he is certainly the best suited player for that role that the club has had since Luis Silva was shipped out of town. It is quite possible that we will even see Chapman picking up some minutes as a rookie while also spending some time with the USL Pro team to help continue his development.
"We are very excited to sign Jay. It's always rewarding to sign players that were developed from within your Academy," said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. "Jay is a technical player and has shown an ability to be a driving force in the centre of midfield during his time at Michigan State. He fits into the direction we are heading in terms of our style of play and will be an important part of our club."
What Chapman does is give TFC another young midfielder to try and work into their plans. They already have Manny Aparicio and Chris Mannella on the roster and both will be fighting for minutes in the middle of the park so adding in Chapman should only ratchet up the competition with the likes of Kyle Bekker and Jonathan Osorio also in the mix.
With Chapman deal all official now it kicks off what will be a very busy day for Toronto FC. When it is all over we should have a better idea of what the roster will look like for next season. Chapman was certainly a big piece of the puzzle for the club and that is now sorted.