21-year-old Canadian Jay Chapman enjoyed a promising rookie season in MLS for Toronto with 10 league appearances. Although his 10 appearances only equated to 202 minutes and 1 MLS start, he demonstrated his potential through his vision and passing abilities in limited minutes this season.
Average Rating: 20.5
Highest Rating: 16
Lowest Rating: 23
Coming out of Michigan State, Chapman excelled at the College level and won Big Ten Midfielder of the year in 2014 prior to signing with Toronto. A versatile midfielder, Chapman did not look out of place competing in MLS and getting himself into the thick of things with some strong tackles and causing a few fouls along the way.
Chapman got his chance to impress during the summer months of the season, which were filled with international matches, and injuries that gave him the bulk of his appearances. If not for the pleasant surprise of Marky Delgado earning a place ahead of him in the depth chart it is possible that Chapman would have seen much more time on the field.
When given the chance, he displayed signs of strong passing ability along with good ball control, however there are not many moments that stand out during his season. He wasn't able to get forward as much as he should have and was unable to register an assist or a shot on target either. This was the difference maker this season in what led to Delgado earning a place ahead of him in the depth chart.
On the defensive side of things, one can draw more positives, as he was rarely a liability and was able to stand his ground very well in a physical league. When getting subbed on during a winning situation, he did not make a negative impact and did not ever contribute to a late game collapse. Therefore, if Chapman is able to get more involved in the attack and find that extra bit of creativity, he has a chance to be an important piece of the puzzle in the future. Defensively, he has what it takes to excel at this level and may provide a strong presence in the midfield for Toronto in the future.
Despite limited minutes in MLS, Chapman played in numerous TFC II matches, scoring a couple goals along the way and also took part in Canada's Olympic Qualifying tournament. Surprisingly, Chapman was not a mainstay in the midfield for Canada's Olympic team, with Benito Floro opting to use Samuel Piette and TFC's Chris Mannella, despite the latter not seeing MLS action this season.
When Chapman did get a chance, he proved he was one of the better players on the field and took on a leadership role in the midfield. Despite some appearances with the Olympic team, it is surprising that Chapman has not yet to received a call up from the men's National team, even during their heavily experimental period in 2013-2014.
It is only a matter of time before Chapman breaks into the first team and sees significant minutes, but it does not look likely that it will happen next year. It is a tricky situation as Chapman is a certainly a step above USL level, but not yet starting level in MLS. He may benefit from a loan in NASL or Europe next season if the situation may arise, as it would be a shame to see him not get much playing time.
With no Olympic tournament to participate in, he likely won't be playing much at the international level either. As a result, one must hope that Chapman can find minutes somewhere next season and develop his game to the next level as he did show that he has the potential to be a quality midfielder in MLS for Toronto. Being a 21-year-old homegrown Canadian and not counting against the salary cap, Chapman certainly belongs on the Toronto's roster next season and will have a chance next season to prove that he eventually belongs in the starting XI.