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Toronto FC: The Worst Drafting Team in MLS History

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No longer the primary source for young players in MLS, the Superdraft is another area where the best clubs around the league strengthen their squads.

TFC's best decision on draft day was perhaps their easiest ever.  Selecting Maurice Edu with their first ever selection.
TFC's best decision on draft day was perhaps their easiest ever. Selecting Maurice Edu with their first ever selection.
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The continued emphasis on Homegrown players means that the MLS Superdraft is becoming less important every year but the draft can still be a useful tool for roster construction.

There isn't the depth in the MLS Superdraft as with other North American sports' drafts, however, the MLS Superdraft can provide clubs with quality players, especially early in the draft. Top selections can still go on to become superstars in the league and even sold on.

For a club that is at the top end of the draft board annually TFC has had a horrendous history of drafting players and not hanging onto the ones they hit on. As the later rounds tend to be more of a lottery in the MLS Superdraft only 1st round picks will be analyzed. Only players passed on by TFC who were selected in the first or second round will be seen as players TFC "whiffed" on.


2007

Pick: 1st Overall & 10th Overall
Selection: Maurice Edu (M) & Andrew Boyens (D)
Hindsight is 20/20:
There were some players selected after TFC that remained MLS calibre players but Edu was the no brainer selection at #1 and was sold off to Rangers two seasons later for a hefty sum. The second selection of Andy Boyens was a whiff. Solid MLSers Brad Evans and Corey Ashe along with a solid MLS depth player in Ty Harden were selected the round after Boyens. Now former Red Robbie Findley and Jamaican international Dane Richards were selected six and nine spots after Boyens.

Result: 1W 1L

2008

Pick: 9th & 10th Overall
Selection: Julius James (D) & Pat Phelan (M)
Hindsight is 20/20:
TFC's original pick in this draft was 2nd overall however TFC sent the #2 overall pick and allocation money for midfielder Richard Mulrooney. As a result of this trade TFC missed out on Brek Shea (selected by Dallas at #2), capable MLS defenders Tony Beltran and Sean Franklin and forward Patrick Nyarko. The #9 pick was acquired by trading Paolo Nagamura to Chivas and until Julius James was traded to Houston for Dwayne DeRosario this was also chalked up as a loss. The 10th pick was TFC got from DC for a midfielder Rod Dyanchenko. Phalen was turned into an international roster slot. In addition to the 4 players TFC missed out on with the Dallas trade, Roger Espinoza, Shea Salinas, Eric Brunner, Eric Avila and Andrew Jacobson, have all been contributors with their MLS teams were all selected after Phalen. Without the DeRo trade, this draft was a massive failure for TFC.

Result: 1W 1L

2009

Pick: 2nd, 4th & 13th Overall

Selection: Sam Cronin (M), O’Brian White (F), Stefan Frei (G)

Hindsight is 20/20:

There was tonnes of optimism heading into the draft TFC had 3 picks in the 1st round of the deepest draft perhaps ever thanks to "Trader Mo". TFC selected Sam Cronin, who was dubbed to be the safest pick in the draft and the one most likely to "make it" at the next level. In selecting Cronin TFC passed on USMNT centreback Omar Gonzalez. Cronin was later traded to San Jose, ironically who TFC got the #2 pick from originally. The selection of O’Brian White at 4 meant TFC passed on MLSers Rodney Wallace (#6), Chris Pontius (#7), Matt Besler (#8), Michael Lahoud (#9), Kevin Alson (#10) and Jeremy Hall (#11). Only 2 players selected between picks 4 and 13 are no longer in the league, Peri Marosevic (#5) and Jean Alexandre (#12).

The 13th pick was acquired along with Chad Barrett for the rights to Brian McBride. Dallas defender George John was selected at 14, AJ De La Garza at 19, Milos Kocic at 21 and Graham Zusi at 23.

Result: 1W  2L

2010

Pick: N/A

Selection: N/A

Hindsight is 20/20:

One would think that TFC learned their lesson in 2008, the #5 overall pick and allocation money was traded to Dallas for Adrian Serioux. #5 selection was Zach Loyd. Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney, David Estrada and Corben Bone were selected at 6, 7, 11 and 13 respectively.

Result: 1L

2011

Pick: N/A

Selection: N/A

Hindsight is 20/20:

For the second consecutive year TFC traded their first pick in the draft sending the #8 overall pick to Vancouver in exchange for midfielder Nathan Sturgis. Vancouver selected Michael Nanchoff a midfielder with the pick. After #8 CJ Sapong, Will Bruin, Corey Hertzog, Jeb Brovsky and Michael Farfan were taken before TFC stepped up to the podium.

Result: 1L

2012

Pick: 4th & 12th

Selection: Luis Silva (M) & Aaron Maund (D)

Hindsight is 20/20:

Silva was traded to DC for allocation money part way through the 2013 season with 44 appearances. Maund was traded to RSL after 1 season for Justin Braun. The 12th overall selection was acquired from New York in the Dwayne DeRosario trade. Ethan Finlay and Matt Hedges were selected between TFC’s picks. Dom Dwyer was selected 16th overall.

Result: 2L

2013

Pick: 3rd & 16th

Selection: Kyle Bekker (M), Emery Welshman (F)

Hindsight is 20/20:

TFC gave up the 1st pick to New England for #4 and allocation money. TFC then traded the #4 pick to Vancouver for #10 and allocation. TFC turned around and traded the #10 pick for Seattle’s #16 and allocation money. Overall TFC traded the #1 overall pick (Andrew Farrell) for #16 and an unknown amount of allocation money.

Both players picked were Canadians and therefore have some value as they count as domestic players. Kekuta Manneh, Eric Hurtado and Deshorn Brown went off the board in the three immediate picks after TFC choose Bekker, Dillon Powers went 8th. Bekker was traded after 2 seasons to Dallas for allocation money after his skills were was deemed to be a surplus. Welshman was waived after the 2014 season and has since gone on to be a contributor for Real Monarchs SLC in USL.

Result: 2L

2014

Pick: 10th

Selection: Nick Hagglund (D)

Hindsight is 20/20:

Vancouver held TFC’s natural selection as part of the Eric Hassli trade in 2012. Pick was used on Christian Dean. TFC moved up from 15 to 10 giving up allocation money to acquire Hagglund in the first round. Hagglund showed promise as a rookie but took became a sparsely utilized substitute on a more competitive squad in 2015.

Result: N/A -  Too early to tell on Hagglund.

2015

Pick: 6th, 9th, 11th

Selection: Alex Bono (G), Clement Simonin (D), Skylar Thomas (D)

Hindsight is 20/20:

All spent last season developing with TFC II in USL. Matt Polster, Tim Parker, Axel Sjoberg, Cristian Roldan all had varying degrees of success in their first seasons were selected after TFC selections.

Result: N/A - Too early to make any final decisions on this draft.

Overall Record: 3W 10L

When the players were originally selected cases could've been made for TFC's choices however upon further review TFC just hasn't ever really got it right come January.  Consistently passing on players who go on to contribute to their clubs or become standouts in the league.  Even when a player with some potential is selected the club doesn't have the patience to see the player blossom into what they had envisioned him becoming when the pick was made.