The latter rounds of the MLS SuperDraft are very difficult to predict - much more so than in leagues like the NFL, where college scouting stretches to every corner of the United States - but Oyvind Alseth was even more surprised than most to hear he had been selected by Toronto FC in the third round, 65th overall, this year.
Alseth, it turns out, was preparing for a somewhat different career in his home country of Norway. “I did not expect [to be drafted],” he explained at training on Tuesday. “I was back home in Norway - I had actually just gotten a job the day before in a bank.
“I was on my way to the gym back home and one of my friends texted me and said, ‘Hey Oyvind, you just got drafted’. So I went online and checked it out and I was like, ‘Wow, did not expect that’.”
Three months on - and having impressed in a position of need during preseason - Alseth has signed a professional contract not in the USL, as might have been expected, but with TFC’s first team. He will compete with Tsubasa Endoh to provide cover for first-choice right wing-back Steven Beitashour.
“The wing-back position is very familiar for me,” he explained. “I’ve played there for several years at Syracuse in a very similar system. I feel like I have good experience at that position and as a very natural attacking right-back from before - I played as a wing-back in a 3-5-2 - I feel like that position is very natural for me and I’ve got some good experience there.”
Toronto announced the signing of Alseth, 22, on Wednesday morning, a day after they had further bolstered their defence by bringing in Jason Hernandez.