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TFC has had success at the MLS draft in the past; can the Reds do it again?

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The 2020 MLS SuperDraft takes place later Thursday night, so we’re looking back at the Reds’ history at the draft

Toronto FC’s 2016 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick Tsubasa Endoh
(Tagwa Moyo/Waking the Red)

It’s draft day!

The first two rounds of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft will take place early Thursday afternoon, with the third and fourth rounds set to take place on Monday Jan. 12.

Toronto FC have four picks across the first two rounds instead of the usual two, as the Reds picked up a first-rounder from the LA Galaxy (19th overall) and a second-rounder from the Columbus Crew (33rd overall). Their own picks are No. 25, 51, 77 and 103.


The 2019 SuperDraft

In 2019, Toronto FC made three selections, selecting Griffin Dorsey (6th overall), Adam Wilson (39th) and Patrick Bunk-Anderson (54th).

Scottish midfielder Wilson, a former Rangers prospect, didn’t sign with the club, and doesn’t seem to have landed anywhere.

Dorsey spent most of the 2019 season with Toronto FC II, making 22 appearances, and picked up a goal and five assists. He also played twice for the Toronto FC first team, once in MLS and once in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Bunk-Anderson also played for the Young Reds in 2019, and played in all 28 USL League One matches, scoring five goals.

USL League One Photo - Toronto FC II defender Patrick Bunk-Andersen looks to initiate a forward move against FC Tucson FC Tucson

Notable Toronto FC Draft Picks

Toronto FC have picked up some decent players in the MLS SuperDraft over the years, including three players who are currently part of the first-team setup. Alex Bono (6th overall in 2015), Tsubasa Endoh (9th in 2016) and Dorsey (6th in 2019) have all been selected by TFC in the last few years, and Toronto FC have drafted fairly well since coming into the league in 2007.

In 2017, The Reds picked up Oyvind Alseth with the 65th pick of the draft, and he went on to play four times for the first team as they won the treble. He would leave the club in February 2018, but his name is forever etched in TFC history.

Tsubasa Endoh was drafted 9th overall in 2016, two spots after future teammate Richie Laryea.

Also drafted in 2016 was Mitch Taintor (59th overall). Taintor only made one appearance for the first team, in the Canadian Championship, before joining Sacremento Republic FC ahead of the 2018 season. He was brought back on loan for a second Toronto FC appearance in 2018, in which he scored during Toronto FC IV’s 5-1 defeat to the Houston Dynamo.

Drafted in the same draft (and round) as Alex Bono in 2015 were defensive duo Clement Simonin and Skylar Thomas. Simonin only played twice for the first team, and has since retired, and Thomas played nearly 50 times for Toronto FC II before leaving the club.

Thomas has since returned to Canada, joining Valour FC and playing 23 times for the Winnipeg-based side in the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural season.

Toronto FC also drafted well in 2014, picking up a future fan-favourite, defender Nick Hagglund. Hagglund, taken 10th overall, went on to play 115 times for Toronto FC, won the treble with them, and is one of the most loved players in club history. They also drafted Daniel Lovitz in 2014, picking him up with the 24th pick.

MLS: D.C. United at Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Toronto FC selected a couple of future Forge FC players: midfielder Kyle Bekker with the 3rd-overall pick, and Emery Welshman at No. 16. Bekker played 35 times for TFC before joining FC Dallas (and eventually the Montreal Impact), and a few years later, saw himself as the first captain to lift the CPL’s North Star Shield.

Welshman played twice for TFC before joining Sigma FC and is now playing in Israel. The 28-year-old forward has played for eight different teams so far and likely isn’t done yet.

New York Red Bulls Vs Toronto FC. Major League Soccer. New York. USA. Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

In back-to-back SuperDrafts, 2011 and 2012, TFC picked up exciting young talents: Joao Plata (49th overall in 2011) and Luis Silva (4th overall in 2012). Both have gone on to become MLS veterans after brief stints in Toronto.

Silva won the 2019 MLS Cup against his old team in 2019 with the Seattle Sounders and has also played for D.C. United and Real Salt Lake in MLS, with short stints elsewhere in between.

Plata, still just 27 years old, moved to Real Salt Lake in 2013, and has become a club legend, making over 200 appearances for the club since. His contract option was declined at the end of the 2019 season, and it seemed as though he was heading to Liga MX, but that transfer looks to have been cancelled; MLS teams remain interested in signing him.

Real Salt Lake v Montreal Impact Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Stefan Frei, one of the best goalkeepers in Toronto FC history, was taken 13th overall in 2009. Frei suited up 99 times for TFC before joining the Seattle Sounders in 2013. With the Sounders, he’s won two MLS Cups, both against his former employers, and has become one of the best goalkeepers in MLS over the last decade or so.

All the way back in 2007, Toronto FC had the first-overall pick in the lead up to their inaugural season. They selected Maurice Edu, a young midfielder who would go on to win the 2007 MLS Rookie of the Year, and along with it, a big transfer to Scottish side Rangers in August 2008. He returned to MLS in 2014 with the Philadelphia Union and retired in 2018.

How To Watch:

WATCH ROUND ONE using ESPN’s social platforms: youtube.com/MLS, facebook.com/espn, twitter.com/espn.

You can follow rounds two, three, and four using the MLS website’s tracker.


Which former Toronto FC draft pick did you enjoy watching the most? Let us know in the comments below.