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Toronto FC Top 31 Countdown: Number 21 - Aaron Maund

12th overall draft pick, could he be the answer to the never ending Centre Back problem? Not if he keeps being played as a defensive Midfielder he can't? At number 21, it's Aaron Maund.

At first glance I thought this was Maund threatening a Crew player, but turns out it's him celebrating the CCL quarter final win with Milos.  That's still good.
At first glance I thought this was Maund threatening a Crew player, but turns out it's him celebrating the CCL quarter final win with Milos. That's still good.
Jeff Gross

Average Ranking: 20.0
Highest Ranking: 14
Lowest Ranking: 26

Duncan: 23 After Aron Winter picked Luis Silva at 4, Toronto FC, ever desperate for a Centre Back, watched with hopes someone would fall to the 12th pick. Andrew Jean Baptiste, Austin Berry and Matt Hedges all went just before the 12th pick, and so it was that we selected Aaron Maund, who greeted the decision by tweeting 'God is good. #torontofc'. Enjoy Dave's profile of him, featuring the alarming description

...once he gets the ball at his feet he is like a new born deer struggling and fumbling to try and dribble or pass.

Not exactly promising, but his other attributes suggested he'd eventually be a good Centre Back, if maybe not worth a number 12 pick, with many experts having him low first round at best.

He got into the team early on, playing in both legs against L.A with, well let's say mixed results. He came on as an 88th minute sub in the home game, just in time to chase the ball in a goalmouth scramble and leave Landon Donovan unmarked to score. In the away leg, brought on for Danny Koevermans after TFC took the 2-1 lead, he displayed that new born deer thing within 5 minutes, giving the ball away, leading to a great chance for Robbie Keane and fantastic save from Milos Kocic. He then slipped while defending a corner in the 89th minute, which thankfully went unpunished, the highlights aren't kind to him.

He got more sub minutes in the next few games and probably should have had a penalty called against him in the home game against Santos Laguna, which was a large part of why the Santos coach's press conference was so feisty, with talk of gringos and American refs for American teams.

Then he disappeared for a while, obviously deemed not ready for primetime amidst TFC's defensive chaos. He popped up again towards the end of that magical run of games where we looked competent, coming on as a sub in New England, though oddly enough in the defensive midfield position, surely a temporary, emergency thing, little did we know. A few more sub appearances, and then he played the full 90 in 9 of the last 11 league games, all at that DM position, a very curious decision from Paul Mariner given that he never started to look comfortable in that position. The stats show he got a grand total of 1 shot on target during the MLS season, against Philadelphia, sadly not covered in the match highlights. Incidentally that same game, in a full 90 minutes, he completed 6 successful passes, and only had 7 unsuccessful! 13 passes! in 90 minutes! It's a particularly sad chalkboard.

His best game that I can remember was the away leg against CD Aguila, where in the first half particularly, he looked very comfortable out there, with a barely interested Aguila team giving him the space he needed to be able to go forward and pass the ball confidently. That game of course had my favourite Maund moment of the year, he wins the ball just inside the Aguila half and surges forward. Ignoring Ryan Johnson to his left, he takes the ball a little in the other direction onto his favoured right foot, and from 20 yards, well he de Guzmanned it high and wide (1:45), the Concacaf commentator deadpanning "I'm not sure that would be the first choice in Paul Mariner's attack minded drills". No, random concacaf guy, no it wouldn't be.

I feel bad not to have anything positive in here, but I genuinely can't think of a good moment on or off the pitch from him this season, please help me out in the comments section if you can, there must be something.

He is of course young, this was his rookie year, so hopefully he'll improve from here, and he survived the cuts announced yesterday, so presumably that will be with Toronto. Whether that's continuing in midfield or moving back to defence, he'll hopefully spend a lot more time on the bench, in the reserve games and generally learning his craft away from the spotlight. If he's playing as many games as he did this season, that'll mean either TFC have an absolutely terrible off season player recruitment wise, or we suffer another injury crisis like this year, neither of which will lead to good things.

Michael: 18 Needs to find a constant position. Still young, wouldn't give up on him

Dave: 17 Was just plain awful as a CB before he got moved to playing DM under Mariner. He certainly did not set the league on fire with his play at that position but he was showing some small signs of improvement towards the end of the year. His passing and pace still need to improve if he wants to make a career in that position though.

John: 25 Saw him during the CCL quarterfinals, then vanished into thin air.

Kristin: 26 Just no. I cringe when he plays.

The Yorkies: Forced to try and learn a new role but didn't develop as many had hoped.

The Ghost Of TFC Future: Maund looked out of place all season. Not good on the ball, not a very strong tackler, didn't really seem to fit the bill as a defensive midfielder. Still puzzled by Mariner's commitment to him, especially out-of-position. Maybe Maund complimented him on the decision to wear shorts on the touchline, regardless of the weather?

Casual Soccer Fan: Haven't seen 1st round potential yet, but no reason to give up on him now.

DichioTFC: It's a bit harsh for a rookie to be put in the position that he was, but Maund was the epitome of TFC's season. Overwhelmed, undertalented, often panicked and even more often out of position. Maund needed to play a depth role this season, not playing in 15 games and nearly 950 minutes. The 12th overall pick was out of position and playing with unsettled defenders all around. He's one of the players that likely will be back for 2013, as there is room to grow for the young player. Unfortunately, those opportunities may diminish as they did this season for Stinson .But he will definitely have to improve.

Prizby: Maund is pretty much a project player. Drafted as a centre-back, it has become quite evident that Mariner has in mind that Maund can become his next Jeff Larentowicz project; Larentowicz successfully made the transaction from defender to holding midfield while playing at New England. It will be interesting to see if this project is a success because Maund certainly has many tools that need refining and finding in order to be a capable holding mid in MLS.

Sir Alphonso Applegate: Only ranked this high (23) because he played so much more than those below him. I know he's just a kid but I saw nothing from him and he was given PLENTY of opportunity.

Panos Kelamis: Deep squad player - - suited for cup and reserve duty and oh yeah, water duty

David Kent: Makes lots of mistakes, bad positioning. Go

Number 20: Quincy Amarikwa

Number 22: Andrew Wiedeman

Full Top 31 Countdown