Toronto FC concluded the MLS SuperDraft on Sunday with a pair of picks in the third and fourth rounds. They selected centre-back Andre Morrison from Hartford 69th overall, then they added fullback Ben White out of Gonzaga with the 92nd and last pick in the draft.
Morrison was Hartford’s captain this season, doing a lot of the defensive work for a team that struggled at times. He seems to be a stalwart in the Hawks’ back line, helping them to a 1.23 goals against average in 2016.
He’s represented Jamaica at the U-20 level, which (I think, at least) makes him an international player. Luckily, TFC have plenty of those; by my count, Morrison’s addition leaves them with two open.
Last March, Morrison signed with the Long Island Rough Riders of the USL’s Premier Development League, where he made 13 appearances in 2017.
Morrison may be a defender, but he also seems to have a bit of an attacking flair:
¡GOLAZO!! Andre Morrison, defensa y prospecto de la Universidad de Hartford, deja a todos con la boca abierta, con esta JOYA de gol, en el #MLSCombine 2018. pic.twitter.com/abQf3Unocg— Fútbol MLS (@futbolMLS) January 16, 2018
As for White, he seems like an excellent pick at such a late spot. Our SB Nation mock draft had him going 43rd to the Houston Dynamo. A native of Tigerd, Oregon, White was developed in the Portland Timbers academy system.
His profile on Gonzaga’s website mentions he’s played at both left and right back, and he seems to be quite attack-minded. He had three goals and five assists in 2017, making him one of his team’s most productive offensive players.
So, TFC come away from the draft with four players, three of which are defenders. I can’t pass much judgement on Drew Shepherd, the goalkeeper they picked, but Tim Kubel and White especially seem like good value (I’d heard of them, at least).
In general, MLS teams seem to have more luck at the draft by picking defenders; that’s a position that’s probably more often filled by homegrown or domestic talent. Save for Chris Mavinga, all of TFC’s regular starting defenders in 2017 were draft picks.