This past weekend, SB Nation’s MLS blogs held their 2019 MLS mock SuperDraft, where the participants simulated the first round of draft, which will take place on January 11th. I was representing Waking the Red and was in charge of making the sixth overall pick.
Last year, TFC had the last pick of the round because of their MLS Cup success, but this year, because they had the fifth-worst record in the league, they pick sixth (expansion side FC Cincinnati get the first overall pick).
In 2018, Charlie picked 23rd and 46th overall, selecting Oliver Shannon 23rd and Albert Ruiz 46th. TFC ended up trading the 23rd pick to Minnesota United for the 28th pick and $50k of TAM. They selected Tim Kubel, who spent 2018 with TFC II but has since left the club. They selected Drew Shepherd with the 46th pick, who also spent 2018 with TFC II. Oliver Shannon ended up going to Atlanta United 36th overall. Ruiz wasn’t drafted, and was on a professional trial contract during the preseason with the Chicago Fire, but didn’t sign after that.
Some former sixth overall picks that have ended up having success in MLS include Todd Dunivant (2003), Drew Moor (2005), Dax McCarty (2006), Tesho Akindele (2014) and most recently, Alex Bono (2015).
Toronto FC have three picks in the 2019 draft. They will pick 6th, 39th (they acquired this pick in the recent Clint Irwin trade to Colorado), and 54th. They would have had the 30th and 78th overall picks as well, but they traded the 30th pick to Cincinnati to move up in the allocation order in order to get Laurent Ciman, and the 78th to the New York Red Bulls last year in exchange for Caleb Patterson-Sewell.
Check out the rest of SB Nation’s mock SuperDraft results at sbnation.com/mls, or in the sidebar later on this article.
The 6th Overall Pick: Dayne St. Clair, GK, University Of Maryland
One of the positions that Toronto FC need to consider upgrading ahead of the 2019 season is the backup goalkeeper spot. Caleb Patterson-Sewell, who played 19 times for TFC II in 2018, is the current backup to Alex Bono after TFC parted ways with Clint Irwin in December.
Patterson-Sewell let in 35 goals in his 19 USL matches, which is an average of 1.84 goals per game. For comparison, Alex Bono allowed 57 goals in 36 matches (in all competitions), which is an average of 1.58 goals per game. Patterson-Sewell has the potential to be a decent backup goalkeeper for the short term, but he is 31 years old (32 in May), so a younger goalkeeper that can challenge for that backup role, and perhaps even the starting job down the road, is something that TFC should be looking to address.
Dayne St. Clair is a SuperDraft prospect that has the potential to win the backup job in 2019.
In the video above, you will see that St. Clair is a very athletic goalkeeper and his great reaction time means that he has the ability to make some spectacular stops. He started every single match for his school over the last two seasons, winning the national championship this past season. He didn’t give up a goal for the final 500 minutes of the season, and had a 0.66 goals against average overall. He is skipping the final year of his education to make the jump to MLS.
Last time Toronto FC picked sixth overall, they picked up another goalkeeper. His name was Alexander Nicholas Bono. Like Bono was four years before him, St. Clair is the best goalie prospect available in the draft. His talent alone is enough of a reason to draft him 6th overall, but playing a position that the club needs to fill certainly doesn’t hurt.
Being Canadian is also valuable thing for Toronto FC to consider. He was born in Toronto and grew up in Pickering, Ontario, so he would count as one of the Canadian players required to play in Canadian Championship matches. He has experience in the Canadian national youth team setup and represented Canada at the 2017 CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship.
The 2019 MLS SuperDraft is taking place on Friday, January 11th in Chicago, Illinois. I am fairly confident that Ali Curtis has been reading our stuff here at Waking the Red and will be using this article as the basis for his pick, but only time will tell.