Toronto FC picks 2 Canadians in MLS draft
Toronto FC made use of all three of its first-round picks in Major League Soccer's SuperDraft at St. Louis on Thursday.
After the expansion Seattle Sounders FC selected University of Akron forward Steve Zakuani with the No. 1 pick, Toronto scooped up midfielder Sam Cronin of
Wake Forest University, a finalist for the Hermann Trophy as the top player in NCAA Division I, with the second overall selection.
Cronin, from Winston-Salem, N.C., is a tough, physical player who scored 10 goals in 24 games last season, his fourth with the Demon Deacons.
"I'm really looking forward to coming to Toronto and joining up with the rest of the team," he said. "I have seen some of their games on TV, and I can't wait to play in front of those fans.
"I'm really looking to just come in and contribute the best way I can and help the team win."
The Los Angeles Galaxy took defender Omar Gonzalez the University of Maryland with the third pick, before Toronto selected University of Connecticut forward O'Brian White with the No. 4 pick.
White, 23, won the Hermann Trophy in 2007, when he scored 24 goals in 24 games with the Huskies.
But the Scarborough, Ont., native missed most of last season because of a knee injury, scoring once in 14 games.
"It will be exciting to come back home and play in front of my friends and family," White said. "This has been an exciting day for me, and I'm really looking forward to meeting everybody as well as starting training camp."
Toronto used its final pick (13) in the opening round on Stefan Frei, a goalkeeper out of the University of California.
Frei, 22, is a Generation adidas player and does not count against the salary cap, which means current Toronto goalkeeper Brian Edwards could soon be traded.
Frei led the Pac-10 in shutouts, save percentage and saves per game in 2007, and he was named the most valuable player in the most recent MLS Combine at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Toronto had two more selections in the third round, taking Duke University forward Mike Grella with the 34th pick and University of Maryland midfielder Kyle Hall of Don Mills, Ont., another Generation adidas player, with the 38th.
Hall used to play for the University of Toronto.