Canadian teams pass as MLS SuperDraft holds third and fourth rounds

Toronto FC general manager Ali Curtis speaks to the media during an end of season availability in Toronto. (Chris Young/CP)

After trading away its first-round pick last week, the Montreal Impact elected to pass three times Monday as the MLS SuperDraft resumed with Rounds 3 and 4.

Toronto and Vancouver also opted to forgo each of their two lower-round picks with the three Canadian teams passing a total of seven times Monday.

In all, only 25 of the 52 picks available Monday were used by the 26 MLS teams.

The annual college draft has been diluted in recent years with clubs looking to develop their own young talent through academies and homegrown players.

The first two rounds went last Thursday when Montreal, in its first draft with former star striker Thierry Henry at the helm, drafted North Carolina defender Jeremy Kelly ninth overall and then traded him to Colorado for US$75,000 in general allocation money.

The Impact had three picks in the third round (56th, 60th and 61st) with the first two obtained earlier in separate deals with Vancouver and Houston. Montreal passed on all three. It did not have a fourth-round selection.

Toronto and Vancouver passed on their third and fourth-round picks.

Only 15 players were taken in the third round with 11 picks passed over. That dropped to 10 players and 16 misses in the fourth.

MLS champion Seattle took Canadian Julian Avila-Good with the last pick of the third round (78th overall) from Seattle University. The senior captain started all 23 games in 2019, mostly as a defensive midfielder but also filling in on defence as needed.

Born in Kingston, Ont., and raised in Winnipeg, he was an All-WAC First Team selection, earning all-tournament honours in the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

The Vancouver Whitecaps had the highest pick Thursday, taking Canadian attacking midfielder Ryan Raposo of Hamilton fourth overall from Syracuse. Vancouver then chose Florida International goalkeeper Daniel Gagliardi in the second round (32nd overall).

Toronto took Syracuse defender Nyal Higgins of Ajax, Ont., and Georgetown’s Nigerian forward Ifunanyachi Achara in the first round (19th and 25th, respectively). TFC then selected a pair of defenders in the second round: Senegal’s Malick Mbaye (Clemson) and Denmark’s Simon Waever (Indiana), 33rd and 51st respectively.

Wake Forest’s Alistair Johnston of Aurora, Ont., a midfielder and right back, was chosen 11th overall by expansion Nashville SC while UConn forward Dayonn Harris of Milton, Ont., went 20th overall to Real Salt Lake.

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