Toronto FC decided to keep it local in drafting two players originally from the Ontario area. We take a look at 2022 picks Luka Gavran and Reshaun Walkes.
While the SuperDraft may have lost some of its lustre in recent years, it is still an important date on the MLS calendar. This year specifically, the draft had a local narrative for Toronto FC.
TFC had traded away the 2022 third overall pick to FC Dallas ahead of the draft, in exchange for General Allocation money. However, they still had selections in the second (31st overall) and third (59th overall) rounds, which they used to select Ontario natives Luka Gavran and Reshaun Walkes respectively:
Luka Gravan – Goalkeeper
1) Gavran is coming off a fantastic junior year with St. John’s University, as he played every minute in a side which went 11-6-3. As per Redstormsports.com, he led the nation with 12 shutouts and a .844 save percentage.
2) It was also a season of personal accolades for the 21-year-old, as he was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year. In addition, he was a College Soccer News Second Team All-American and United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-American.
3) TFC will understandably be hoping Gavran follows in the footsteps of previous goalkeepers they’ve selected in the SuperDraft. In particular Stefan Frei and Alex Bono, who both went on to start in MLS Cup-winning sides, albeit Frei achieved this after he’d left Toronto.
4) At 6 ft 6 and 200 lbs, the Hamilton, Ontario native is an intimidating figure. As per the TFC communications department, Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley said: “His size and presence are great starting points for a young keeper.”
Reshaun Walkes – Forward
5) As with Gavran, Walkes is coming off a fantastic season. As per Goutrgv.com, he played 17 games for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, scoring nine goals and adding seven assists.
6) The Brampton, Ontario native has spent two seasons at Texas, both times being named to the All-Western Athletic Conference Second Team. Before then, as per Goutrgv.com, he was named a Third Team NJCAA All-American and a two-time All-Region First Team honoree at Lewis and Clark.
7) In reality it will be a tough road for the 22-year-old Walkes to succeed, but he does have some enticing potential. As per TFC’s communications department, Bradley said: “Reshaun is an athletic attacking player with goal scoring qualities.”
Do you have any thoughts on Gavran or Walkes and how they can help Toronto FC? More generally speaking, what is your opinion of the MLS SuperDraft? Let us know in the comments section below.