Photo: TFC last had 1st overall pick in 2007, taking eventual Rookie of the Year, Maurice Edu (Getty)
TORONTO – After filling a need at center back by taking Danny Califf in the Re-Entry Draft last Friday, Toronto FC are looking ahead to what could prove to be a very bountiful SuperDraft.
The Reds sit with the first and third selections overall for the Jan. 17 draft at Indianapolis, raising the question: Do they use both selections on the draft or trade one of them to obtain a proven player?
“We’ve got the benefit of time, we’ve got the benefit of options,” director of team and player operations Earl Cochrane told MLSsoccer.com last Thursday. “So over the next while, all the way up until we meet in Indianapolis, we’re going to think and talk about all of the options available to us.”
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The first pick overall is Toronto’s own for finishing with the league’s worst record at 5-21-8. The third pick was acquired last week as part of a trade that sent forward Ryan Johnson and goalkeeper Milos Kocic to the Portland Timbers.
“We think the draft is pretty good,” Cochrane said. “It might not have the bona fide, clear No. 1 or No. 2, the guy everyone is talking about as a one or two, at least not now. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good, that doesn’t mean the first eight or 10 guys aren’t going to be able to help teams out and step in and play significant minutes.”
In adding Califf, the Reds addressed a need for experience and leadership on the backline. But the club also wants to get younger in other areas, which could be done through the draft, and management knows that they are more than two players away from being competitive.
Luckily for Toronto, the front office might already know who those players are.
“We’ve got a handful of guys that we’ve looked at for a long time,” Cochrane said. “It’s just going to be going over that list again and again, having it confirmed for us at the combine. It’s going to be a series of conversations over the next month to determine where we’re going to land.”