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Toronto FC eyeing No. 1 pick
January 12, 2009, 5:42 PM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Mo Johnston, Rumor, Toronto FC

Toronto FC currently holds the No. 2 and No. 4 picks in the MLS Draft, but that may not be enough for TFC director of soccer Mo Johnston’s liking.

According to sources, Toronto is in discussions with the Seattle Sounders about moving up to the No. 1 overall pick. It is unclear just how receptive Seattle is to the idea, but TFC could wind up with the top two picks in the draft.

If Toronto does succeed in landing the No. 1 pick, it wouldn’t mark the first time Johnston has had the top pick in the draft. In 2006, when he was Red Bulls head coach, Johnston traded the No. 5 and Jason Hernandez to Chivas USA for the No. 1 pick, which he used on Marvell Wynne. In 2007, Johnston drafted Maurice Edu No. 1 overall.

So who might Johnston be targeting at No. 1? The core group of potential top picks includes Steve Zakuani, Stefan Frei, Sam Cronin and Omar Gonzalez. Zakuani is unlikely given TFC’s wealth of forwards and Gonzalez is unlikely because sources tell me TFC isn’t sold on him.

That leaves Frei and Cronin, the two players regarded by most scouts as the most ready to step in and play in MLS. With Frei looking like he could have the most long-term value as a future European transfer target, Johnston may see him as an investment, as well as potential starter. He could also draft Frei and start the bidding to a player several teams strongly covet.

If Toronto keeps it’s No. 2 pick, you could see TFC grab Wake Forest midfielder Sam Cronin and shop him around. Cronin is highly coveted by several teams.

So why would Seattle trade down from No. 1 say to No. 4? Steve Zakuani, the No. prospect coming into the draft, has struggled at the Combine, leaving Seattle to decide what it will do. Stefan Frei and Sam Cronin are the next best options and Seattle already boasts a wealth of talent at goalkeeper and midfielder Stephen King at Cronin’s position. Seattle could essentially move down to No. 4 and still grab one of the four previously mentioned top prospects, while potentially picking up some allocation money or another draft pick.

Source: Click Here

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