MNUFC was an active player on its second trip to the MLS SuperDraft, turning a first round pick and a pair of second round picks into five players — including three first-rounders — on the day, adding both potential and experience to the side. It started when the club traded its fifth pick in the first round to the Chicago Fire for $75,000 in General Allocation Money, $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, goalkeeper Matt Lampson and the 15th pick in the first round. Two picks later, MNUFC made a deal to acquire the seventh pick from the Montreal Impact in exchange for $150,000 of TAM and used it to select forward Mason Toye from Indiana University.
The youngest player in the draft at 19 years old, New Jersey native Toye comes into the league off a successful freshman year at Indiana where he was named to the All-Big Ten Conference First Team, the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman Team and won the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year. The 6’3”, 180 lb striker was also included on the United Soccer Coaches’ All-Midwest Region First Team. Toye is a Generation adidas player and was the only domestic GA player left on the board at that pick.
“I’d describe myself as a dangerous player, a super athletic player,” said Toye. “Somebody who can score some goals and create dangerous plays. Going into the league, I feel like I can definitely impact and score some goals, and maybe get some assists. And hopefully we can win a lot of games this year and make it pretty far.”
Asked if he minded cold weather, Toye said, “Nope. My assistant coach, Coach Robson, calls cold weather ‘run-all-day-weather,’ and I agree with him. It’s going to make it a little bit easier on me, because I’m used to it.”
With the 15th pick in the first round, MNUFC picked up defender Wyatt Omsberg from Dartmouth College. The 6’4” native of Scarborough, Maine, modeled his game after fellow centerback Matt Hedges and becomes just the fourth professional soccer player from Maine. His size will be an asset on set pieces and he was generally regarded as one of the top centerbacks in the draft.
MNUFC acquired the final pick of the first round from Toronto FC for $50,000 in TAM and the fifth pick of the second round (28th overall) and used that 23rd pick to select defender Carter Manley from Duke University. The 5’11”, 21-year-old Maryland native started all of Duke’s matches in his junior and senior years and was named to the USC All-South Region Second Team this past season. He also trained with the Loons this past summer and got familiar with the coaching staff and team.
“This was something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Manley, “and to see it actually come to life and become a reality, it was overwhelming. To share it with my family was just amazing. My mom was crying, so I’m glad that I made them proud. I’m happy that they were there for me today.”
With the 18th pick of the second round (41st overall), the Loons selected 23-year-old midfielder Xavier Gomez from the University of Nebraska Omaha. The 5’10” Chicago native was First Team All-Summit League this past season.
“We’ve had a good day: to bring in four players, and people that we feel really comfortable with, and people that we think have got a lot of potential,” said MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We took Mason Toye, a Generation adidas kid, huge upside. You look at Wyatt [Omsberg], he sort of deceives you with his size. He’s 6’4” or 6’5” but his timing of his runs and his agility test, he was in the top four or five people. And if [Manley] can start to learn the game, and start expressing himself a little bit more, he’s going to have a bright future. Because athletically, he’s another kid who is gifted. And that’s what it is at this moment in time, potential. But if they were to fulfill that potential with their athleticism, then we feel as though we’ve had a really good day.”
Becoming a 2018 season ticket holder today guarantees you a seat at Allianz Field in 2019. Get your tickets for next season at MNUFC.COM or by calling 763.4SOCCER.