It was all supposed to be so simple. But was it ever going to be so?
Minnesota United entered the 2018 MLS SuperDraft with three selections: 5th overall, 28th, and 41st.
United traded the fifth overall pick to the Chicago Fire, who selected F Jon Bakero of Wake Forest. The Loons received $75,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), a player to be named later, and the Fire’s fifteenth overall selection. In accordance with SuperDraft regulations, the player’s identity couldn’t be revealed until the draft finished, he has since been announced as goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
Lampson was a homegrown player with the Columbus Crew, but joined Chicago in 2016. He played in 24 matches last season, starting all of them and allowing 31 goals. He was the goalkeeper on the field when Minnesota paid a visit in August. Lampson is well-known for his LampStrong Foundation, which provides support for cancer patients and their families and earned him the MLS Works Humanitarian of the Year award. He battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma during his senior year of high school.
Shortly after the deal with Chicago, Minnesota made a deal with the Montreal Impact for the seventh overall pick. United had to part with $150,000 in TAM. The Loons selected F Mason Toye, of Indiana University.
Toye is part of this year’s Generation Adidas class, meaning his salary will not count against the team’s salary cap, like Abu Danladi. Toye is just 19, but was named First-Team All-Big Ten and Big Ten freshman of the year after tying for the conference lead in goals (10). Toye is from New Jersey, where he was named Gatorade Player of the Year. He has played with the United States U19 National Team and trained with the U20s.
“I’m going to grab [this opportunity] with both hands,” Toye said when speaking after he was selected. “I can’t wait to get started.”
With the fifteenth pick, acquired from Chicago, Minnesota selected defender Wyatt Omsberg from Dartmouth. Omsberg stands tall over the competition at 6’4”. The Maine native has not been highly regarded throughout his high school and college career, but impressed at the combine this past week.
Minnesota United was not yet done for the first round. The Loons dealt $50,000 in unnamed allocation money and the 28th slot to Toronto FC in exchange for the 23rd overall pick. The last selection of the first round was used on defender Carter Manley of Duke University. Manley played fullback and midfield for the Blue Devils and was named the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player in 2016.
With the 41st overall pick, Minnesota selected Xavier Gomez, a forward out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Gomez, who is from Chicago, was primarily a midfielder during his college career.
Around the League:
Los Angeles Football Club used the first pick of the draft on Akron’s Joao Moutinho.
Brandon Bye, of Minneapolis City SC and Western Michigan, was taken by the New England Revolution with the eighth overall pick in a shocking selection.
The Philadelphia Union sent $1.2 million in allocation money to the Chicago Fire for forward David Accam.
Atlanta United announced the signing of Ezequiel Barco, a deal that is rumored to be the biggest in league history.