If nothing else the two Canadian clubs made today's MLS draft interesting both with the players they did pick and the players they did not.
The Vancouver Whitecaps surprised everyone involved after club president Bob Lenarduzzi let reporters in Vancouver know that the club would not be taking Perry Kitchen or Darlington Nagbe, the consensus top two picks for weeks. Instead the Whitecaps took Omar Salgado, a US U-20 International who trained with the Whitecaps' USSF Division 2 team last summer, but who is prohibited from receiving an International Transfer Certificate per FIFA rules and playing in Canada until he is 18 (which will be in September). Reportedly the whitecaps have appealed this to FIFA.
The Whitecaps, using a pick obtained from Toronto FC, picked up Michael Nanchoff, a smallish midfielder who had an injury challenged career at Akron. Nanchoff missed the combine games due to injury but does come with a strong left foot that appeals to many.
With their third pick the Whitecaps picked up Notre Dame midfielder Jeb Brovsky with their third pick in today's draft. Brovsky, picked by most pundits to go in the second round had a good game in both defense as well as in the attack in the final game at the Combine.
Brovsky played left back during the final game in Florida but is versatile enough to play in the midfield and in the attack if needed at the pro level as he did during his collegiate career.
When Toronto FC finally came to the table with the 26th pick overall they picked up Demitrius Omphroy a defender from from the University of California. Potentially a good fit at right back as a defender who moves the ball well and should fit in with TFC's "new" direction.
Shortly after this it was annouced that TFC had traded Chad Barret to the LA Galaxy for future considerations - which perhaps poses more questions than it naswered on the day.
The Whitecaps final pick was Bilal Duckett a defender from Notre Dame.
Toronto FC had back to back picks in the third round and throughly confused things taking Matt Gold a defender from Ohio State University and Junior Burgos a midfielder from San Jose State University. Neither player receiving many plaudits, in fact none, from analysts before or during the draft itself.
Toronto FC then traded a player to be named later to the Chicago Fire for the 13th pick in the third round (49th overall) and took Joao Plato. A Ecuadorean he probably dropped from the first round mostly because he will count as an international. A smaller dynamic player who may have been overlooked but Toronto may just have picked up a true steal with what many would consider a throw away pick.
With the supplemental draft coming up next week expect both Canadian teams to be active.
Final Draft Grades: Vancouver Whitecaps B- mostly due to obtaining Salgado. Toronto FC B due to the fact that coming in they did not have much to work with but may just have stolen things with Plato.