Expansion Austin FC selects Pereira with top pick of condensed MLS SuperDraft

The Vancouver Whitecaps went international in the first round of Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft, taking a Nigerian forward and Jamaican defender.

The Whitecaps selected Akron forward David Egbo ninth overall before taking Jamaica’s Javain Brown from South Florida with the 23rd pick, obtained in the December 2018 trade that sent Erik Hurtado to Sporting Kansas City.

Egbo, a 22-year-old senior from Enugu, Nigeria, scored 21 goals and added 13 assists in three seasons with the Zips.

Egbo, who says he can play a variety of attacking positions, is not short on confidence

“Personally I think I’m good at everything,” said Egbo, who came to the U.S. in 2014 on an academic scholarship to Pennsylvania’s Kiski School. “That’s not to sound cocky. I wouldn’t say I’m the perfect striker but I think I have a little bit of everything and that’s what makes me different from the rest of the strikers.”

The 24-year-old Brown, who has won four caps for Jamaica, scored three goals in 15 games with South Florida in 2019.

Austin FC selects Pereira with top pick

Expansion Austin FC took Virginia Tech midfielder Daniel Pereira first overall.

The 20-year-old sophomore started all 26 games he played in for the Hokies with six goals and six assists. A native of Venezuela, Pereira was a teenager when his family came to the U.S. seeking asylum.

Pereira was one of five players signed to Generation Adidas contracts, which don’t count against the league’s salary cap. All five went in the top seven of the draft.

Toronto traded its 18th overall pick to Minnesota United, acquiring the 25th pick and $50,000 US in general allocation money in exchange. TFC used the pick to fill a need at fullback with Maryland’s Matt Di Rosa.

Toronto has incumbents Richie Laryea and Brazil’s Auro at fullback. Veteran Justin Morrow’s contract has expired and Tony Gallacher’s loan from Liverpool is over.

Di Rosa won the 21018 NCAA title with the Terrapins, scoring the winning goal in the semifinal against Indiana. CF Montreal’s Amar Sejdic scored the lone goal in Maryland’s 1-0 win over Akron in the championship game with Canadian Dayne St. Clair, now with Minnesota United, getting the shutout.

Di Rosa’s twin brother Ben, a defender from Maryland, went in the second round (44th overall) to New York City FC.

Canadian clubs active in 2nd round

Toronto chose Virginia forward Nathaniel Crofts in the second round (45th overall). The native of Sheffield, England, had 11 goals and 11 assists in 64 games (63 starts) with the Cavaliers.

Vancouver picked UCLA midfielder Eric Iloski and Michigan defender Joel Harrison, a native of Langley, B.C., in the second round (46th and 53rd overall, respectively).

CF Montreal, formerly known as the Montreal Impact, previously traded its first-round pick to Austin for Canadian defender Kamal Miller and its second-round selection to Minnesota in the Mason Toye deal.

In 2019. the six-foot-one 185-pound Egbo led Akron in goals (7), assists (4), points (18), shots (49), while ranking second in shots on goal (19) en route to earning first-team all-Mid-American Conference honours.

The 5-11 160-pound Brown played for HarbourView FC in Jamaica.

Both players will require an international spot if signed to an MLS contract.

There were 12 Canadians among the 170-plus players available in the draft, which was reduced to three rounds from four this year.

Earlier Thursday, the Whitecaps flipped second-round draft picks with Nashville SC, acquiring a 2021 international roster slot in the process. Vancouver gave up the 36th overall pick, receiving the 46th overall selection.

The deal also involved an exchange of general allocation money. Vancouver sent $175,000 to Nashville with a promise of up to $75,000 in return based on “performance benchmarks” of the player selected by Nashville.

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