Toronto FC was busy in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft held in St. Louis, MO. Toronto had the 2nd, 4th and 13th selections all in round one.
With the 2nd overall selection, Toronto FC chose Wake Forest University midfielder Sam Cronin. Cronin completed all four seasons at Wake Forest and started in every game the Demon Deacons played since he first stepped on campus in 2005 to play for head coach Jay Vidovich.
"I'm really looking forward to coming to Toronto and joining up with the rest of the team," said Cronin. "I've seen some of their games on TV, and I can't wait to play in front of those fans. I'm really looking to just come in and contribute the best way I can and help the team win."
Cronin, a 5-10, 145 pound midfielder was a 2008 Hermann Trophy finalist a NSCAA First Team All-American, as well as the First Team All-ACC team captain. He was also a recipient of the Lowes Senior Class Award, and a Soccer America First Team MVP along with many other honours throughout his college career.
With the 4th pick in the draft, Toronto FC selected University of Connecticut forward and Scarborough native O'Brian White. A graduate of Lester B. Pearson High School, White also played with the U-15, U-17, and U-20 Jamaican National Teams in World Cup Qualifying matches.
"It will be exciting to come back home and play in front of my friends and family," said White. "This has been an exciting day for me, and I'm really looking forward to meeting everybody as well as starting training camp."
White, 6-1, 175 pounds finishes up his time at UCONN with some very impressive numbers, and numerous accolades. In 2007, he was the MAC Hermann Trophy winner which is the most prestigious individual award in intercollegiate soccer. That season he finished with 23 goals, and 7 assists. In 2008, he was named to the NSCAA/adidas Third Team All-American team, First Team All-Northeast, and Big East Offensive Player of the Year. White was coached by Ray Reid.
With their third and final selection in the 1st round, Toronto FC selected goalkeeper and Generation adidas player Stefan Frei 13th overall. This past season, the University of California - Berkeley player was on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch-List, a First Team All-Pac 10 selection, named to TopDrawerSoccer's First Team of the Year, and was College Soccer News Third Team All-American.
In Frei's last season (his junior year) in college he led the Pac-10 in shutouts, save percentage, and saves per game in 2007. Internationally, he was a member of the Swiss U-15 National Team. The goalkeeper was also voted the MVP of this past MLS Combine in Fort Lauderdale, and is coached by Kevin Grimes at California.
With the 4th pick in the 3rd round, Toronto FC selected forward Mike Grella from Duke University. With their final selection, the club chose forward Kyle Hall of Syracuse. Hall, a former University of Toronto student is a native of Don Mills.
In 2007, Grella was named to the NSCAA/adidas Division I All-American Second Team, and was an All-ACC first team member. The forward was also a finalist for Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, which honours the national player of the year.
Hall scored four goals in 18 games in 2007 for the U of T, finishing tied for second on the team in goals and was a member of the Big East All Academic Team. The forward was also a member of the Canadian U-23 squad - his last appearance being March 23, 2008 in a match against Guatemala during Olympic Qualifying.
All SuperDraft picks will report to Toronto February 2 with the rest of the squad for the start of pre-season training.
Sam Cronin, Wake Forest
Height: 5-10 Weight: 165
Birthdate: July 7, 1986
Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
Height: 6-1 Weight: 175
Birthdate: December 14, 1985
Hometown: Scarborough, ON
Height: 6-3 Weight: 195
Birthdate: April 20, 1986
Hometown: Berkeley, CA
Height: 5-11 Weight: 170
Birthdate: January 23, 1987
Hometown - Glen Cove, NY
(Stats not available)
Kyle Hall, Syracuse
Height: 5-8 Weight: 155
Birthdate: January 27, 1986
Hometown: Don Mills, ON
(Stats not available)