Toronto get both players they targeted in Silva, Maund

Toronto FC's approach to Thursday's SuperDraft was fairly simple: Look at both ends of the pitch. Aron Winter & Co. got exactly what they were after.

They took an offensively skilled midfielder with their first pick in Luis Silva from UC Santa Barbara. Then they added a central defender with their second first-round pick, with Aaron Maund heading north of the border from Notre Dame.

The selections, the fourth and 12th, respectively, left head coach Winter pleased.

“I’m so happy because those are the guys we were going for,” Winter told MLSsoccer.com from Kansas City in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Many of the club’s supporters thought Toronto should address their needs at center back with their first pick. But Winter said that while looking at that position in the draft, they would take the player they thought was the best available when their turn came regardless of position.

So they took Silva, 23, who scored 17 goals with 10 assists during the 2011 college season with UCSB.

“For me, he’s a really natural player," Winter said. "His technical skills, his movement and the way we are playing, I think he is going to be a great asset. You can use him like a [No.] 10 but you can use him also on the wings, left or right. He can make goals, he can get assists, all those things. He has a lot of technical abilities.”

Winter feels Silva’s skills suit the 4-3-3 formation he deployed during his debut season with Toronto FC in 2011. Silva agrees.

“That’s the style I like to play, I think I’ll fit good on the team,” Silva (pictured above) told MLSsoccer.com. 

Winter also likes what Maund, 21, brings to the team.

“Maund is a good defender,” he said of the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Notre Dame alum. “He’s big, he plays very well. If you watch also, it’s his mobility. He’s fast, he jumps high, his movement on the ball is good.” 

Winter does not want to rush either player in their development, citing the way youngsters like Joao Plata, Matt Stinson and Ashtone Morgan were gradually worked into the Reds' squad last year and made strong contributions.

“The college level or the university level is another level from MLS and, of course, they should maybe have some time,” Winter said. “But I’m convinced that they are going to play a lot of minutes.”