Impact, TFC forgo 1st-round picks in MLS SuperDraft

The Montreal Impact and Toronto FC opted to forgo their first-round picks at the MLS SuperDraft on Friday, trading them away for money to finance other player acquisitions.

The Impact sent the fourth overall selection to FC Dallas for $ 200,000 US in general allocation money and the seventh to Minnesota United for $ 150,000 in targeted allocation money.

Coach Remi Garde said he also wanted to show a vote of confidence in the young talent the team already has coming through its academy.

“I believe we have quite a few young players that could go through to the first team,” he said. “It’s a message for them.”

The Impact have been making moves in the off-season with Algerian international midfielder Saphir Taider expected to join from sister club Bologna and French-born Senegalese defender Zakaria Diallo coming over from France’s Stade Brestois to fill the void left by Laurent Ciman’s departure to expansion Los Angeles FC.

Taider was shown on Twitter signing a contract.

“That was in Italy,” Impact technical director Adam Braz said with an almost straight face. “So you can’t say that he was here and he signed and we didn’t tell you.”

Then he added more seriously: “He’s coming over … It’s a great signing for the club.”

Toronto traded the 23rd selection, the last of the first round, to Minnesota United for $ 50,000 in targeted allocation money and a second-round [28th overall] pick.

The Vancouver Whitecaps did use their first-round pick, staying close to home in choosing University of Washington fullback Justin Fiddes with the 17th overall selection. Vancouver took Creighton defender Lucas Stauffer in the second round, 26th overall.

Fiddes can play both left and right fullback and has speed.

“We’re excited,” said Robinson. “I didn’t believe he would drop that low.”

Stauffer can play fullback or left and right in a back three. At five foot six and only recruited by Creighton, he also has a chip on his shoulder.

Toronto took German-born defender-midfielder Tim Kubel from the University of Louisville with the second-round pick obtained from Minnesota. GM Tim Bezbatchenko said trading his first-round pick was a successful gamble that he could get Kubel five picks later.

Kubel, who spent time in the FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund academies, fills a need for Toronto in that he can play right fullback or wingback.

The MLS champions wrapped up the second round by taking Western Michigan goalkeeper Drew Shepherd, who adds depth in goal after No. 3 Mark Pais was released in the off-season.

Defenders went 1-2-3 to open the draft in a first round that saw six trades at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Commissioner Don Garber announced the pick as a group of fans chanted “Save the Crew,” a reference to Columbus’ possible move to Austin, Tex.

The influx of targeted allocation money, used to finance the acquisition of or to pay down the salary cap hit of elite players, had an effect with some teams reluctant to use valuable international roster spots on untried youngsters.

Rounds 3 and 4 will go Sunday via conference call.

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CBC | Soccer News