Canadian Malcolm Johnston wants to follow brother Alistair before MLS SuperDraft

Canadian Malcolm Johnston watched his older brother Alistair Johnston transition from US colleges to professionals. Now it’s his turn.

The 21-year-old midfielder from the University of Maryland will have a better understanding of what awaits us at Wednesday’s MLS SuperDraft.

“The MLS draft is like any draft – it’s pretty unpredictable. It’s going to be a very exciting and anxious time.” [Wednesday]said.

Johnston joined University of New Hampshire defender Moise Bombito, Syracuse forward Levonte Johnson, and Florida International University forward Stephen Afrifa as blue-chip Canadian talent in a three-round audition.

Afrifa, Bombito, and Johnston were invited to the 44-player College Showcase in North Carolina earlier this month. While Johnston’s second trip to the MLS Combine was interrupted by a sprained ankle in his first practice session, he had the opportunity to speak to a handful of MLS teams.

Malcolm watched as Alistair was selected 11th overall by Nashville SC in 2020.

“It was an incredible moment that I will never forget,” he recalled. “I’m grateful now that my time has come, and I hope [Wednesday] My name is mentioned and I can follow in his footsteps. If I can do half of what he did in his early years, then I know I’ll have a very successful and long career in the football game.”

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Montreal gave up its $1 million general allocation money in December 2021 to acquire Alistair from Nashville. The elder Johnston made his way to Scotland’s Glasgow Celtic team after impressing Canada in the last World Cup.

Expansion St. Louis FC has its first overall pick on Wednesday, while DC United is in second place.

Toronto FC traded their third overall pick in July to Colorado to acquire Canadian international midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye. Vancouver has two first-round picks – the 13th overall pick and the 29th pick from Los Angeles FC in the October 2020 trade.

San Jose Earthquakes fourth, followed by Houston Dynamo.

The draft has its advantages

Montreal finished 25th in the first round. He also has one pick in the second round (54th overall) and two picks in the third round (75th and 83rd in the January trade with Orlando).

Toronto (32nd and 61st overall) and Vancouver (42nd and 71st) qualify for second and third round picks.

There are 364 eligible players in the draft, which has lost some of its brilliance in recent years as teams stockpiled young talent through their academies.

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Still, the draft has its own characteristics. MLS states that at the World Cup in Qatar, 11 members of the USA and Canada teams were SuperDraft selections: Canadians Cyle Larin (No. 1, 2015), Richie Laryea (No. 7, 2016), Dayne St. Clair (No. 7) , 2019), Tajon Buchanan (No. 9, 2019 SuperDraft), Alistair Johnston (No. 11, 2020) and Kamal Miller (No. 27, 2019).

Malcolm Johnston is a midfielder who also plays as a winger and number 10.

A four-year startup, Johnston was team captain twice. He also received penalties when he was named to the All Big Ten first-team and Big Ten all-tournament team in 2022.

Johnston started by recording 4,798 minutes in 58 of the 61 games he played. He had 14 career goals and 13 assists.

Canadian Alistair Johnston, shown in this September 2022 file photo, will join a new club in 2023. (File/AFP via Getty Images)

Bombito, a teenager from Montreal, is a member of this year’s Generation Adidas class, a group of eight selected underclasses that qualify for auditions after signing with the league. Generations of Adidas players are attractive because their initial salary is not included in a team’s salary cap. As a result, they often rank high in the draft.

Bombito was named the 2022 Americas Eastern Defender of the Year and second-team all-American selection after leading a third-place defense in the NCAA with 0.5 goals against average. He began his college career at Iowa Western Community College, where he won the NJCAA National Championship in 2021.

He was a semi-finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, considered the highest individual honor in NCAA Division I football.

sought after

Former Canadian Generation Adidas players include Larin, Buchanan, Laryea, and St. Clair is involved.

One of the three finalists of the MAC Hermann Trophy, Johnson, a veteran forward from Brampton, Ont., will likely be in demand on Wednesday after helping Syracuse with the NCAA championship.

Johnson has scored 11 goals for Syracuse this season, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors, eight of which are match winners to lead the NCAA. He also contributed six assists and finished second in the ACC in points and goals.

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His 86-minute goal gave Syracuse a 3-2 win over Creighton and sent Orange into the NCAA final. Cary was also on target in the championship game in NC, transforming the point-and-shoot as he defeated Syracuse Indiana 7-6 on penalties after the game ended in a 2-2 knot.

Also winning all ACC first-team and All-South Region first-team awards, Johnson has traveled a lot.

As a freshman, he helped Eastern Florida State College reach its first National Junior College Athletic Association championship game. After the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID, Johnson transferred to Salt Lake Community College and led the Bruins to their first NJCAA championship. He later helped attend Seattle University’s Western Athletic Conference before joining Syracuse.

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Other Canadians in Wednesday’s draft include Liberty University defender Brayden Borutskie (Bradford, Ont.), Villanova defender Josh Belluz (Toronto), Wisconsin defender Matt Chandler (Toronto), UBC defender Logan Chung (Port Coquitlam, BC). , Pennsylvania goalie Nick Christoffersen. (Toronto), Syracuse defender Christian Curti (Brampton, Ont.), UBC midfielder Thomas Gardner (North Vancouver), California Baptist University goalie Evan Ince (North Vancouver), Loyola University Maryland midfielder Albert Kang (Vancouver), South Florida defender Salvatore Mazzaferro (Toronto), Portland midfielder/forward Gurman Sangha (Vancouver); goalkeeper Justyn Sandhu (Richmond, BC), University of San Francisco defender Nathan Simeon (Montreal), and Penn State defender Jalen Watson (Toronto).

Chung is the younger brother of Toronto FC defender Kadin Chung. Meanwhile, Gardner was tackled three times in the CPL-U Sports draft, twice by Pacific FC and once by FC Edmonton.

Canadians Tani Oluwaseyi, O’Vonte Mullings and Mo Omar made it to the first round of the 2022 SuperDraft.

John’s University forward, Oluwaseyi is ranked 17th overall by Minnesota United, while Mullings, a forward from Florida Gulf Coast University, is 20th to the New York Red Bulls and a defensive midfielder from Notre Dame. Omar was selected in 23rd place. Colorado Rapids.

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