To chants of “49ers! 49ers!” from his UNC Charlotte teammates, Callum Montgomery took the podium Friday in Chicago after being picked fourth overall by FC Dallas in the MLS SuperDraft.
The B.C.-born centreback was the highest-drafted Canadian, coming three spots after FC Cincinnati took UCLA midfielder Frankie Amaya.
“They didn’t tell me how much my heart would be beating at this moment. I’m just so fortunate to be here,” he said after accepting a Toros jersey from league commissioner Don Garber.
The most pro-ready centreback in the draft, the 21-year-old Lantzville athlete isn’t an automatic starter, but his ability to play left CB made him an attractive prospect, along with his status as a Generation Adidas player — meaning his salary wouldn’t count against the cap.
The former Victoria Highlander, considered a domestic player in the United States, played 73 games for the Niners, being named a first-team all-American and finishing as a semifinalist in the NCAA player of the year race.
The 6-3 former midfielder also anchored a defence that registered 13 shutouts in 2018 — including a 1,000-plus minutes scoreless stretch.
Maryland goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was the seventh pick by Minnesota United FC, with the Pickering, Ont., native helping the Terrapins to an NCAA championship title in December. He wasn’t beaten in five tournament games, a span of more than 500 minutes.
Brampton’s Tajon Buchanan was the third Canadian selected in the top-10, going ninth overall to the New England Revolution. The Syracuse Orangemen midfielder dropped surprisingly far in the draft, as he had been considered a potential No. 1 overall pick.
SFU senior and team captain Mamadi Camara went in the second round, 46th overall to the San Jose Earthquakes. The 23-year-old winger ended his SFU career with 29 goals and 20 assists in 69 games and leaves as the 14th highest scorer in school history, and took the Clan to the NCAA tournament three times.
Camara, a Montreal native, was named the 2018 GNAC Player of the Year following a season where he scored nine goals and added 13 assists.
Oh yeah, Whitecaps pick a Hoya
Alphonso Davies has moved to Germany to play soccer.
In high school, Brendan McDonough moved to Germany to play soccer.
A tenuous connection? You bet. But when you’re talking about the 35th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, you’re going to be reaching a bit.
The Whitecaps took the Georgetown Hoyas defender with their first pick of the draft, a second-round selection, adding the 6-2, 190-pound fullback to the roster. He tied for third-fastest time (4.01) in the shuttle run agility test at the MLS combine last week.
McDonough spent 2013 in Germany — a language he speaks fluently, unlike Davies — playing for Freie Turnerschaft Braunschweig and Eintracht Braunschweig. He returned to finish his high school years at Charlotte Catholic before spending four years at Georgetown, where he led the Hoyas to a 13-5-3 regular season and a Big East title this past season.
McDonough was a second-team all-East Region and a second-team all Big East selection in 2018. The Hoyas had a league-best 10 shutouts in 2018, and McDonough’s lone goal of the season was the game-winner in the Big East championship game.
Also of note: His family is steeped in pro sports connections.
His father, Terry, is vice-president of player personnel for the Arizona Cardinals. His late grandfather, Will, was a columnist and sports reporter for the Boston Globe, CBS Sports and NBC Sports.
His uncle Ryan was the general manager of the Phoenix Suns up until this past October, while his other uncle is an ESPN play-by-play announcer who’s also worked with CBS Sports and was the TV voice of the Boston Red Sox.
The Caps also have the 83rd pick in the draft.
Koch catches large haul
Former Whitecaps FC2 coach Alan Koch has been the busiest manager at the SuperDraft, with 10 picks to work with.
It’s a resource the FC Cincinnati coach values more than most MLS teams, as he traded away potentially $200,000 in General Allocation money to the Philadelphia Union to secure all their draft picks.
FC picked first overall, taking the aforementioned Amaya, a smart pick considering his talent, Generation Adidas status, and potential value as a future trade asset, since he would be considered a domestic player in Mexico.
Koch has a reputation as a bit of a scouting savant, a role that served him well in Vancouver. He identified Tim Parker for the Caps in 2015, and they used the 13th pick to take a player who has developed into a national team stalwart and just helped the New York Red Bulls to the Supporters’ Shield.
And it’s no surprise he traded for goalkeeper Spencer Richey, whom was on loan with Cincinnati last season, as he urged the Caps to take him in the same draft as Parker.
Koch used the lucky No. 13 pick Friday on another defender, Wake Forest’s Logan Gdula, then traded the No. 16 and No. 25 picks to the Red Bulls for $100,000 in GAM, before taking midfielder Tommy McCabe (29th), and goalkeepers Jimmy Hague (30th) and Ben Lundt (37th).
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