Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

The MLS offseason is in full swing as Toronto FC are beginning their rebuild by selecting forward Tyrese Spicer with the first overall pick in then 2023 MLS SuperDraft. Able to play anywhere in a front three, the Lipscomb forward is coming off of a season during which he scored 14 goals in only 16 appearances while being named as a United Soccer Coaches First-Team All-American. 

Toronto only won four games last season finishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, and they’ll now look to improve under head coach John Herdman while Spicer will play a large role in that. From Trinidad and Tobago, being able to play at Lipscomb was a huge opportunity for Spicer and one that he ran with in a big way. Spicer was aware that Toronto was a team that was interested in him as he had discussions with the head coach and assistant coach prior to the draft but the moment of being picked is a surreal experience and one that delighted the 23-year-old while surprising many. 

“I just want to say hello to the Toronto fans. Tyrese Spicer is coming to do big things,” the forward said on CBS Sports Golazo Network show Scoreline following the draft.

It’s a statement that shows that Spicer is ready for the pressure that he will feel but he’s also excited to move to Toronto to experience the culture and also push to make enough of an impact to make the Trinidad and Tobago national team. Spicer also has dreams of eventually playing in Europe which Major League Soccer is a good first step for.

Spicer also wasn’t the only Lipscomb forward to be drafted in the top 10 of the MLS SuperDraft as Malachi Jones was drafted eighth overall by New York City FC. Now while the duo won’t be on the same team, they’ll be plying their trade as rivals in the Eastern Conference. It shows how far a young player can come as this certainly wasn’t an easy journey to become a pro for Spicer, reflecting on his time as a youth player. 

“When I started in Trinidad in high school, I wasn’t the best. I wasn’t the most technical, the strongest, the fastest. I think over the years there were particular coaches in my life. I would have to say my dad because he coached me in school and a guy called Mr. Work who coached me at internationals,” Spicer said. “They helped me develop my game because I was really one-dimensional. I think over the years, they took me under their wing and really guided me. My coach from nationals used to put me in to play against U17’s when I was 14 to work on my mental toughness and everything.

“There were times that I struggled, honestly, sometimes I didn’t have food. Sometimes I wouldn’t have money to go to school and that impacted my life a little bit, but I overcame that and I got the opportunity to go to Lipscomb, and the coach there, Charles Morrow, really helped me out. He took me and guided me and like helped me direct myself on the right path to where I’m at right now to be able to even get this opportunity right here. ”

It’s quite a story of perseverance for Spicer and one that shows his mentality that shined through to Toronto when he was selected by the team. Everything has now come full circle with him being selected as the number one overall pick in what is only the start of the next chapter of his journey, aiming to get Toronto back to the top.

First round

1

Toronto FC

Tyrese Spicer

Lipscomb

Forward

2

Colorado Rapids

Wayne Frederick

Duke

Midfielder

3

FC Dallas

Logan Farrington

Oregon State

Forward

4

Colorado Rapids

Kimani Stwart-Baynes

University of Maryland

Forward

5

Austin FC

Nate Jones

Washington

Defender

6

Chicago Fire

Bryan Dowd

Notre Dame

Goalkeeper

7

D.C. United

Jacob Murrell

Georgetown

Forward

8

New York City FC

Malachi Jones 

Lipscomb

Forward

9

Minnesota United

Hugo Bacharach

Indiana University

Defender

10

CF Montreal

Grayson Doody

UCLA

Defender

11

Nashville SC

Wyatt Meyer

UC Berkeley

Defender

12

New York Red Bulls

Aidan O’Connor

University of Virginia

Defender

13

San Jose Earthquakes

Jamar Ricketts

Cal State Northridge

Defender

14

Charlotte FC

Tyger Smalls

Loyola Marymount

Forward

15

Inter Miami

Yannick Bright

University of New Hampshire

Midfielder

16

Real Salt Lake

Matthew Bell

Marshall

Forward

17

St. Louis City SC

Hosi Kijima

Wake Forest

Midfielder

18

Real Salt Lake

Jose “Kevin” Bonilla

University of Portland

Defender

19

Atlanta United

Jayden Hibbert

University of Connecticut

Goalkeeper

20

Minnesota United

Marcus Calderia

West Virginia

Forward

21

Orlando City SC

Jeorgio Kocvski

Syracuse

Midfielder

22

Sporting Kansas City

Ryan Schewe

Georgetown

Goalkeeper

23

Seattle Sounders

Kalani Kossa-Rienzi

Washington

Midfielder

24

Inter Mami

Ryan Carmichael

Hofstra

Forward

25

Orlando City SC

Yutaro Tsukada

West Virginia

Midfielder

26

Houston Dynamo

Stephen Annor Gyamfi

Virginia 

Forward

27

FC Cincinatti

Brian Schaefer

University of South Florida

Defender

28

Los Angeles FC

Jackson Lee

West Virginia

Goalkeeper

29

Columbus Crew

Jayden Da

Duquesne

Forward

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