Of Minnesota United’s four MLS SuperDraft picks this year, three have made the team.
In addition to No. 7 pick Mason Toye, a forward who was automatically on the roster because of his Generation Adidas contract, No. 15 selection Wyatt Omsberg, a center back, and No. 23 choice Carter Manley, a right back, will all join the Loons for their sophomore season.
“They’ve shown what we’ve thought. They’ve got a lot of potential,” coach Adrian Heath said. “We’ve had a real good sit-down and a long chat with them and sort of outlined what our expectations are for them. They’ve got all the physical tools and the mental understanding, I think, to succeed and have a long career in MLS. But that’s going to be up to them.”
United will retain the rights to their 41st choice, midfielder Xavier Gomez. Of United’s four picks in its inaugural draft last season, two made the roster but only No. 1 pick Abu Danladi, also Generation Adidas, actually featured for the team and is still on the roster now.
“It’s probably the hardest part of my job that I have every year because kids work so hard to get an opportunity. But in wide areas, we have so many players,” said Heath, mentioning the likes of Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, Miguel Ibarra, Sam Nicholson and Frantz Pangop, who can all play on the wings. “We just felt like the kid needs to play, and with us not having that second team in this moment in time, it was going to be a year wasted for the kid.”
Without a United Soccer League affiliate or reserve team yet, the three rookies will likely be just trying to make the match-day squads. Omsberg and Manley have taken up residence on United’s backup backline, while Toye will provide depth behind strikers Christian Ramirez and Danladi.
“We were excited when we got them,” Heath said of the rookies, adding he’s been impressed by their attitudes this preseason. “They’ve all got a big future. I think the thing really now is, are they going to keep improving every single day? Because it’s a completely different environment than they’ve ever been used to. Being at college and probably being the best player on their team, and now they’re coming into a situation where every single day they’re trying to prove that they can play at this level and trying to get the confidence of the rest of the group, people who are international footballers, people that have played in the league for 10 years.”