January 12, 2007 Toronto coach mum on his draf picks (from Toronto Star)

Toronto coach mum on his draft picks

January 12, 2007
Cathal Kelly
sports reporter

Only weeks after he was hired last summer, Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston began drawing up his wish list for today's Major League Soccer Superdraft.

"I've had a game plan since October," Johnston said yesterday over the phone, as he stepped off a plane in Indianapolis. But considering all that planning, the normally voluble Scot was sharing few details of his labours.

"We have our eye on four players," Johnston said. "If we come out there with two, I'll be delighted. If we get three, I'll really be smiling."

Okay, like who?

"That's in a lock. It's in a vault. And nobody's getting near it," he said.

Any Canadians (like Markham's Jeffrey Gonsalves or B.C.'s Tyler Rosenlund, say)?

"In particular, no." Not in particular? "Yes."

So without a key to Johnston's "vault," guessing at which youngsters Toronto will choose with its three picks, including the first overall, is a crystal-ball job. One confusing factor is the weakness of a draft where the consensus best player is a goalkeeper, Chris Seitz. In spite of all that, Johnston still sees gems on his secret list

"I hope (other teams) think (it's weak)," he said. "We see two or three guys who could come in and help right away."

As many as nine teams have sent out feelers to Toronto about trading the first pick, so perhaps Johnston's view may be more widely shared than has been reported. Though he hadn't bitten by yesterday afternoon, Johnston said he'd entertain offers right up until the draft begins at noon today.

Toronto plays its first game against Chivas USA in Carson, Calif., on April 7. The home opener, against New England Revolution, will be at the BMO Field on April 28.

The full schedule is expected to be released in two weeks.

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