Toronto trades up to take Xavier defender Nick Hagglund in MLS SuperDraft - InfoNews

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Toronto trades up to take Xavier defender Nick Hagglund in MLS SuperDraft

Nick Hagglund walks off stage after being selected by Toronto FC in the first round of the 2014 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
January 16, 2014 - 10:43 AM

TORONTO - Toronto FC traded up to pick Xavier defender Nick Hagglund 10th overall Thursday in the MLS SuperDraft.

Toronto was slated to pick 15th but made a deal with the SuperDraft host Philadelphia Union to get the six-foot-one, 187-pound Ohio native.

The 21-year-old Hagglund won Defensive Player of the Year honours in the Big East in 2013.

In his four seasons with the Musketeers, Hagglund made 80 starts with four goals and 11 assists. He featured in 31 Xavier shutouts.

The selection adds depth to a Toronto backline that features captain Steven Caldwell, Canadian international Doneil Henry and Gale Agbossoumonde. Recently acquired U.S. international fullback Justin Morrow can also play centre back.

The choice of Hagglund also falls squarely in the wheelhouse of Toronto manager Ryan Nelsen, a former New Zealand international centre back.

The Union used Toronto's 15th pick to take Coastal Carolina midfielder Pedro Ribeiro.

The 15th pick was originally acquired in the deal that sent the rights to veteran midfielder Bobby Convey and the 2014 second-round pick (22nd overall) to the New York Red Bulls in Toronto.

Toronto's original first-round pick — third overall — went to Vancouver in the trade for French striker Eric Hassli in July 2012. The Whitecaps used that to select California defender Christian Dean.

Toronto got back a second-round pick (24th) when it subsequently sent Hassli to FC Dallas in February 2013.

Toronto's third-round pick (41st overall) was sent to Sporting Kansas City in the original deal to get Convey in May 2013.

Toronto retained its fourth-round selection (60th overall).

Canadian forward Tesho Akindele, from the Division II Colorado School of Mines, went sixth overall to FC Dallas.

Akindele was born in Calgary to a Canadian mother and Nigerian father and lived in Canada — with stops in Toronto and Winnipeg — until he was eight. His father, a financial analyst who also has Canadian citizenship, moved the family to Colorado for work.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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