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Canada’s Bombito, Afrifa selected in top 10 of MLS SuperDraft

Montreal’s Moise Bombito, a junior defender at the University of New Hampshire, has been selected third overall by the Colorado Rapids at the MLS SuperDraft.

Bombito was named 2022 America East Defender of the Year and a second-team all-American selection, after helping lead a defence that ranked third in the NCAA with a 0.5 goals-against average.

He was third on New Hampshire with four goals and tied for second with two game-winners. The Wildcats posted 11 shutouts and outscored the opposition 38-12.

Bombito was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy awarded to the top player in U.S. college soccer and attended the recent MLS College Showcase.

Bombito was one of eight players named to the Generation Adidas class ahead of the draft.

Generation Adidas is a joint program between Major League Soccer and Adidas that sees top collegiate underclassmen and youth national team players signed by MLS to contracts and made available in the draft. Their initial salaries do not count against a team’s salary cap.

The Rapids acquired the third pick in the draft from Toronto FC as part of a July 8 trade that brought midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye to Toronto.

The Vancouver Whitecaps traded up to pick fifth overall and selected Generation Adidas midfielder J.C. Ngando.

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The Whitecaps received the pick from Houston in exchange for the No. 13 pick and $225,000 US in general allocation money.

The French-born Ngando, 23, was the Southern Conference player of the year after contributing 14 assists in 2022 — tied for the second most in the NCAA — with UNC Greensboro.

He helped Greensboro reach the NCAA Division I quarter-finals for the first time in program history.

Another Canadian was taken with the eighth selection, as Sporting Kansas picked Florida International University forward Stephen Afrifa.

Afrifa, a Toronto native, had 10 goals and four assists in 19 appearances in his senior year at FIU, giving him 23 goals and 11 assists in his NCAA career.

Canadian midfielder Malcolm Johnston, the younger brother of Canadian international defender Alistair Johnston, is shown in action for the University of Maryland Terrapins against Farleigh Dickinson University during the NCAA Championship first round at Ludwig Field in College Park, Md. on Thursday Nov. 17, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Riley Rumbley/Maryland Terrapins)

Malcolm Johnston became the third Canadian drafted in the opening round when New York City FC selected him with the 26th pick.

The University of Maryland midfielder had six goals and eight assists in 17 games en route to making first-team all-Big Ten. He is also the younger brother of CF Montreal defender Alistair Johnston.

Vancouver also selected Syracuse forward Levonte Johnson of Brampton, Ont., with the 29th and final pick of the first round.

The Whitecaps received the pick in 2020 from Los Angeles FC, in exchange for a 2020 international roster slot.

TFC uses 1st pick to take Canadian defender Watson

Johnson had 11 goals and six assists in 25 contests in his first and only season with the Orange. He played his junior season with Seattle University, where he was third in the Western Athletic Conference in points with 26.

Toronto FC used its first pick of the draft to take Canadian defender Jalen Watson out of Penn State in the second round (32nd overall).

The Whitecaps added Daniel Nimick out of Western Michigan University with the 13th pick of the round. Meanwhile, Montreal made University of North Carolina defender Milo Garvanian its first pick of the draft in the middle round.

Toronto used its final pick on Charlie Sharp, a forward out of Western Michigan University, with the third selection of the third round. Vancouver took Syracuse defender Buster Sjoberg with the 13th pick of the round.

Salvatore Mazzaferro was the sixth Canadian taken in the draft, selected by Austin FC with the 14th pick of the final round.

Montreal added Mercer University defender Ousman Jabang with the 17th choice of the third, as well as Canadian goalkeeper Nick Christoffersen eight picks later.

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