NYCFC Drafts Three Attacking Players in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft
By Aidan Baller
The MLS SuperDraft took place on Jan 11. and New York City FC added three players to their squad, selecting Kevin O’Toole, Kingsford Adjei, and El Mahdi Youssoufi.
Throughout the years NYCFC has used the SuperDraft to make key additions to the team such as goalkeeper Luis Barraza in 2019. Barraza has served as a trustworthy backup to Sean Johnson and recorded two clean sheets in five starts during the 2021 season.
The Night Owls first drafted forward/midfielder Kevin O’Toole from Princeton University with the 34th overall pick in the second round. NYCFC originally had the 28th overall pick but traded down to the 34th pick with FC Dallas in exchange for 50,000 in General Allocation Money.
O’Toole built up an impressive resume at Princeton as he was a two-time Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year (2018, 2021), and a three-time first-team All-Ivy. (2018, 2019, 2021) Additionally, during the 2021 season, O’Toole recorded seven goals and nine assists. His best performance came in a 4-1 win over Harvard where O’Toole had three goals and one assist.
Similarly, with pick 56, NYCFC selected forward/midfielder Kingsford Adjei from the University of Dayton. Originally from Ghana, Adjei was selected to the A-10 first team three times (2019, 2020, 2021) and named A-10 midfielder of the year twice (2019, 2020).
Adjei played 15 games in his final season and registered five goals and three assists. Additionally, in 2019, Adjei played 12 games and scored 11, and assisted five. Dayton Head Coach Dennis Currier described Adjei as “one of the most exciting attacking players in college soccer.”
With the final pick in the SuperDraft, the reigning champions closed out the draft by selecting El Mahdi Youssoufi from St. Francis Brooklyn. Listed as a forward, Youssoufi recorded 13 goals and one assist in 2021. In his best game of the season, Youssoufi registered a hattrick in a 6-3 win against Merrimack. Additionally, Youssoufi was named 2021 Northeast Conference Player of the Year.
St. Francis Brooklyn athletic director Irma Garcia described Youssoufi as having “exceptional speed on the field.”
NYCFC used this draft to create depth in their attack, with the age of Maxi Moralez, the loss of Jesus Medina, and the possible transfer of Taty Castellanos. O’Toole, Adjei, and Youssoufi will provide depth for this squad and will look to break into the starting eleven throughout the course of this extended season for the Night Owls.