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Four League1 Ontario alumni selected in first round of MLS Draft

By Staff, 01/10/20, 3:00PM EST


Ryan Raposo, Alistar Johnston, Nyal Higgins and Dayonn Harris - all products of Vaughan Soccer Club's high performance program - have been selected by MLS clubs

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

League1 Ontario has been building a reputation as a platform for emerging talent to showcase their skills but one League1 club hit new heights this week at the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. 

Vaughan SC had four players drafted in the first round of top 20 picks by MLS clubs at the 2020 SuperDraft.  A whopping 25 per cent of the top young prospects out of the NCAA emerged from the League1 Ontario License Holder. 

“It’s an amazing accomplishment for the league, who had the opportunity to showcase these players and for Vaughan SC in their development of these athletes,” said Dino Rossi, League1 Ontario Men’s Commissioner. “League1 Ontario teams have developed a track record for helping Ontario players get to the next level and we expect to continue that in the years ahead.”

Multi-dimensional attacker Ryan Raposo (Vancouver Whitecaps) from Syracuse University, right back Alistar Johnston (Nashville SC) from Wake Forest University, defender Nyal Higgins (Toronto FC) from Syracuse University, and Dayonn Harris (Real Salt Lake) from University of Connecticut - all products of Vaughan Soccer Club's high performance program.

“First a big congratulations to the players for pursuing and realizing their dreams being drafted into the MLS,” said Gary Miller, Ontario Soccer Director of Soccer Operations. “Second, a congratulations to Vaughan SC for having the four players selected. Their track record speaks for itself. As well, congratulations to League1 Ontario, which continues to be a platform for young players to show their talents.”

Drafted fourth overall to the Vancouver Whitecaps, Ryan Raposo grew up in Hamilton before spending spells at TFC Academy and later trialing in Germany. 

Selected 11th overall to Nashville SC, Aurora native Alistair Johnston has made a massive impression for Vaughan in recent years. After winning the 2018 League1 title, his performance in the second leg of the 2019 Canadian Championship in particular turned the heads of those across North America. 

Nyal Higgins, a centreback out of Ajax, ON that played the 2019 season at Syracuse University, recently trained with hometown MLS club, Toronto FC, and clearly left an impression. He was selected 19th overall by the Reds.

Finally, with the 20th and final pick of the first round, Dayonn Harris will  join Real Salt Lake.