Toronto FC picks Trinidadian Tyrese Spicer in Super Draft

By Stephen Weir

Trinidad and Tobago delivered a shocking one two punch to Major League Soccer, when two local players, Tyrese Spicer and Wayne Frederick were named the top two players chosen in this week’s Super Draft.

Trinbago’s forward Tyrese Spicer

It was a sporting earthquake that sent shockwaves through Toronto, Port of Spain and the world of Major League Soccer (MLS), the Toronto FC announced Trinidad and Tobago’s forward Tyrese Spicer as the Number One overall pick in the highly anticipated 2024 MLS Super Draft. Spicer, a 23-year-old native of Trinidad and Tobago, emerged as a standout talent after an impressive 2023 season at Lipscomb University, where he notched 14 goals and 3 assists in just 16 games.

Spicer’s stellar performance in the 2023 season earned him accolades such as First Team All-American, Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) Player of the Year, and MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist honors. With a total of 29 goals and 18 assists in 57 appearances for Lipscomb, Spicer’s goal-scoring prowess and on-field contributions did not go unnoticed.

Toronto FC, under the new leadership of general manager Jason Hernandez and head coach John Herdman, made Spicer their first acquisition for the 2024 season. The team is determined to bounce back from a disappointing finish in the previous season, which led to the mid-season departure of former coach Bob Bradley. The Reds, who scored only 26 goals in the last campaign, are pinning their hopes on Spicer to inject dynamism and firepower into their attacking lineup.

Hernandez, commenting on the selection of Spicer, stated, “Tyrese possesses a unique combination of technical and physical qualities that align with our player profile and tactical blueprint. He also has a resilient mindset and a drive to improve, which makes him a great fit for TFC. We look forward to working with Tyrese to accelerate his growth as a player and person while helping us achieve our goals as a club.”

The announcement of Spicer’s selection reverberated in the media across the globe, particularly in the United States. Spicer himself, in a televised interview, expressed his excitement, saying, “I score goals, I’m explosive; I think John Herdman saw that in me.”

Back in Trinidad and Tobago, the local press celebrated Spicer’s achievement, particularly noting his background as the former top goal-scorer in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL). It was also reported that that Spicer’s fellow countryman, Wayne Frederick, was chosen as the first pick by the Colorado Rapids.

Frederick, a midfielder from Duke University and son of Trinidad and Tobago’s Wayne Frederick, expressed his disbelief at the opportunity, saying, “It shines a light on Trinidad and Tobago.”

As Tyrese Spicer and Wayne Frederick embark on their MLS journeys, the spotlight is not only on their individual successes but also on the potential for Trinidad and Tobago to make a lasting impact on the global soccer stage. The 2024 MLS season promises excitement and anticipation as these talented players bring their skills and determination to North American soccer.