St. John’s soccer sees three players taken in MLS SuperDraft

St. John’s soccer had three players selected in Tuesday’s MLS SuperDraft

On Tuesday afternoon, Major League Soccer conducted its annual three-round SuperDraft where up to 89 college and academy prospects had their dreams of becoming professional soccer players realized. Three of those players hailed from the St. John’s soccer program.

The three Johnnies selected in the 2022 MLS Superdraft were defender Lucas Bartlett, forward Tani Oluwaseyi, and goalkeeper Luka Gavran.

The three selections tied a St. John’s record when the Red Storm also had three SuperDraft selections in 2006.

Bartlett was selected No. 6 overall to FC Dallas, becoming the highest draft selection in St. John’s program history.

The previous record was held by Chris Wingert when he was selected No. 12 overall in 2004.

The versatile defender is typically a center back, but can play the outside back positions. He earned a First Team All-Big East selection after a stellar season in which he anchored the Red Storm backline playing, and starting, in all 20 games.

The Drake graduate transfer was tied for the team lead in goals, five,  and also notched three assists while leading a defense that was No. 5 in the nation in goals-against average, giving up just 12 goals all season.

Star forward Oluwaseyi was drafted No. 17 overall to Minnesota United.

Oluwaseyi was limited to just two appearances this season in the regular season finale and Big East Quarterfinal. Both games were against Butler as he continued to recover from offseason knee surgery.

Despite the injury, the Ontario native was still taken in the Top-20 due to his impressive resume over the course of his time at St. John’s, one of the best runs the program has seen.

Oluwaseyi won the Big East Offensive Player of the Year Award as a sophomore in 2019, scoring 11 goals and five assists and earned a First Team All-Big East selection.

The 11 goals were the most  by a Red Storm player since 2003.

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He was also named to the conference First Team in the Spring 2021 season as he led the team with five goals and three assists.

Oluwaseyi finishes his St. John’s career with 20 goals and 10 assists in 49 appearances with 20 starts.

Goalkeeper Luka Gavran was taken with the third pick of the second round in the draft, No. 31 overall, to Toronto FC.

The Hamilton, Ontario native is headed back home to start his professional career.

Gavran was named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and earned First Team All-Big East honors in after leading the nation with 12 shutouts, tied for third all-time on the Red Storm single season shutout list.

The redshirt junior played every minute on a St. John’s team that finished third in the Big East in the regular season and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing the season with an 11-6-3 (5-3-2 Big East) record.

Another St. John’s soccer player also drafted

Former Johnnie Skage Simonsen was also drafted in the third round,  No. 69 overall, to DC United.

Simonsen won the Big East Freshman of the Year award in 2018 and transferred to SMU following the 2019 season.

All draftees will head to their teams in the coming weeks with the MLS Regular Season just under a month away. The season is starting early than usual due to the winter World Cup in Qatar later this year.