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'I want to be a professional soccer player and here we are living the dream': Toronto FC selects Griffin Dorsey

CHICAGO -- When Griffin Dorsey was selected with the sixth pick of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, the story quickly moved away from him and to a kid named Caleb.

When Dorsey was selected, he gave a short speech on stage. He started off with referencing the movie ‘Miracle’ and USA coach Herb Brooks. Then the attention shifted to Caleb, saying, “I play for you, Caleb.”

Caleb was around the Indiana soccer program for much of the 2019 season and accompanied Dorsey through media responsibilities. He has provided inspiration for not just Dorsey, but the entire Indiana soccer program. Caleb wanted to be at the draft with Dorsey and Dorsey wanted Caleb there too.

“Caleb has been an inspiration to me over this past year,” Dorsey said in his speech. “He’s a fighter and has shown me how to stay positive and energetic even during tough times.”

When Dorsey’s name was called, it was a bit of a surprise at the sixth pick. He made the decision to turn pro just a few weeks before the draft, yet Toronto made the decision to select him. Dorsey has a wealth of experience at just a young age from playing in the PDL, with United States Youth National Team’s and with Indiana University with two seasons.

His new coach, Greg Vanney, has had a decent amount of success in MLS. Toronto FC won MLS Cup in 2017, but a dip in form put Toronto in a position to be able to draft Dorsey. Vanney is very pleased to have been able to draft as good of a player as Dorsey.

“He fits in with what we’re trying to do,” Vanney said. “We’re looking for a wide player who understands the role and position and can fit in hopefully pretty quickly. He suits that for us. He’s obviously a good kid, and I know the Yeagleys, we also have a few IU guys on our team, so looking forward to adding him to the mix.”

Now with Toronto, he joins a team currently including names such as Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley. TFC also includes former Hoosiers Eriq Zavaleta and Drew Moor, along with United States U-20 teammate, Ayo Akinola. Playing with those names isn’t lost on the now-rookie.

“It’s going to be an honor,” Dorsey said. “I love being part of the Hoosier family and it’s an honor just playing with the Hoosiers and now I’m moving on as a Hoosier alum.”

At Indiana, Dorsey scored eight goals along with 11 assists in a career that included two trips to the College Cup. The winger became a key part of IU’s attacking presence on the wings as he used his speed countless time to run downhill at defenders.

In MLS, Dorsey has the chance to be a dynamic playmaker. He said he’s excited to get to Toronto to get started. When asked what Toronto fans should expect of Dorsey, he kept it to the point.

“Hard work and dedication,” Dorsey said. “I want to be a professional soccer player and here we are living the dream and I can’t wait to get started and start the hard work.”

IU coach Todd Yeagley had a feeling he would go pretty high in the SuperDraft based on the body of work he put in at IU and because of his Generation adidas status. He also mentioned how Dorsey realizes the impact he can make on people, such as bringing Caleb to the draft with him.

Every player has a story, and draftees shared some great ones on stage. Caleb made such an impact on Dorsey and vice versa this season. Friday was Dorsey’s chance to leave a lasting impact on Caleb.

“I wanted him (Caleb) to be here more than anything,” Dorsey said.


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