The youngest player at the MLS Combine may also be one of the MLS draft’s biggest mysteries.
At 17, Canadian forward Adonijah Reid is very much a work in progress. But his raw talent combined with a Generation Adidas Canada contract that does not count against the salary cap should draw interest in Friday’s MLS SuperDraft in Los Angeles.
The five-foot-five talent from Brampton, Ont., who does not turn 18 until mid-September, has honed his talents at the ANB Futbol Academy in suburban Toronto since he was 11.
“He is an attacking-minded player, I don’t like to say forward because he can play behind the striker, as a striker and he can be on the wing,” said ANB Academy director Bassam Naim.
“He is a very lethal finisher,” he added. “He will bury the ball most of the time.”
ANB Futbol Academy wasted little time showcasing his talents to European teams.
“This young man has been very well-travelled … He has been offered many scenarios,” said Naim. “But due to the fact that he doesn’t have European documents â€” he’s Canadian-born â€” it was difficult for us to keep him in Europe.”
As a 15-year-old, Reid tied for the scoring lead in League 1 Ontario with the ANB Futbol team. More recently he has been playing for the Academy’s under-20 side.
“He’s definitely able to compete with older players,” said Naim. “That’s an edge he has. He’s motivated to play with older men … I think the future is bright.”
Reid has spent time with Canadian under-15, under-16 and under-18 camps, while drawing plenty of interest from U.S. colleges.
“He’s got undoubted talent,” said Canadian under-20 coach Rob Gale. “It’s really going to be interesting how he develops and grows once he’s in that full-time professional environment. But he’s a dynamic forward. He can probably play in any of four front positions.”
Reid has a knack for getting into goal-scoring positions.
“He’s got a big upside … He’s always been the best player in his current environment,” said Gale. “And now he needs that extra push which I think is going to be very very good for him.”
Quiet off the field, the youngster will likely be a project for an MLS team willing to give him the time needed.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have the highest pick among the Canadian team at No. 7. Montreal picks 19th and Toronto 21st.
Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson plays his cards close to his chest and has a shopping list with various needs. But the franchise has not been shy in the past about young talent, using the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft to take 17-year-old forward Kekuta Manneh.
Reid is joined by 19-year-old FC Edmonton midfielder Shamit Shome in the inaugural Generation Adidas Canada class.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press