LOS ANGELES â€” Edmonton teenager Shamit Shome took another stop up the pro soccer ranks Friday, chosen by the Montreal Impact in the second round (41st overall) at the MLS SuperDraft.
MLS bought the 19-year-old midfielder from FC Edmonton of the NASL and made him one-half of its inaugural Generation Adidas Canada class, signing the youth international to a contract that won’t count against the Impact’s salary cap.
Montreal liked Shome’s poise and experience at such a young age. A cool head, Shome is good at connecting teammates on the pitch.
“He’s good on the ball, comfortable in possession … And he has professional experience,” said Impact technical director Adam Braz. “I think that’s a big plus â€” understanding what it takes at the pro level.”
Shome, a nominee for Canadian under-20 player of the year, saw plenty of action for the Eddies in 2016. He logged 1,729 minutes in 29 appearances in all competitions and captained the national under-20 team.
Braz said he did not expect Shome to be around by the time his second-round pick came round.
The two other Canadian teams did not bite. Toronto passed on both Shome and fellow Canadian Generation Adidas youngster Adonijah Reid, trading its two second-round picks to Chicago for allocation money. Vancouver used its second-round pick on a New Zealand defender.
Shome celebrated getting drafted and going to a Canadian club. But he also talked of his ties to FC Edmonton whose academy and coach Colin Miller helped develop him.
“It’s definitely bittersweet (leaving) but there’s a time where you have to take that jump and take that risk. Me and my family just thought this could be the right time,” he said.
Language should not be a barrier in Montreal. Shome says his French is “not bad.”
“I need to work on it a bit more but simple French isn’t that bad.”
Montreal chose Nick DePuy in the first round (19th overall). The UC Santa Barbara forward was hard to miss as he appeared backstage with a technician having to pause to raise his camera tripod.
“You’re much taller than everybody else,” said the flustered cameraman.
At six foot five and 200 pounds, DePuy cuts an imposing figure.
“I think it’s just positive to have a different type of profile that in different situations can be effective,” Braz said of adding a target-man. “It doesn’t mean that he’s going to step in tomorrow. He’s going to grow and give the coach an option at different moments. We liked what we saw, we liked our interview with him so we’re happy to add him to the team.”
DePuy, who scored 31 goals in college, is more than just a tall drink of water. He has worked hard on his technique.
“I’m tall but I’m also good with my feet,” he said. “I’m quick and I can jump really high .. I’m big in the box, Balls in the air, I’m going to fight (for) and I’m going to get it.”
DePuy likes to watch forwards like Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
The 22-year-old DePuy, born in California and raised in Denver, was ecstatic to hear his name called out by Montreal.
“It was a great feeling. All of my dreams came true right when I heard those words. I had a great meeting with the Impact and I connected with all the coaches … Hopefully I can help bring a championship to Montreal.”
Growing up, there were no French classes at DePuy’s school. “Only Spanish and Latin.”
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press