Our boy Luka is coming home ... well, sort of!
Toronto FC selected goalkeeper Luka Gavran from St. John’s University in the second round with the 31st overall pick in 2022 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas on Tuesday.
“Luka was one of the top goalkeepers in the country this past season,” said Toronto FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley. “His size and presence are great starting points for a young keeper.”
Gavran, 21, born in Hamilton, ON., spent the past four seasons with St. John’s University. He made 48 appearances and started 25 games. In his junior year, he was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team, becoming St. John’s first player to earn the honours since 2008. He also became the third player in program history to be named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year, earning the award after going 11-6-3 with 12 shutouts.
At an imposing six-foot-six, Hamilton-raised Luka Gavran got his start with GPS Academy alongside fellow draft pick Tani Oluwaseyi. His youth career saw him learn the craft in both the Hamilton Croatia and Dinamo Zagreb youth development programs, with Gavran eventually helping GPS to a Vase Cup championship in Northern Ireland during a season that also saw him named the Ontario Academy Soccer League Goalie of the Year.
After riding the bench in 2018, Gavran broke into the St. John’s University first team to make 18 appearances in 2019, recording eight combined shutouts with co-goalkeeper Yan Hoffelner and preventing anything from getting past him in 10 of 18 appearances. In the 2021 Spring season he appeared in all ten matches for the Red Storm, finishing with 0.72 goals against with Gavran making a big penalty stop against Seton Hall along the way.
As a Redshirt Junior in the fall of 2021 he led the nation in shutouts (12) and save percentage (.844) while finishing third in goals against average (0.57), and played every minute in goal. He registered a clean sheet in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament against Princeton and registered a career-high six saves on three separate occasions, including in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against top-seeded Oregon State.