Kimani Stewart-Baynes Touted As Top MLS SuperDraft Pick
Major League Soccer has officially confirmed that highly-touted Canadian forward Kimani Stewart-Baynes will be eligible for the 2024 MLS SuperDraft after signing a Generation Adidas contract.
The Toronto-born youngster blasted onto the MLS radars after proving a standout with the University of Maryland this year, tallying three goals and seven assists through fourteen matches. He earned a Big Ten Freshman of the Year nod, and now Kimani’s name is expected to go quickly in tonight’s MLS SuperDraft.
It’s been a big year for Stewart-Baynes: the young forward signed a developmental deal with Canadian Premier League side Halifax Wanderers earlier this year, reuniting him with former Vaughan Azzurri head coach Patrice Gheisar to test his mettle in a professional environment out east.
Gheisar described the move as something to prepare him for the next steps of his career, and it seems he’s now on the precipice of that. Prior, Stewart-Baynes had scored 17 goals in 14 appearances for the Vaughan Azzurri U-19 side.
Known as a dynamic winger who possesses a talent for dribbling combined with a high technical ability and raw athleticism, the ceiling for him looks high.
While Toronto FC has the first pick and Stewart-Baynes is predicted by some to go straight away – and who better than with his hometown club – there is a caveat: a trusted source with MLS connections told us that Stewart-Baynes preferred to avoid a TFC selection, believing that they don’t offer the best path to his development.
He does have plenty of faith in Major League Soccer, however, having turned down some early interest in Europe to ink his Generation Adidas contract.
Last year saw Canadian Moise Bombito go third overall after signing a such a contract, while other national team players like Dayne St. Clair, Tajon Buchanan, Richie Laryea, and Cyle Larin all got their sporting careers started through Generation Adidas, too.
Remarkably, this will mark the third year in a row that Maryland has had players sign a coveted Generation Adidas deal. Also remarkable is the fact that Stewart-Baynes won’t be the only family member in pro sports, as his brother N’Keal Harry is a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings.
We’ve detailed a list of the fifteen other Canadians eligible for the draft which can be found here. The 2024 MLS SuperDraft will take place tonight at 3:00PM EST, though viewers will need an MLS Season Pass to watch it.
Header Image Photo Credit: University of Maryland